DT: Don’t Expect 4G On T-Mobile USA Within The Next Two Years

With Magenta currently leading the mobile speed race with their HSPA+ 21Mbps network, the question is, will they be able to maintain the #1 position, or will they get left behind? Last week, T-Mobile USA’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann stated that its U.S branch will get fourth-generation wireless network either by buying spectrum, re-farming existing spectrum, or potentially leasing spectrum together with others. Obermann also included that their U.S branch has no plans of “trailing others in the next two years.” Instead, Obermann states that, “With HSPA+ we’re in a very good position. We still have plenty of capacity, so we are competitive.” At this point, I think its safe to assume that, our original report of T-Mobile planning to upgrade its HSPA+ network to reach speeds of 42Mbps in 2011 is correct.

But in today’s data hungry world, in which the average smartphone data usage has tripped since 2009 and LTE offering more than 5x the speeds of T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 21 Mbps network, will T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network be enough? What say you?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

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  • MW

    I don’t care if technically the other network is faster, although I do enjoy bragging rights at the moment. What is most important is I can efficiently do everything I want to do, i.e. talk and surf at the same time, video conferencing, download files, stream content and whatever else is the hot to do thing. As long as these can be accomplished without having to wait some unrealistic amount of time, then I don’t need what is called 4G, just need good and efficient service.

    • rolo

      Is it true only AT&T subscribers can talk & surf @ the same time?

      • BigWill

        No, T-Mobile can also talk and surf at the same time when on 3G. It is the same with AT&T, they can only talk and surf when in 3G coverage.

  • kinoy

    I think for the time being, HSPA+ would be enough for the next 2-3 years only if they are keeping with their schedule on upgrading their network to 42MBps HSPA+. The question now is .. will t-mobile’s upstream backbone able to keep up with users’ bandwidth demand?

  • mike

    I think they have the right idea here. Upgrade the network to hspa+ in larger city’s do the 42. Technology is only going to get better. as for bandwidth I was taking to a account development Rep and they can very easily increase bandwidth when it come necessary. As for the speed tho I will be very happy with the 21mbps for a long time. That’s really fast still. And its faster than cable and dsl in a lot of places.

  • Reece

    21mbps is faster then my cable connection as it stands, so I seriously wouldn’t have any issues whatsoever being stuck on that for my next highend T-Mobile phone (Mytouch HD? G1 Blaze?) for the next two years.

  • scott

    who actually gets 21 mbps? im in downtown seattle and only get 1m average on any speedtest?

    • jgarriot

      “I am a T-Mobile employee, however the views of my post reflect only my views and are in no way associated with T-Mobile USA”

      I just did a speedtest today in Atlanta and received 8 mbps down and about 2 up (on a WebConnect Rocket)… However, I am pretty sure they are still doing some tweaking to some of the towers to get them all up to snuff, because the tower near my house is only giving me about 700 kbps down, but if I go about 2 blocks away I am back up to 3 mbps (on my Samsung Vibrant).

      • Tree Frogs

        New social website rules huh?

  • elithegreat

    I think T-Mobile will be fine if they upgrade to HSPA+ 42 Mbps.
    As long as they provide enough backhaul … then I think they’re safe to stay in the HSPA+ field for the next coming years. Of course HSPA+ can go further than 42 which is darn competitive and legit.

    Although I must say even though my G1 isn’t an HSPA+ phone my speeds aren’t consistent…I once was getting 3500 kbps DOWN and now I haven’t seen that speed in about a month. Forget about UP speeds I’ve never surpassed 400 Kbps UP on T-Mobile’s network. I’m hoping its my dinky phone.

  • ThisGuy

    You know what will make me plenty happy

    -EDGE and GPRS….GONE, inside buildings we get 3G
    -HSPA+ 21 mbs standard
    -HSPA 41 or w.e in big cities…

    honestly if my phones internet is faster than my computers…ill be more than happy…matching speeds is all i need.

  • Brandon

    Think about it.. Seriously.. what in gods name would you need more than 21mbps for?? That will MORE than support video chatting and ridiculously fast downloads.

  • Virtuous

    AT&T and Verizon will make their customers pay through the nose for the privledge of using their 4G networks. TMo can effectively compete by offering more affordable rates.

    • Yawn

      Yeah, that’s worked out pretty well so far… nobody will notice the lack of phones or coverage if the prices are a little cheaper

      • Zoog

        Why are you even here?

