The 4G Wars Are Definitely On Now

Following Verizon’s LTE announcement this morning, it’s really quite clear that the battle for the “4G” speed war has begun.  Early tests from bloggers and journalists  testing the Verizon network are coming back with very impressive results, although they all admit the results are on a network with almost zero load on it.  Up until this point however, T-Mobile has been widely heralded as the speed leader, a prize they may only hold until Verizon officially launches LTE in the coming days.  At that point, T-Mobile’s advantage will lie in price rather than speed.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not like Verizon is suddenly going to be that much faster, but as soon as someone matches T-Mobile’s speeds, that advantage goes out with the window and price becomes a deciding factor, along with reliability.

It’s hard to argue with Verizon as a carrier or a network and they are often celebrated for being the best wireless carrier in America and operating the most solid of networks.  Their customer service is usually a runner up to T-Mobile for JD power awards so another area T-Mobile really can’t hit back at.  So what should T-Mobile do?  Two things:

1)   Price:  remain cheaper across the board.  Market HSPA+ as offering comparable speeds at a far better value.  Verizon firmly believes they can charge a premium because the service is a premium.  Well, negate that by showing that you can offer a premium network at a price that actually sounds affordable.

2)   Unlimited data:  let it be real.  No 5GB cap, no cap at 10GB, just let it be unlimited, plain and simple.

This is a war T-Mobile has committed to remaining a competitor in, with promises of 42Mbps HSPA+ speeds next year and pushing far beyond that in the coming years.  It’s going to be fairly easy for T-Mobile to continue knocking AT&T and even Sprint.  Because they both have such widely known stigmas, it’s easy to play off of them.  It’s widely known that the AT&T network is taxed, slow and inconsistent at best.  It’s also widely known that Sprint has inconsistent customer service and remains committed to Wimax, a technology that seems to be limiting adoption in the US.  Obviously they both have their strong points but the real competition is Verizon, for now and the foreseeable future.  It’s not competition in the sense of where T-Mobile can try and lure customers from it, but competition in terms of marketing power and speed.  Verizon has great marketing and, in my eyes, there is little room for argument there.  They do a great job at getting the message across. “Can you hear me now?” is used in everyday conversation and almost everyone knows why.

PCmag put together a quickie little chart that shows where we stand with 4G offerings now, though by this time next year this chart is likely to look completely and even drastically different.  So what’s true now won’t be true then and we hope T-Mobile takes this opportunity to truly shine with pricing and offerings.  It’s the best move they can make.

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  • LOLOOO

    FIRSTTTTTTTTTTTT

  • http://benpike.net Ben Pike

    …..aaaaand FIGHT.

    Very interested to see where this ends up. Glad to see Verizon follow T-Mobile in not charge more for 4G access.

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

    c’mon t-mo show Verizon who is boss when you role out 42

  • Hairyballs

    Not sure TMobile can claim customer service as a positive. It seems customer service has been outsourced, and I had to talk to 4 different people after my account was screwed up after upgrading my plan. For 4 consecutive days my service was cutoff due to their foul-ups. They even wiped out the money in my FlexAccount to boot.

    • Ktwist

      @hairyballs The reason your customer service experience was bad is because your on a Flex Acct. T-Mobile uses in state customer care for only Postpaid Subscribers and out sources its Flex Pay and Prepaid service to that guy on the, “Hello This is Peggy” commercials in BFE. This is due too providing an outstanding service to customers with great credit and more than 2 lines of service. Tmobile gives two shits about Flex Pay customers and Prepaid customers which do not bring in as much revenue as Postpaid customers.

      • Jason

        Ktwist is right. Flexpay customers are handled by outsourced customer service reps. But let’s be honest. What national/international company (whether it be a cell phone provider, bank, electronics, etc) does NOT outsource at least some of it’s customer service? That’s how it is.

      • Jason

        Ktwist is right. Flexpay customers are handled by outsourced customer service reps. But let’s be honest. What national/international company (whether it be a cell phone provider, bank, electronics, etc) does NOT outsource at least some of it’s customer service? That’s how it is.

      • Ali

        Not to mention that Flexpaid customers are the ones most likely to come back as deactivations & churn. There’s a reason their credit is that low (except in the cases of customers with new/no credit) and if they’re interested, they’ll go ahead with the 6 months of paying on time to switch over to postpaid.

  • Vibrant Addict

    It seems that T-Mobile may win a couple fights, but versus Verizon I think they’ll lose the war.

    I agree with staying competitive in price, but if they lift those limits of 5GB then our network will bogged down by heavy users. 5GB is plenty data for a mobile device for now. We should be glad we’re not tied down to 2GB like others, that would be horrible.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe for a data nazi. and I don’t believe there was anything wrong with people utilizing 10gb’s at least a month. The network wasn’t bogged down they set lower caps because Data Nazi’s think 5gb’s is enough for everyone but when you factor in people actually using their device and network its easy to pass that. Really the reason its lowered because people didn’t utilize the 10gb’s enough. Probably because the devices weren’t comparable to now.

    • Gordo

      What evidence do you have that raising the limit will bog down the network?? I don’t think the majority of users would go over 5GB regardless of speed capping or not…plus all they do is cap..not cut off…So if the user that is going to use over 5GB gets capped, well its obvious they are going to still continue to use the network…I think T mobile created a problem that does not exist and they need to raise or elimanate the cap period end of story!

    • Gordo

      What evidence do you have that raising the limit will bog down the network?? I don’t think the majority of users would go over 5GB regardless of speed capping or not…plus all they do is cap..not cut off…So if the user that is going to use over 5GB gets capped, well its obvious they are going to still continue to use the network…I think T mobile created a problem that does not exist and they need to raise or elimanate the cap period end of story!

    • Vibrant Addict

      @Gordo

      I have no evidence, but I’m prospecting towards the future when there are more smartphones present. Sure there will be 42+mps, but look at the network now. I live in a ’3G’ area, and I still drop down to Edge or get low 3G nearly all the time. Is that due to traffic, congestion, bogged network? No one knows, only T-Mobile does.

      @JBrowne1012

      Data Nazi? I don’t limit my data use whatsoever. I’m on my phone all day long, streaming video and music, playing online games, downloading apps/files, and tethering, etc. Yet…I never get close to 5GB. I really have no idea what heavy users do in order to reach the cap, I try every month and I can’t. I do agree that it should have remained 10GB tho, that was reasonable.

      I guess now a fix for it would be to offer a real unlimited plan for a bit more money, for the heavy users. But I don’t see them ever doing this.

  • http://twitter.com/raitchison raitchison

    LOL at people talking about how their mislabeled 3G networks are better than other peoples mislabeled 3G networks.

  • Sitnlow

    “2. Unlimited data, let it be real. No 5GB cap, no cap at 10GB, just let it be unlimited, plain and simple.”

    T-mobile Unlimited data is capped at 5gb

    • noodlegrl318

      no its not. It throttles down after 5 gb but it still ALLOWS you to download just much love slower.

      • somebody

        you’re clearly not getting the point here

      • Anonymous

        Those much slower download speeds are unusably data that is not efficient for surfing the web. I would hardly call 40-70kbps usable.

    • http://tmonews.com David

      That’s why I said “no 5GB cap.”

      • Binfartin

        Totally agree!! Take that cap off! My mytouch 4G is unusable after the 5GB cap.

  • http://twitter.com/mlococo Michael Lococo

    They also need more 4G phones! like a super WP7 phone

  • TMoFan

    T-Mobile has always been about price and customer service so that should definitely not change. I’m not too well versed in LTE v. HSPA+, but the speed potential for HSPA+ is huge and T-Mobile should do everything they can to keep their focus on that and expand.

  • somebody

    slow news week huh

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Couldn’t be more creative with your comment huh?!

      • somebody

        nope

        • Bratty

          Idiot

        • Bratty

          Idiot

        • somebody

          lol you guys are like 5 year olds all i said was “slow news week” and you’re having a field day with it.. get a life

          what will i do if you you guys dislike my comments! my world will be over..go copy paste endgadget.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          Who exactly is copy and pasting Engadget? I love that argument…because Engadget NEVER takes news from other sources and reposts them. That’s a great site but they do exactly what every other tech blog does, aggregate news.

        • Anonymous

          hello………….don’t mind me just trolling alonglet the troll wars start!!!!!seriously you blog livng people that would die without blogs are too dramatic.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          You are the most dramatic commenter in the history of this blog, your use of the “!!!!” is well documented!

        • Anonymous

          nobody cares exept you!!! By who else am I “well documented” by except you?

        • http://tmonews.com David

          Can someone give me ONE reason why I should keep this guy around?

        • Anonymous

          you wuv me.. but also you need me. jk.. dont be so hard on yourself.. If you bann me I have two laptop that I could still reply from,

        • http://tmonews.com David

          Who exactly is copy and pasting Engadget? I love that argument…because Engadget NEVER takes news from other sources and reposts them. That’s a great site but they do exactly what every other tech blog does, aggregate news.

        • somebody

          lol you guys are like 5 year olds all i said was “slow news week” and you’re having a field day with it.. get a life

          what will i do if you you guys dislike my comments! my world will be over..go copy paste endgadget.

      • Oce

        David, don’t you even dignify these moronic troll comments with a response? Keep up the good work. Hope you’ll be adding a dislike button.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          I wish Disqus would add it, that would be awesome!

  • Manusferrera

    have you seen the prices for this $50 for 5gb and $80 for 10gb. shits ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    May the force be with you. Can Andy remain victorious. Time will tell.

    Stay thirsty my friends!

  • http://twitter.com/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

    I believe that people will still like T-Mobile better in the underlined factors, but will be caught up on the hype of the competitors…just like with the iphone. (hype) And most will continue to pay the higher prices, because they think they are getting better quality.

  • Anonymous

    I’m waiting on the flame wars to start. Still, Verizon has no in handheld devices that can take advantage of their LTE network, yet they have clearly recognized the power of advertisement in selling their data plans; an area where they clearly see big profits. T mobile must remain the cost effective alternative to remain competitive. Given the fact that I’m seeing people use ‘droid’ phones in commercials, terms like that are slowly becoming standard. Hopefully by t mobile marketing their technology as 4g, people won’t associate LTE = 4g to often.

    I’m waiting on T Mobile to pull the trigger on Metro PCS.

  • Anonymous

    I’m waiting on the flame wars to start. Still, Verizon has no in handheld devices that can take advantage of their LTE network, yet they have clearly recognized the power of advertisement in selling their data plans; an area where they clearly see big profits. T mobile must remain the cost effective alternative to remain competitive. Given the fact that I’m seeing people use ‘droid’ phones in commercials, terms like that are slowly becoming standard. Hopefully by t mobile marketing their technology as 4g, people won’t associate LTE = 4g to often.

    I’m waiting on T Mobile to pull the trigger on Metro PCS.

  • Anonymous

    I’m waiting on the flame wars to start. Still, Verizon has no in handheld devices that can take advantage of their LTE network, yet they have clearly recognized the power of advertisement in selling their data plans; an area where they clearly see big profits. T mobile must remain the cost effective alternative to remain competitive. Given the fact that I’m seeing people use ‘droid’ phones in commercials, terms like that are slowly becoming standard. Hopefully by t mobile marketing their technology as 4g, people won’t associate LTE = 4g to often.

    I’m waiting on T Mobile to pull the trigger on Metro PCS.

  • Anonymous

    I’m waiting on the flame wars to start. Still, Verizon has no in handheld devices that can take advantage of their LTE network, yet they have clearly recognized the power of advertisement in selling their data plans; an area where they clearly see big profits. T mobile must remain the cost effective alternative to remain competitive. Given the fact that I’m seeing people use ‘droid’ phones in commercials, terms like that are slowly becoming standard. Hopefully by t mobile marketing their technology as 4g, people won’t associate LTE = 4g to often.

    I’m waiting on T Mobile to pull the trigger on Metro PCS.

  • Freddayyy

    lolll. Even though Verizon’s LTE is faster than T-Mobile’s 4G (and yes, i know T-Mobile doesnt have 4G, but they have to speeds, so thats all i care about) T-Mobile still has the most coverage when Verizon unleashes theirs, and the best prices. The $50 for 5GB and $80 for 10GB and then $10 extra for each GB after that is RIDICULOUS! Whichever person pays for those prices is a complete idiot!! Those GB will FLY with the faster speeds and new services like Video Calling and streaming video. T-Mobile will ALWAYS win no matter what. Cheapest, fastest, best customer service, and cutest commercials :D

  • Anonymous

    i have a question…
    why does it say 3.5g on my nokia nuron’s status bar?
    I don’t live in an hspa+ place

    • Anonymous

      it went to 3g for a second and now on 3.5g again

      • Anonymous

        3.5G…now that’s very interesting. It might be trying to pick up HSPA+ signals somehow, but cannot exactly process the information to know what it’s picking up. Usually it would read “H” when its HSPA+. That’s my take on it.

      • Anonymous

        3.5G…now that’s very interesting. It might be trying to pick up HSPA+ signals somehow, but cannot exactly process the information to know what it’s picking up. Usually it would read “H” when its HSPA+. That’s my take on it.

        • NokiaN900User

          3.5g on nokia is HSDPA Cat9, maximum speed up to 10.2 Mbps, HSUPA Cat5 2.0 Mbps
          which means it is HSPA but will get HSPA+ speeds up to the 10.2 Mbps download and 2.0 Mbps upload.

        • Anonymous

          nicely said. thx for the info.

        • Anonymous

          ok thanx both of you….but thats wierd cuz it aint an hspa+ phone

  • Anonymous

    Ooooo…it’s on, and I’m liking it. I am loving T-Mobiles competitive chances in the 4G game.

  • G2help

    my G2 only displays hspda in NYC what is up with that and ive never even come close to 3 Mbps??? I went to 2 tmobile stores in manhattan and both they’re g2s and mytouch 4gs were on the hspda network NOT hspa+!!!! when i spoke to a tmobile rep he said that they should be working??? anyone with the same issues?

    • Binfartin

      Same thing here

    • Terryjohnson16

      The G2 only displays an H for both HSPA and HSPA+. You will have to do a speed test to really know what HSPA+ speeds you are seeing.

      • G2help

        i went into the system menu and it said specifically hspda the tmo rep said it should only say hspa+ and im only getting max 2 Mbps when the speed test is conduction from only less than ten miles away

    • dimsu123

      Try to set phone to airplane mode then toggle back to active mode on a test and see if your speed improves. It might help (something to try), it used to work on mytouch/g1s.

    • dimsu123

      Try to set phone to airplane mode then toggle back to active mode on a test and see if your speed improves. It might help (something to try), it used to work on mytouch/g1s.

    • dimsu123

      Try to set phone to airplane mode then toggle back to active mode on a test and see if your speed improves. It might help (something to try), it used to work on mytouch/g1s.

  • Martin003

    its funny that T-Mo is actually marketing their 3G as 4G and their speeds suck on the “4G” devices and their coverage is mediocre at best where i live T-Mo is still Edge only and no plans to change that, at least AT&T has promised to bring 3G in the next couple of months. T-Mo = #fail

    • The Dude

      The superiority for a wireless carrier will vary based on where someone lives. Dunno why you bothered to comment though.

    • Anonymous

      its funny anyone is

    • SaggyBalls

      Well, if it’s 3G and 4G that you’re whining over, move out of the boondocks and into a more densely populated area. No major carrier is going to waste money covering areas with 10 people per 100sq mile with fast data networks. Besides, I’ve got a good feeling the population that IS inhabiting your area is of the inbred kind.

      • Grammatica di Polizia

        Good one Saggy. How he can criticize TMobile, its 4G phones and services without having any of those things, that’s just stupid, and unfair to TMobile. He sounds bitter because he is stuck on Edge and is probably using a $50 clamshell.

        • Anonymous

          lol

    • Grammatica di Polizia

      What’s funny is your post.

      How can someone who apparently lives in a cave or trailer with only EDGE available comment on T-Mobile’s 3G and 4G services and the company’s 4G devices.

      That would be like you complaining about cable TV reception and about the signal on a LCD HDTV, when YOU are using a tube TV with rabbit ears. Ha ha I just realized something. You probably don’t have cable TV in your area and are still using a CRT TV.

      Even more comical is that you praise AT&T because it has “promised” to bring you 3G in the next couple months. ATT promised you? HA HA HA, did you get that in writing.

      Hey, report back in a couple months after ATT stands you up at the 3G alter.

  • enveed

    I agree with you 100%. T-Mobile does have a decent network, but it’s not nearly as comprehensive as Verizon. They need to be aggressive to retain existing customers and to gain new ones. Your point about being a price leader and having unlimited data, with no speed caps is spot-on. They also need to roll back the ridiculous $15/month tethering surcharge.

    They need to follow the Hyundai model. Bundle as much as you can for a really good price. Continue to build on quality (faster networks, broader coverage, better phone selection).

  • Gordo

    I agree totally on your point David about eliminating the cap on data from 5GB that move by T Mobile made absolutely no logical sense.. The claim they claim out with for their reasoning was complete BS and there is no evidence whatsoever that capping data will make the overall network run better. With Verizon stepping up to the plate with speed as all carriers will do if they want to stay in relevance it seems to me that the use of data pricing and limits will play a major role in the consumers choice process..I know it will for me…I am all but certain that if T Mobile does not reverse the cap then it will lead to pissing customers off into switching to a carrier that does not cap, even if that carrier might charge a little extra for the service. I would rather pay a little more for true unlimited. Also this tether plan is BS as well they should not charge for the way we use the data just because they figure they can make an extra buck..I assume that T Mobile will drop these ridiculous new policies in the near future before it backfires and cost them customers rather than making more profit.. I know if they don’t a long time loyal customer might have to start looking around.

    • dimsu123

      Let me cautiously answer here. I am one who knows, so let me explain.

      Although you are right, there are users who unfairly occupy the bandwidth. So lets take a college, and give unlimited data. What happens is users WILL utilize the service to the fullest extent. So suddenly if at one location you have users who are abusing the service and (remember I am one who knows this is true) they ultimately bring down the experience for everyone. Maintaining the cap allows for distinction of service.

      So basically, how would you feel about T-Mo’s service if the cap did not restrict your neighbor from hogging down your bandwidth… and you suddenly can’t get more than 400kbps There are users who run servers off the unlimited plan (this is true at T-Mo and all other carriers).

      I’m just saying…

    • dimsu123

      Let me cautiously answer here. I am one who knows, so let me explain.

      Although you are right, there are users who unfairly occupy the bandwidth. So lets take a college, and give unlimited data. What happens is users WILL utilize the service to the fullest extent. So suddenly if at one location you have users who are abusing the service and (remember I am one who knows this is true) they ultimately bring down the experience for everyone. Maintaining the cap allows for distinction of service.

      So basically, how would you feel about T-Mo’s service if the cap did not restrict your neighbor from hogging down your bandwidth… and you suddenly can’t get more than 400kbps There are users who run servers off the unlimited plan (this is true at T-Mo and all other carriers).

      I’m just saying…

    • dimsu123

      Let me cautiously answer here. I am one who knows, so let me explain.

      Although you are right, there are users who unfairly occupy the bandwidth. So lets take a college, and give unlimited data. What happens is users WILL utilize the service to the fullest extent. So suddenly if at one location you have users who are abusing the service and (remember I am one who knows this is true) they ultimately bring down the experience for everyone. Maintaining the cap allows for distinction of service.

      So basically, how would you feel about T-Mo’s service if the cap did not restrict your neighbor from hogging down your bandwidth… and you suddenly can’t get more than 400kbps There are users who run servers off the unlimited plan (this is true at T-Mo and all other carriers).

      I’m just saying…

  • timmyjoe42

    This whole 4G wars is hilarious. The network speed is going to be dictated by signal strength, network quality, and network traffic. As a subscriber of T-Mobile with 4 lines for 2 1/2 years, I can honestly say T-Mobile’s coverage is terrible. There is zero coverage at my parents house, in the nicest neighborhood in Cincinnati, I very frequently have no signal, in my office (5 miles from downtown), last week when I was in Columbus for a conference, (right on the loop), last month when I was in Indiana at a casino for a conference (Just outside the loop), when I travelled to WV to visit my brother, I would pass cell tower after cell tower, and all were AT+T and all I had was the option to make an emergency call. If T-Mobile wasn’t the underdog and so cheap, I would switch. The main reason I am still with T-Mobile is they have a cell tower across the street from my house, they had the wifi calling, my wife can text sweden and finland (AT+T was the only other network this worked on since Verizon, Sprint, and Cincy Bell, only have agreements with select scandinavian carriers) and because they are cheaper and I am a cheap bastard.

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

      its all about location at&t is the worst on long island they have little to no coverage in the north shore.

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

      its all about location at&t is the worst on long island they have little to no coverage in the north shore.

  • Neoprimal

    Tmobile doesn’t have a data cap…your speeds are reduced when you hit 5GB because they 10 users clogging up a network used by 100000 users and it can happen. Speeds are finite on a backbone so if 1000 users are downloading constantly at their highest rate it will affect other users.

    VZ on the other hand, does have a cap – and after you hit it you have to pay per GB overage charges.

  • To626n

    Definitely agree with this article, T-Mobile needs to be the “value” carrier and undercut Verizon’s prices by a significant margin. I’ve had T-Mobile for nearly 5 years, and haven’t gone to Verizon because T-Mobile is cheaper overall. If they were the same price or if T-Mobile was just slightly cheaper I would go with Verizon because of their excellent network.

  • Anonymous

    if you think hundreds of people posting “troll” for no apparent reason and fighting back and forth
    is more dramatic than “yay!!!!!”,
    please like my comment, if not well you know, JUST DON’T!!!

  • Tim9098

    I’m in Chicago. Can someone tell me where these “4G speeds” are? hmm?? Cause I’m getting low-average 3g speeds all over down town. I’ve never been above 400kilibits (which is only twice as face as tmo edge) on my blackberry 9700.

    • dimsu123

      T-Mo’s HSPA network is available at ALL locations where the backhaul is enabled. This typically means that T-Mo is ultimately at the mercy of a backhaul carrier like ATT, Verizon or Comcast etc. The backhaul carrier must have the ability to support the backhaul requirements of HSPA which typically may mean having a Fiber line available at or near the T-Mo site location. So, although in Chicago at your location the service is not activated, overall the city is enjoying speeds as advertised.

      So, cautiously watch what you are stating since your one location test does not represent the city of Chicago nor the coverage in that entire area!

  • Robert

    I just got around to reading this but you really are a tool. You actually act like T-Mo is a competitor in anything they do and discount both the #2 AND #3 carrier while pretending that T-Mo… who’s the NUMBER FOUR carrier in the US just jumps over their competition and is better… when in fact they are not. Recent reports show Sprint making HUGE leaps and bounds in both their plans and customer service (right with Verizon in the latest report) and T-Mo falling behind even them. AT$T has their problems but they still trounce T-Mo in customers so you acting like they don’t count is ludicrous and irresponsible. Yes you run a T-Mo loving site… but that doesn’t mean you have to be completely irresponsible in the things you say and act as if they are bigger and far better than they really are.