HSPA+ Now “Officially” 4G According to ITU

In what is likely a vindication moment for the T-Mobile, the ITU has recognized that HSPA+ will be considered a 4G network amongst its LTE and Wimax peers. T-Mobile had argued that Verizon and Sprint really didn’t offer a true 4G network and built a marketing campaign around their own “4G” network. This decision certainly turns the tablets on the entire argument and perhaps we can now drop the quotation marks every time we use “4G” when referring to T-Mobile. So how did we get here? The ITU or International Telecommunications Union stated after a December 6th meeting that “It is recognized that [4G], while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed.”

More to the point it was stated: Following a detailed evaluation against stringent technical and operational criteria, ITU has determined that “LTE-Advanced” and “WirelessMAN-Advanced” should be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced. As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications, IMT-Advanced is considered as “4G”, although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed.

T-Mobile will likely further step up the argument that it offers 4G performance as well as press the attack against AT&T and Sprint. We’ve seen T-Mobile define “4G” using their own methodology but their argument was predicated on the earlier ITU decision that Wimax and LTE were not 4G networks. This could very well be a huge pickup for the T-Mobile marketing campaign. Now they can fight the battle where it really needs to be fought, on the speed front, an area where T-Mobile is definitely ready to continue to fight. This will be one to watch.

ITU via Phonescoop

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  • http://twitter.com/SgtMayhem andy kemp

    If you want some really great speeds try out Disneyworld ! I was out in three of the four parks (I hate Animal Kingdom , most zoos are better) and was always zipping along 4G speeds (except in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride building) no matter where I was. In fact the speed was faster on my handset than the in-house resort internet !

  • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

    well damn FINALLY. lol

    • Farhan

      This is great news for TMobile. Now they can finally say without a doubt they offer 4g and the fastest speeds; not to mention speed boosts for people who don’t own HSPA+ handsets. Feels good to be a TMobile customer of 7 years.

      What say you AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon?

  • Dcjoe662

    Tmo FTW!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully this will shut the mouths of the T-mobile haters for a while!!!

  • Anonymous

    Woot woot pawty time :D – Finally i can tell freakin’ haters that Tmo is 4G

  • http://www.peakfitnessny.com WD

    Great Now they just have to offer more than one phone that can theoretically reach these speeds

    • JP

      They have more than one phone that can theoretically reach the improved speeds.

      • Testament

        Like what? The G2 and the My Touch 4G can only do up to14.4. I would love to see T-mobile get a phone that’ll do 21+mbs, but I’d Be dreaming.

        • Anonymous

          The technology has to be made for it. I don’t think there are any processors that support higher than 14.4 HSPA but that could change anytime.

        • Anonymous

          The technology has to be made for it. I don’t think there are any processors that support higher than 14.4 HSPA but that could change anytime.

    • http://twitter.com/GaretJax71 Steven Kirby

      as of now there are 2 the G2 and Mytouch4G plus the laptop rocket thing no?

  • Anonymous

    TMO longtime customers can now take the brown paper bags off their heads. lol

    Stay thirsty my friends!

    • TheDude

      Stop with that stupid unoriginal “tagline” you waste your time writing everytime.

  • thaghost

    tmo has the fastest phones and service. it doesnt matter to me what the compentitors said. because ITU gave the thumbs up now all the knuckleheads gonna give tmo the okay? these tmo haters always eat their words. this reminds me of the people who hated on the g2 saying it was gonna be slow. any reason to hate tmo they will do it. great article.

  • Landongonsalves

    I have a feeling T-Mobile got the heads up that this was coming and thus ran the 4G campaign….tmo ftw

  • Khan

    Could you imagine an iPhone running on T-Mobiles 4G.

    • Eddie Android

      Why would you want that crap?

      • Giving credit where it’s due

        Because it is a well designed device with a remarkable OS that provides a very enjoyable user experience that the vast majority of people can appreciate?

        other than that and the fact that it completely revolutionized how we think about phones, becoming the benchmark agains which all other phones in its caliber are rated and strive to reach, yea, why would anyone want that crap?

