Today T-Mobile announced that they have expanded their HSPA+ network in the Northeastern U.S. and other major cities. Starting today, HSPA+ will be expanded to Upstate New York (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse), Connecticut (Hartford, New Haven, Milford and Stamford) and Providence, R.I., with more to follow in the coming weeks.
You may be wondering how T-Mobile could be announcing 4G when even their 3G coverage isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. It’s simple enough. T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network already achieves 4G speeds, with download speeds spec’d out to 21Mbs, in the best of scenarios. How it actually stacks up in real world testing is a whole other thing. But still, with the HSPA+ network already in place, there’s no need for T-Mobile to have to build a new network. It’s already there.
Since the newly announced speeds are coming from T-Mobile’s existing (only yet to be turned on in most areas) network, there will not be an additional charge for data, like some other companies have done. No need for new hardware, as most of T-Mobile’s more recent smartphones are capable of handling the new speeds. T-Mobile’s fast build-out promises to cover 100 major metro areas which will cover 185 million people by then end of the year. Currently, T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network covers only 30 million people, and plans to cover 115 million more people by the end of the year is quite an ambitious goal.
“Our competitors are asking consumers to pay more for faster wireless service with limited coverage and very few capable devices,” said Neville Ray, senior vice president of Engineering and Operations for T-Mobile USA. “In contrast, T-Mobile is already delivering 4G speeds today to customers and we continue to make major leaps in expanding our HSPA+ mobile broadband footprint.”
Sounds like a pretty good deal if you ask me, but only time will tell how fast the network really is when you have almost 200 million people on it.