Last month we wrote about a device launched in Turkey called the Huawei Sonic, a smartphone that we thought was special because it was cheap (less than 200 Euros) and featured near field communication (NFC) support. Would it come over to American shores we began asking ourselves … turns out the answer is yes. Thanks to a recent FCC filing, we can confidently say that the Huawei Sonic will launch in America as the T-Mobile Sonic, and it’ll not only do NFC, but it will also be able to hop on AT&T’s 3G network. The good news doesn’t stop there however, the Sonic looks to be T-Mobile’s first smartphone that will be able to take full advantage of their 42 Mbps HSPA+ network. Today’s top of the line T-Mobile smartphones, such as the Vibrant 4G, only have 21 Mbps support, so we’re eager to benchmark the Sonic around town and see just how fast we’ll be able to stream HD videos of cats acting silly.
Up until now the only handsets that have supported both T-Mobile and AT&T 3G have been made by Nokia, which is a bit ironic since they have absolutely zero presence in North America. It’s expected that AT&T will be given the go ahead to swallow up T-Mobile this coming March, so these multiband 3G devices will be needed as AT&T restructures T-Mobile’s current network to better lineup with their plans for expansion. AT&T has said that they’ll use T-Mobile’s existing HSPA+ network to roll out LTE access and that at some point in the future T-Mobile customers will need to upgrade their handsets to something that’ll support their current high speed network, which operates in the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands.
A lot can happen between now and March, and we’re still hoping the deal doesn’t go through; that being said however, more handset makers should launch devices like this that can use any 3G network in the world.