        • Testament

          Because they’re sheeple. It’s amazing how Steve jobs can sell a mediocre device at best and people eat it up like a smoker needing a fix. Revolutionized? I had multiple phones doing things the iphone 4 still cant do years before the first iphone came out.

          The only two things I can give apple credit for is making stupid people think they’re smarter because they now have a “smart phone” and the multi-touch which I can do without. Any thing else I’ve seen in other phones way before the iPhone. My two cents….

        • Giving credit where it’s due

          I have a computer from 1994 that can do things the iphone4 can’t. Does that make it better? Hell no. The iphone succeeded not because it was the first to have certain features, but because it was the first to implement those features well in that form factor.

          Please elaborate on some of the things that make the iphone mediocre, and specifically which features the iPhone lacks and/or that are done better elsewhere.

        • Anonymous

          i have baaaaaaaaaaah baaaaah baaaaaaaaah

  • Khan

    Could you imagine an iPhone running on T-Mobiles 4G.

  • Anonymous

    About damn time :-).

  • Eddie Android

    This is great but too bad I’m getting the Nexus S (bummer no HSPA+) but I’ve been able to pull 5+ mbps download speeds on my Nexus One (except in my area EDGE blah….) and that’s enough for me.

    • Anonymous

      I’m still waiting for mine in the mail missed it today now I gotta wait till early monday. Just go buy it at best buy on contract if you can.

    • Anonymous

      I’m still waiting for mine in the mail missed it today now I gotta wait till early monday. Just go buy it at best buy on contract if you can.

  • swapngreen.com

    Well it was called 4g or I think hps something like that, and it was actually 3.5g, so I guess techniacally it was 3g and a half but it was still alright, but I bet you only get 4g like in big cities like Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix, big cities like that not in all big places, well I can’t wait for AT&T to ever get 4g which I highly doubt well any we buy old and new T-Mobile phones and much more at http://www.swapngreen.com

  • Ginadee

    ATT is just going to change their minds too and start claiming to advertise the largest 4G network themselves.

    They will continue to be vague about not really having 21 Mbps speeds but claiming to have them nonetheless

  • Ginadee

    ATT is just going to change their minds too and start claiming to advertise the largest 4G network themselves.

    They will continue to be vague about not really having 21 Mbps speeds but claiming to have them nonetheless

  • blah

    UUmm I’m not trying to be an @$$ but where in the article does it specifically say HSPA+???? The ITU is likely refering to HSPA-e which does meet many of the technical requirements for a 4G technology and which I said a month ago in these very forums will likely receive consideration as a valid 4G technology.

    Just to recap, the form of HSPA which likely does meet the 4G spec has yet to be deployed but given tmobiles dedication to HSPA we should see some form of it by the end of next year. Expect ATT to follow suit with the advancement of HSPA and skip LTE completely.

  • blah

    UUmm I’m not trying to be an @$$ but where in the article does it specifically say HSPA+???? The ITU is likely refering to HSPA-e which does meet many of the technical requirements for a 4G technology and which I said a month ago in these very forums will likely receive consideration as a valid 4G technology.

    Just to recap, the form of HSPA which likely does meet the 4G spec has yet to be deployed but given tmobiles dedication to HSPA we should see some form of it by the end of next year. Expect ATT to follow suit with the advancement of HSPA and skip LTE completely.

    • ant

      i was wondering the same thing. all i see is LTE and WiMax… no mention of HSPA+

    • ant

      i was wondering the same thing. all i see is LTE and WiMax… no mention of HSPA+

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7LTAEMRXZTYXJWYEJWL2JHPLE Walter

        The Article as on Engadget says and other evolved 3G technologies. So that means HSPA+

        • http://tmonews.com David

          Didn’t we say that as well?

        • Anonymous

          HSPA+ is an evolved 3G technology.

        • blah

          Not Walter that doesn’t. HSPA has an evolved form: Long Term HSPA Evolved. That is NOT the same thing.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          There seems to be a consensus going around that evolved 3G technology does partially reference HSPA+. I don’t know that it is specific to HSPA E even if the word “evolved” was used in the frame of the article. That was more likely coincidental than intentional.

