Conciderably Dissapointed in T-Mobile’s 3G in the USA

T-Mobile customers have been waiting for what seems like years for the cell service provider to give us a 3G data network. Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and AT&T have had 3G networks for quite some time, giving us mobile broadband access to the Internet.

T-Mobile has finally started the rollout of the 3G network, starting with New York City. The new UMTS/HSDPA network will appear in other markets as the year goes on, hopefully in Portland where I could get access to it. Currently, according to Om’s post, there are only 4 handsets available for T-Mobile’s 3G network.

However, thanks to the Nokia Blogger Relations program, I have a Nokia N81 8GB. I would *love* to use this phone on a 3G network here in the States. It won’t work on AT&T because they use a proprietary HSDPA network. My hope was that T-Mobile’s network would be compatible with this Nokia phone. Unfortunately, it’s not, because like AT&T, T-Mobile has chosen to “lock-in” customers by also employing their own proprietary 3G network.

This means that handset makers such as Sony/Ericsson, Nokia, and others who want to build a 3G handset are going to have to make 3 versions. One for the Europe market, one for AT&T’s US network, and now one for T-Mobile’s 3G network.

This also means if I have a handset that works on the 3G network here in the States and I travel to Europe, I won’t have 3G access to the European network. *Shrug*

One comment on “Conciderably Dissapointed in T-Mobile’s 3G in the USA
  1. What you said is sooo true. I waited for ages for TMo to begin a 3G service. Last Jan, I found out that they are rolling out a new spectrum, and that there was no chance I could expect an error free smooth 3G data service in the near future. None of the CSRs could tell anything, either on or off record. I jumped ship, and am now with ATT and life is BLISS with superfast 3G data. I am done with the trickling Tmo data, not even upto edge standard. Also, ATT gives rollover minutes, which Tmo never gave me.

    And I dont think the cell manufacturers can make three flavours for each of their phones. Take the case of Nokia, even they only have a couple of worthwhile handsets that can used with ATT. Now to think about the same thing repeated all over again for Tmo, no way, I dont think so. What this would mean, in the long term for TMobile is, lack of adequate handsets available, other than their subsidised ones, and a lot of unhappy customers. Unless they decide to port at least a good number of decent cellphones to their market. But I am not sure, their sales pitch still remains…”OOH.. Our phone carries a VGA camera…!!!, OOH.. MMS…!!!” kind of dumb deal.

    I understand your N81 being 2100 3G frequency, not being able to be used on ATT, but I guess it will work just fine for data using their EDGE. And guess what, ATT EDGE is still miles ahead of Tmo EDGE, and I could use skype and video streaming with reasonable good results.

    Once again, thanks for conveying the frustration that TMo users might be having right now, and all the same it emphasises the fact that I did the right choice, jumping over to ATT land.



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