T-Mobile USA is the number 4 U.S. mobile carrier in terms of subscribers. At last place, the company needs to do something to lure customers to their network. In today’s market, where smartphones have become a major device category, data speeds are key. At present, the two top dogs in the carrier battle, Verizon Wireless and AT&T each advertise their 3G network as the best and most reliable.
T-Mobile is taking a different approach, by taking their fight to the speed category. To this effect, the company announced a few days ago that more than 25 cities have been added to their super 3G network, using a network technology called HSPA+.
In theory, HSPA+ can deliver download speeds up to 21Mbps (about 10x as fast as regular 3G networks we have today). However, in real world examples, my friend Kevin C. Tofel of JKOnTherun shows speeds of around 5-10Mbps on his T-Mobile network, depending on conditions.
Why would anyone want an uber-fast 3G network? Well, if you have a data card for your laptop, you’ll appreciate the quick speeds. Also, if you’re streaming data such as live video or some other use, network speed affects you. As more folks hop on mobile data networks, we need strong infrastructure to deliver the same experience we’re used to today.
So, is your city part of the super fast HSPA+ network? Check out T-Mobile’s coverage map. I’m happy to see that Portland, Oregon is on the list of cities getting it next…this will make my mobile data surfing nice and fast!