        • blah

          Consensus by who? Calling HSPA+ 4G does not fit into the frame or scope of what 4G is suppose accomplish. The ITU would not designate a technology which does not fit that scope with that term nor does it specify the technology. The best assumption we can make is that other 3G technologies which also meet most of the minimum requirements of the ITUs definition of 4G also gain this recognition. The fact that they specify “evolved” as well name Wimax and LTE by name while omitting HSPA+ only bolster this. The only reason they likely did name LTHE is because the spec isnt even finalized or in existence yet but they are leaving room in the 4G term for its eventual deployments. Once news of the intended direction of HSPA and the future of this spec I conceded to suggest that the ITU would like review it and recognize it as a 4G solution which it appears they recently did, however HSPA+ in its current form is so fair off the mark in terms of true 4G capability its a disservice to call it that. I actually support tmos decision now more than ever to go with HSPA, but I’m not about to make wild claims that have zero merit.

          To state my claims bluntly:
          ITU says evolved 3G – 4G, HSPA evolved spec is in the works, yet some how this ITU statement is made to apply to current forms when the source article gives not evidence to support that conclusion???

        • Anonymous

          For the infinite time HSPA Evolved IS HSPA+ its just another name fool

        • jcj

          all people are trying to say is there are sites calling HSPA+ HSPA-E, wikipedia is calling it this and why is such a big debate. Until someone, ITU, clearly defines what HSPA+ or HSPA-E are the debate will be ongoing. From what I make of it, both sides are telling the truth as there is proof either way. What is notable here also is that -mobile is going to be upgrading to the best HSPA option available.

        • jcj

          this is a nice site that explains HSPA evolution; http://www.3gamericas.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=page&sectionid=248. It also refers to HSPA+ as evolved HSPA. It is easy to see why there is much debate but this explains alot and clearly both sides are arguing the same point. The ITU has confimed that evolved HSPA+ is 4G, whether called HSPA-E or +, these are the same network and easily upgraded further. So lets agree to disagree and enjoy the speed

        • Anonymous

          HSPA+ IS Evolved HSPA dummy its the same thing quit hating.

    • blah

      I Just re-read the article, it specifically says EVOLVED forms of 3G which sounds like its talking about HSPA Evolved. Which makes sense as it meets most if not all of the Specifications for 4G.

      • Anonymous

        HSPA+ IS Evolved HSPA dummy

    • jcj

      Well the whole thing was about HSPA+ so it does not have to be said

      • blah

        Yes it does, HSPA E meets the specs for 4G HSPA+ does not. That’s like saying basic cable and satellite tv are the same.

        • jcj

          Well the ITU seems to disagree, the whole argument was is HSPA+ 4G, they have come back and said, YES. T-Mobile has also said they plan to keep upgrading their 4G network so it is mute as too wether or not it is HSPA+ or HSPA-E as then intend it to be the best available

  • Anonymous

    did anyone actually read this? where does it say hspa plus am i missing something here ?

    • manfred

      Read the first sentence of the Article…. :)

      • Pantlesspenguin

        The first sentence was David’s writing. Unless I missed it as well, the actual article doesn’t mention HSPA+.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          Definitely my writing and just to keep it short, the idea that is bringing this about is that HSPA+ is considered an “evolved” 3G technology as it provides a significant boost to the already existing 3G system. I understand that HSPA-E actually says “evolved” but the ITU statement likely would have specified that should that have been the only other 3G “evolved” case, as it didn’t it’s being interpreted to include among other services, HSPA+.

        • Anonymous

          According to google HSPA+ is Just another name for HSPA-E so basically the E is Synonymous with +

  • Anonymous

    How about LTHE??

    • blah

      Yes, this is likely the form of HSPA the ITU is referencing but it will not be deployed for a while.

  • Bobert

    tmo must have written a FAT check to the ITU

    • http://www.facebook.com/MatthewSki Matthew Kalinowski

      yeah and clearwire and Verizon must have too because ITU changed there mind about all the new 4g networks

      • Darnell

        I agree, the ITU is a UN group, so it may be more than just jovial speculation.

