T-Mobile announced that it is doubling the speed of its 4G network to 42 megabits per second — more than the speed of wired broadband services — in 55 markets.

The company is also launching a new product, the Rocket 3.0 universal serial bus data stick, which can be used to access the data network via a laptop computer. The Rocket stick costs $99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) with a data contract. The new cities with the faster 4G service are:

Albany, GA, Athens, GA, Auburn, AL, Augusta, GA, Austin, TX, Bentonville, AK, Boulder, CO, Chattanooga, TN, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL, Denver, CO, Detroit, MI, Durham, NC, El Paso, TX, Fort Collins, CO, Gainesville, FL, Gainesville, GA, Greeley, CO, Honolulu, HI, Houston, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Long Island, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Long Beach, CA, Santa Ana, CA, Macon, GA, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Miami, FL, New Orleans, LA, Oklahoma City, OK, Olympia, WA, Omaha, NE, Oxnard, CA, Thousand Oaks, CA, Ventura, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Pittsburgh, PA, Ponce, Puerto Rico, Portland, OR, Salinas, CA, San Francisco, CA, Oakland, CA, Fremont, CA, San Jose, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Santa Clara, CA, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Santa Cruz, CA, Watsonville, CA, Santa Rosa, CA, Petaluma, CA, Savannah, CA, Seattle, WA, Spokane, WA, Tampa, FL, Tulsa, OK, Valdosta, GA, Vellejo, CA, Fairfield, CA, Warner Robins, GA, and Wichita, KS.

The Rocket 3.0 USB data stick is made by ZTE and goes on sale on May 25. T-Mobile says more than 150 million people will be covered in the 4G network. Verizon’s LTE 4G network has theoretical download speeds of up to 21 megabits per second. It’s much easier for T-Mobile to expand its 4G network since it isn’t relying on newfangled LTE or WiMax 4G technology. Its HSPA+ is more like a suped-up 3G technology. Monthly data plans start at $29.99 a month. You can also buy a Rocket 3.0 without an annual contract for $199.99.

We’ll be exploring the most disruptive mobile trends at our fourth annual MobileBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the rise of 4G and how it delivers the promise of true mobile computing. We’re also accepting entries for our mobile startup competition at the show. MobileBeat is co-located with our GamesBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at sponsors@venturebeat.com.


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