  • Charles

    T-mobile is always been good to me, i been with t-mobile for a while and i tried other service but t-mobile price is affordable, and in today economy that important to me then fast speed. I live in Elizabeth city NC, and i just wish that t-mobile just get rid of edge and gprs and just give me 3g all the time that is more then enough to use all the apps on my samsung vibrant, 4g would be nice but i don’t really need 4g. I just just need good service and I’ll stick with t-mobile without 4g.

    • Charles Xavier

      3G won’t go any further than major metropolitan areas. Even in cities that have 3G its congested and often goes back down to EDGE randomly. It’s just not a stable network.

      • john

        Says you, since 3g rolled out in my area, haven’t scaled back to edge unless in walmart…there’s something ominously wrong about those places.

      • jgarriot

        “I am a T-Mobile employee, however the views of my post reflect only my views and are in no way associated with T-Mobile USA”

        I think 3G will definitely go beyond major cities, but it will probably be a much slower build out than the original build out (which was expedited due to the late build out).

        Also, for dropping back to Edge, it could be because the 3G frequencies are a bit higher than the 2G (i.e. 1700/2100 vs. 1900/850) so when you are in a building or where there is weaker signal it may find it easier to drop back down as the lower frequencies penetrate through walls better (I believe – someone else may be able to back this up).

  • eYe

    I really don’t care about the speed… why would anyone need more then, let’s say, 4mbs? What I care about is the consistent coverage, without dropping back to edge or gprs. If t-mobile can provide that- I will stay with them forever. It doesn’t look good at the moment though… I get less then 1mbs down/ .5mbs up and it drops to edge pretty often.

  • Mike

    T-Mobile is not following the competition with 4G there trynna set a standard and out due 4G speeds with HSPA+ and my home cable connection with comcast is 50 mbps with 250GB Cap I can see home internet providers getting worried in the future with people dropping them and just use there phone’s for home connections

    • Patrick

      I actually HAVE dropped my home provider. I’m getting about 3mbps at home right now. I could only max out at 6mbps from AT&T due to my location. Why pay an extra $45/month for something that I don’t really NEED? And at 3mbps I’m still downloading at over 300k/bps. So I have no complaints. That’s fast enough to watch 720 streaming smoothly….I do it all the time on youtube lol.

  • Holiday

    I sucks that we won’t get 4G but oh well…

    • Mike

      HSPA+ can out perform 4G so why are so upset about not getting 4G

      • Cybersedan

        @Mike Because most people are mostly ignorant about technology and they are easily led by clever marketing and the simple number 4G sounds better than 3G.

        The majority of people have no idea that 4G is not only about speed, speed is only one of many qualifications a network must meet before it can be fully considered 4G. And for that matter even fewer people know that Sprint’s current offering DOES NOT meet on all criteria to be called 4G.

        “The International Telecommunications Union suggests that WiMax, the standard that Sprint calls 4G, is actually part of the 3G family, though Sprint markets WiMax as 4G and its speeds are comparable to current LTE speeds.”


  • http://www.trentgillespie.com Trent Gillespie

    T-Mobile fails once again. On paper HSPA+ is a contender with the evolving networks of the big three. Put into play, it fails two ways. The first is marketing. We get a handful of existing customers in everyday asking about Sprint’s 4G phone. We roll through the usual dialogue, but the customer still leaves the store sour about T-Mobile’s decision on no 4G. The majority of customer’s refuse or cant comprehend bandwidth, upload/download and latency. They care about “The one with the bigger GBs.”

    Second reason they fail is their already patchy 3G. The highest link down I could achieve using the Web Connect Jet was 980kbps, which was at work. At home it switches to and from EDGE. At the girlfriends, I hit 320kbps. I find these speeds adequate for cell usage, but absolutely pathetic when it comes to ISP replacement. The cellular companies are working themselves into people’s homes. T-Mobile is going to have a hard time competing if they can’t provide the speeds and technology people need to network at home.

    T-Mobile is a solid cell provider that is cost effective, but they’ll be left behind, once again, if they don’t put forth the marketing and service people desire.

    • Relikk2

      Your argument is dumb; this scenario only works for the coverage that you have, not everyone. HSPA+ is a working network, I can show you multiple you tube videos and take screen shots if you like. I get between 3.5 and 4.5 mbs; that’s fast enough to support tethering with multiple devices. If T-mobile is not good in your area then why get it? That goes with any carrier. Why pay money for something that doesn’t work for you? If Internet, and tethering are important to you switch to the provider that works the best in your area. And stop bitching about it so I don’t have to read your illogical, self centered arguments!!!

