There is a lot of marketing spin going right now in the mobile industry here in the United States. Sprint is selling Clear’s Wi-Max service and branding it as 4G, when industry insiders are saying that no, it’s not 4G…just capable of 4G-ish speeds.
Then, the little guy of the mobile carrier bunch, T-Mobile USA has started rolling out their super-fast 3G network technology, also known as HSPA+. Last week, T-Mobile announced that the fast wireless network was rolled out to more cities, including Portland, Oregon; where I live and work.
My Nokia N900 is capable of these faster speeds, so I popped my SIM into it to try the network out. I was absolutely blown away! See the result below:
At first, I didn’t believe this score, so I tried SpeedTest to different locations up and down the west coast and got similar numbers. These speeds, on a 3G connection, are absolutely amazing.
In contrast, my Sprint “4G” card gets 3-3.5 Mbps down, if I am lucky. Normally, in the locations I frequent, I get 2-2.3 Mbps down. So, in the location I’m currently at, T-Mobile’s 3G is twice as fast as Sprint’s 4G offering.
Having this amount of mobile bandwidth makes many things possible, including really nice looking Skype video calls via 3G. Additionally, I can make these calls to anyone on Skype, whether they are on a mobile or at any computer. No need to be on a specific phone via WiFi, like iPhone and that silly Facetime stuff.