    • stabyou

      kinda like how gAyT&T, Whoreizon, and Limp Wireless wrote u a fat check to make moronic comments on a blog. die tard. die soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MatthewSki Matthew Kalinowski

    its about time stupid ITU

  • Mtnman

    Well no matter, this fight isn’t over by a long shot. Every carrier want’s to be on top of heap, and they marketing depts. are working overtime to try to sell the fact that they have the “Fastest 4G” “Most Relieible” “Largest” What ever network.

    In the mean time they will all continue to build up in their networks. In the end though I believe that the clear winner will be the one that has the most relieable network, fastest service, coolest phones, and most importantly best customer service. If you have all of those then you have a winner on your hand.

    • Anonymous

      point out the obvious much ?

  • Wilma Flintstone

    just in time for Meego. SWEET!!! Let the HSPA+ Meego Revolution begin!!!

    • Anonymous

      I hope MeeGo ends up being as sweet as you make it sound.

    • wp7

      actually wp7 ftw.

  • GGvilleman

    4G smorG who cares wtf its called.. .All I know is T Mobile currently HAS the fastest speed of any network Period End Of Story. I personally tested All four networks side by side in Louisville Ky last night. I signed up with sprint (I am a current T Mobile customer) I bought the Evo 4 G and tested it along side the Droid X (Verizon) The I Phone 4 (ATT) and my G2 (T Mobile) My neighbor across the street has the droid x and her husband has the I phone 4. I simply checked how fast the load time was for the full version of espn . com, without any apps running in the background. It wasn’t even CLOSE! The G2 blew away the other three hands down! The droid x was a close second with the iphone third and the piece of shizt Evo 4g lagged way behind in last place. Wow, I cant figure out for two seconds what all the hype over the Evo was. The phone lacks in so many ways I wouldn’t know where to begin. I canceled the service today and returned the phone… The store failed to tell me I would not get my cash back I handed them three days ago, rather I will now have to wait 7 to 10 business days for them to send me a check in the mail with my money… Bunch of crap. With cell phone companys, it is pretty much pick your poison. As far as T Mobile is concerned it is by far the lesser of the necessary evils… I just wish they would get RID of this 5gig cap bs… But for now T Mobile has the fastest speed of any carrier in Louisville Kentucky. I saw it with my own two eyes and for me whatever the marketing campaign, I could give a hoot. T Mob delivers the goods!

    • Vibrant Addict

      For the love of God I hope you have better writing skills off of the internets. Your colossal paragraph is unreadable thanks to improper spacing, I’m sure there’s some good stuff in there but I can’t bear to read it.

      • GGvilleman

        Sorry man, it was late and I was on my cell phone. I think you can ascertain the idea I was laying out within the context of my colossal paragraph. I do not usually post and I didn’t take the time to use proper spacing and punctuation. I will make an effort to correct this for any further post I make. The point I was making is that at least for Louisville Kentucky, T mobile has the fastest speed of the big 4 networks. I personally tested them. I was actually inquiring about switching carriers because of a billing issue that I felt was not handled properly. I signed up with Sprint and had T mobile service at the same time. I took the opportunity to test for myself what service was the fastest. I came to the unbiased conclusion that T Mobile is the fastest. This was at the same time when I was less than happy with the customer service. The issue has now been resolved and they also gave me a hundred dollar bill credit for not canceling considering I have had three lines for about five years.

        • RoBo

          Great response. It’s refreshing to see someone “tactfully” reply, rather than bash. Way to take the high road and thanks for the info. on coverage in your area.

          As a recent convert to T-Mo (after 10+ years w/ AT&T Wireless/Cingular/at&t), I have been impressed w/ T-Mo’s customer service and hope that your issue was an isolated incident.

    • Vibrant Addict

      For the love of God I hope you have better writing skills off of the internets. Your colossal paragraph is unreadable thanks to improper spacing, I’m sure there’s some good stuff in there but I can’t bear to read it.

    • http://twitter.com/chaoscentral John Pisano

      So you compared 2 4G networks and 2 3G networks together? Come back when you test LTE on Verizon. Tested it at my local store, 12 down 6 up. Got a higher upload than I got download on T-Mobile.

      • GGvilleman

        Well maybe that’s the case. The conclusion I came to was based on service that is CURRENTLY available in my market. As for Louisville Kentucky right this minute, T mobile has the fastest data speeds. I am not saying that it could change. I was simply testing each carriers top phones on the networks that were currently provided. If it is different in your city, well congrats. Although to come to the conclusion that Verizon is the fastest in your area, you must test the other three along with Verizon.

        • http://twitter.com/chaoscentral John Pisano

          I have T-Mobile, so I’ve obviously tested that, had ATT, dropped their dismal service for T-Mobile, and my buddy has Sprint, in terms of average speed in the Boston area it seems to be at the moment

          1.Verizon
          2.T-Mobile(depends on area)*
          3.Sprint(depends on area)*
          4.AT&T

          Both T-Mobile and Sprint depending on the area beat each other out, in some areas Sprint will get 10 down 1 up, in others it will get 2 down 0.5 up on 4G, T-Mobile ranges anywhere from 4-10 depending on area and device as well, but I haven’t seen it go below 4 in a 4G area so that’s why I place it above Sprint.

      • UndercoverNinja

        maybe so but verizon sucks baaaallllllsssssss

        • http://tmonews.com David

          Stop posting under multiple user names, do you honestly think nobody notices?

      • JCL

        Oh really now? Which mobile phone on Verizon uses LTE?? I thought so you friggin jackass…

    • TheFamGuy

      wow u must be a millionaire astronaut cowboy actor or something to be able to just go out and buy the 4 most expensive phones on the market all at once…. either that or ur making things up. either way, great story.

  • G2Me2

    This is great news for me!!! It will save me an enormous amount of time when people ask me if my phone is 4G…

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.mingkee Matt Tsui

    This is interesting I became “4G” early adopter when 3.75G was caught live back to May.

    Now HSPA+ (and HSPA-E) are considered “4G”, I can’t deny the claim anymore.

    • Anonymous

      HSPA-E IS HSPA+ its just another name for it.

      • blah

        No its not, you are so wrong its not even funny please at least do a wiki or Google search before posting erroneous information.

        • Anonymous

          Done and done, it looks as if you haven’t done your homework. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolved_HSPA

        • blah

          Trust me I have ;) and release 7 is NOT considered the evolved form, the article is worded in correctly. LTHSPAE is a form of HSPA+, but HSPA+ DOES NOT designate it as the evolved form

        • Anonymous

          Clearly you haven’t.

          “HSPA+, also known as Evolved High-Speed Packet Access is a wireless broadband standard defined in 3GPP release 7.”

          It specifically states Release 7 is Evolved HSPA. HSPA is the original form. HSPA+ is EVOLVED! What don’t you get about that?

          HSPA or HSDPA is only up to 14mbps, of which handset devices are only capable of that amount, but the towers themselves are beyond that with 21mbps theorethical. Read up on High Speed Data Packet Access if you wanna speak about wiki. You can’t pick and choose what you want to see.

        • Anonymous

          “The second phase of HSDPA is specified in the 3GPP release 7 and has been named >HSPA Evolved<. It can achieve data rates of up to 42 Mbit/s."

          Clearly you haven't done your homework or you just have bad eyes.

        • Anonymous

          The article doesn’t even word LTH+, it specifically says Evolved 3g technologies of which HSPA+ IS an evolved 3G technology. End of the story. Nothing is going to change that.

        • blah

          And before we go back and forth on this, the evolved form includes extensions to the baseline HSPA+ spec which include IMO and all-ip based. To put it simply when discussing HSPA+ you are generally talking about the baseline none 4G compliant release while evolved is used to describe the latest release of the spec with “4G” enhancements.

        • helpvirginsgetsometoo

          find a woman…. or a man if thats your thing. too much time on your hands.

  • Dustybite

    LOL, there is a huge mistake in how David is interpreting the info. They were not referring to current HSPA+ technology.

  • Vibrant Addict

    Shun all the non believers! I knew it was 4G when I saw it. ;)

    I’m just glad that it’s finally considered actual 4G since the speed is up there with the other platforms. So happy to be able to call my network 4G with no explanation needed.

  • Brian

    The iPhone needs to come to tmobile

    • H8stylist

      All I heard was baaaaaaaaaaa

  • BigMixxx

    key words here: ‘evolving 3g technology…..providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed.’ Don’t miss that. LTE and WIMax WERE still considered 3g technologies, however, they have been pushed to ’4g technologies’ because they priovide ‘a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed.’ In other words, Verizon saw a problem with what they have, ATT had not moved on anything and T mobile, being a HUGE telecom company, knew exactly what they were talking about. Dammit Bravo, T-mobile, Bravo. Keep pouring salt in the wound.

  • BigMixxx

    as a matter of fact. T mobile, if I were the CEO, I’d pull a Dan Hesse, and pull a commercial together.
    “Hi, I’m , CEO of T mobile. Here at T mobile we have the largest 4g deployment to date, and we are working to further improve our technology and footprint. We have the only 2 devices on earth that can use our 4g, 3g and legacy networks, without charging you a premium for network access, like our competition. Take the opportunity to speak with our representatives and partners in your local store or visit us at t-mobile.com’….

  • BigMixxx

    And another thing. DT’s stock is about to take off…..

  • Anonymous

    still a bit of grey area, would have liked to see “hspa+” actually mentioned by name. Citing wimax and lte in the press release and not hspa+ is a low blow.

    • BigMixxx

      I don’t think there is a grey area: ‘key words here: ‘evolving 3g technology…..providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed.’ Is so significant. It literally is interpreted as “anything that makes 3g BETTER. including SPEED and Voice services…

  • Chatter

    Let’s look at this from an “average” customer’s perspective that just wants a “nice phone”. They probably begin with the following:
    1) How is the network coverage in my area?
    2) What features do I want?
    3) Price of phone/plan.
    4) Is this phone “my style” or did the TV commercial oversell?
    .
    .
    223) What is the formal definition of 4G and what technologies are included?

    I understand why the discussion is important but from any carriers perspective, they just want to sell sell sell 4G. While this news is welcome, it doesn’t change things much for them. Good or bad, that’s how they roll.

  • ADMJSON

    How Does 5.65Mbps DOWNLOAD & 0.56 UPLOAd on a Vibrant 3G not even 4G phone AWSOME in south suburbs in CHICAGO

  • Anonymous

    ALRIGHT! Now we dont have “4G”, we have them real 4Geez.

  • thereugo67

    Tmobile’s so called 4G network will not be fulling functional until it gets fullu functional and when that is, is anyone;s guess. I just picked up the G2 and I don’t even get the HSPA+ in my area so fully running at 4G id going to take some time, why mention it if it’s not fully running? Same with the other companies, it’s all a marketing campaign thats it, well until it happens. TMobile’s so called 4G network will be up and running and when it does then get the phone with the dual core processor, why get a Phone when it’s not fully capable of running the Network at full speed. Either way I hope it’s not long before it running, as of now I’m content. By the way does any one know or heard any news concerning Honeycomb? I know that gingerbread isnt out yet and I’m sure that the G2 will most definetly get it, but I read that Honeycomb is going to be ran by the Tegra chip and thats dual processor, did I miss understand the article saying that it only the Galaxy Tab 2 that will be running it?

    • Anonymous

      3G is not everywhere. Does that mean that no carrier has a “fully functional” 3G network????

  • Nathan

    So where is the actual ITU link for this? Because I follow their site and the only thing I have ever found is the real definition of what defines 4G. You need to have mobile communications at 100Mbps to be considered, which is why no network is actually there yet. Also 4G americas covers this pretty well: http://www.4gamericas.org/documents/3G_Americas_Defining_4G_WP_July2007.pdf

  • http://twitter.com/chaoscentral John Pisano

    ehhh idk about Verizon still sucking, used their LTE? I did, 12 down 6 up, blew my T-Mobile phone away unfortunately. It was uploading faster than I was downloading(tested in Boston btw, its an HSPA+ and LTE area)

  • hithere

    Theoretical does not equal reality