      • Mike

        The vibrant was getting 5 mbps dl speed and it’s not even a HSPA+ device it benefits from HSPA+ but expect even faster speeds from tmobile when the first HSPA+ drops this fall

      • Hecg55

        after running 4 back to back tests I’m getting a max of 3.
        83 dl mbps here in az averaging about 3.2! But they still haven’t put up hspa+ here :: ( I hope that I benefit from it when they do!! It was said to be up by end our summer… Times running out

      • http://www.trentgillespie.com Trent Gillespie

        Gotcha. Because T-Mobile has a lack of strong data coverage around the US, my argument is dumb? For regular cell coverage T-Mobile serves its purpose. As for data, it’s pretty darn laggy. I’m not complaining about T-Mobile’s service. I’m stating that I think its a mistake by not being able to market 4G and building out a HSPA+ network when you’ve got limited coverage already.

        I HARDLY consider a few YouTube videos and screen captures adequate support for T-Mobile’s blazing fast network. I can promise you I have a better picture of how things really are in this city of several million.

    • Relikk2

      Here we go again with your egotistical argument “I can promise you I have a better picture of how things really are “.” As for data, it’s pretty darn laggy”, T-Mobile is not laggy in my city, and if you look at a good percent of the post in here, it’s not laggy for them either. Guess what your area is not the only place in the world that has T-mobile, which for some reason is hard for you to believe. I will agree with you on the marketing, it’s terrible and maybe dumb, was a bit insulting but T-mobile is across the nation, and in some area’s it’s not laggy.

      • http://www.trentgillespie.com Trent Gillespie

        I don’t quite get how I’m stroking my ego, but whatever. I’m just stating that T-Mobile is not the king when it comes to cellular data. I’ll agree with you that in some areas, it doesn’t lag, but in most areas, it does. Drive accross the country and ask people what company they use for their data stick or mifi connection?

        One may get a few mbps with T-Mobile in an area that is blanketed in T-Mobile 3G, but outside of these hotspot areas, the speeds drop off quick.

      • Relikk2

        I don’t want to keep going on with this but… I totally believe you when you tell me its laggy for you, but to say “T-Mobile fails once again. On paper HSPA+ is a contender with the evolving networks of the big three…” is only a true statement for some subscribers. I can say a similar statement about Verizon in my area, but I won’t because I’m sure Verizon is awesome in other parts of the country. For the people in my area HSPA+ is fantastic, and proves Magenta does not fail once again. “You’re stroking your ego” because you believe since you live in a city of millions you think you understand what it’s like all across the country. As if the entire T-mobile network is statically representative where you live, and some how your lonely phone represent all of the phones in your city therefore across the land. That’s why I linked the YouTube video of CNET’s review of New York city’s speeds. Another city with millions of people, and in this large city T-Mobile happens to be number one. My point is you can’t say HSPA+ fails just because it fails for you.

  • Charles

    does anyone else find it ironic that sprint has a 4g ad on this page.. http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/Ads/7617/10/sprint_4G_showcase_350x200_WIRELESSS.jpg


  • house3272

    Okay so i just called a t mobile person today, and GUESS WHAT? this girl tries to explain to me that NO cities has Hspa+ yet. so i naturally asked her about the website, and she’s all like Purple mean its coming not its there. So i asked why it said “live” she said idk. ………her only proof is that the page before says coming to 180some million at the end of this year……….i swear she was blonde r something.

    • David

      She’s wrong, we know she is wrong…end of story.

    • Shawn

      That is why I try to call Tmo as little as possible with questions. They NEVER know anything. I had one of them tell me last week that their is no such thing as a Nexus One on their network, and had no idea what I was talking about…I can’t believe they let these people represent their company. I had another person tell me a couple months ago that their is no such thing as Google Voice because Tmo wouldn’t allow a service like that..

    • no thanks

      TMO employees are quite clueless. TMO allegedly launched HSPA+ in Columbus, OH but despite the press release/web site I have yet to get HPSA+ at home or work. Called TMO and they told me the press release meant it was coming later…somehow “now available” means that. I called several times and chatted with the same result for almost a week.

      • JB6464

        What Crack are you Smoking today ! I live/work in the middle of Columbus,Ohio and have the new HD2 phone. I have never seen HSPA+ ever on my phone much less a constant 3G coverage. It always bounces back and forth to Edge and i have one of the newest HSPA+ phones.

      • David Thomas

        JB6464, please don’t comment about things you clearly know NOTHING about. Thanks.

  • Mike
  • Charles

    There a saying, you pay for what you get. T-mobile cost less because you get lest, and Verizon cause more because you get more. It’s all about what you want to pay for. But then on the other hand that’s not always true, because a friend of mine got Straight-Talk, and he got unlimited everything for about $50.00 buck – talk, text , and web with excellent coverage. I think the world is changing and people is still looking for a good deal. Who knows as things start to get tighter for people they might just leave them all and go to Straight-Talk at least they got me listening and i’am with T-Mobile.

  • CD

    They should just call the HPSA+ “5G” or “4Z” and market that ish that way lol.

    • Hecg55

      People are so stupid!! Could see that working!
      INTRODUCING 5G WITH HYPER DRIVE!!! As soon as I hit go our signals sendyou a boost of speed pushing you past the speedof 4g and making your wait time less than any other network… People would just be like O_O!!!!!!

      • Kerry

        The need to market “Ludicris speed”, and the commercial has the Sprint dude looking up going “OMG, they’ve gone to plaid!!!”

        Crap, not I got the Spaceballs theme song in my head, lol

      • Josh

        Haha! I could see that happening with the Verizon guy too. The entire Verizon “network” is standing behind him and all of a sudden BOOM!…T-Mobile 1 rips across the sky in a blaze of plaided glory. “We Brake For No One.”

  • photoguy225

    kerry,hecg55, and cd you guys have me cracking up… but your all on to something there I think it would totally work

  • Nick07

    what about Wimax 2?

  • Sasha

    I am happy with HSPA+ speeds they offer now. If T-Mobile can get 2-4MBits/sec down and around .7-1MB/sec up transfer speed solid across the whole network that would be more than enough for me for quite some time, as I plan to use the phone itself and not tether it to the laptop. The key is to have these speeds across the whole network. With my HD2 I get 2.5MB/s downtown and only 450kbits/s-950kbits/s on the edge of town with signal being lost in certain places on the highway within city limits all together. I am looking for consistency and not FIBER speeds for my cellie. I mean realistically what am I gonna do with 21MBit/s download speed for my phone?

    • Relikk2

      2.5 to 4 is more then enough to tether at least one or maybe two devices. Most webserver such as youttube are only going to give you like .5 to 1 as they want to save on bandwith. Bandwith cost them money.

  • nog3gforme

    still waiting for 3g here…i would just like better service as a whole screw the 3/4g marketing bs

  • Justin

    Im In miami 33162 my phone’s (hd2) 3g icon changed to an H and im getting speeds around 1486 using mobilespeedtest.com using the 2mb test.

  • Stephen

    Maybe with this fast 3G t-mo has they could get rid of the data caps….
    I enjoy having truely unlimited Data usage on my Sprint EVO in both 3G, and 4G(I’m in Charlotte)…
    Love it!

  • ivan

    Wimax 2 is going to kill the competition 100 mbps down is too fast….but we still have a long time to wait. Hopefully they hurry it up

  • david

    While I current get between 3 and 4 mb download I would rather have full unlimited at => 4mb vs = 4mb download everything is fast as my DSL line just no cap….

  • kevin

    I don’t care if tmo goes 4g as long as the HSPA+ is just as fast.

  • LCW

    the big issue with T-Mo is they are a slave to the data pipe companies, which, suprise surprise are mostly verizon and at&t… so they will ALWAYS be at a big disadvantage… coverage wise, T-mo is awesome in cities and metro areas, better than AT&T – i’ve used both… BUT… get out in the sticks and T-mo is rendered next to useless… at the very least you get Edge… often, nothing

    • Relikk2

      I agree outside of metro T-Mobile isn’t good, but I don’t think they care. I mean, I think they are pretty much where they want to be as far as where service is provided. My assumption is they want to increase metro sales, hence the huge HSPA+ push. If they wanted to be a bigger provider (range wise) they could be, they’ve got the money. They are owned by one of the richest companies on the planet. T-mobile themselves profited close to a billion (700 or 800 million) so far this year. The higher ups probably just don’t see the cost benefit. They are owned by a private investment firm(‘more or less’) who purpose is to make money. If the keep making a decent profit I don’t think much is going to change. People can complain about the phones, coverage and internet speeds but until their profit have major changes they probably won’t do much different. For now the will just follow the trends.

  • Khadar

    I am selling my iPhone 4 I used in uk because an iPhone without 3G data plan it’s useless for tmobile usa no matter what. My friend have tmobile vibrant the best tmobile device but why edge Internet? For God sakes tmobile needs to get 3G coverage for all the smartphone devices including unlock iphones. I want to keep my iPhone but there no 3G for the device supported. In UK all iPhones get 3G coverage and I hope in America tmobile 3G supports all iphones.