The carrier says it plans to have 200 million Americans covered by its HSPA+ network by the end of the year. At first it will feature speeds of around 21Mbps, a significant bump from average 3G speeds of 2 to 5Mbps. The technology can be scaled to support faster 42Mbps speeds in 2011, and it can potentially go as high as 84 and 168Mbps. It’s new markets include Chicago, Raleigh-Durham and Louisville.
One good thing about T-Mobile’s 4G network is that many existing devices already support it, although older devices won’t be able to take advantage of the network’s full speed. T-Mobile’s official 4G devices include the MyTouch 4G and recently-released T-Mobile G2. The carrier also announced a netbook that supports its 4G network, the Dell Mini 10 4G. Older devices like the G1, original MyTouch, HD2, and Behold II will see speeds nearly doubled from typical 3G, topping out around 7Mbps.
Just like its competitors, T-Mobile’s definition of “4G” is somewhat cloudy. Sprint is deploying a network based on WiMax technology, and both Verizon and AT&T are looking into LTE technology for their next-generation networks. T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is technically considered 3.5G technology, and it’s also something that AT&T is looking to use as a stop-gap upgrade before deploying LTE 4G.
But then again, a recent statement by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency dedicated to promoting telecom standards, found that only WiMAX 2 and LTE-Advanced technology are truly 4G. That means every 4G network currently being deployed in the US is an impostor — so T-Mobile has just as much a right to promote its HSPA+ network as 4G as its competitors. In a recent data speed showdown, T-Mobile’s network actually ranked higher than Sprint’s 4G.
To help promote its new network, T-Mobile is rolling out an ad campaign that’s completely Apple-inspired. Check out the first ad below: