T-Mobile Hits 200 Million POPS 3G Goal for 2010


As 2009 winds to a close, T-Mobile has officially hit its 2009 goal of covering more than 200 million people with 3G coverage. For the uninformed, that means in the areas of T-Mobile coverage, over 200 million people COULD use it, not are using it. According to the email sent my way, since the first 3G market launched in 2008, T-Mobile has added more than 330,000 POP’s per day. Also mentioned, is that T-Mobile has built a 3G network faster than anyone else in the United States, nothing like a little self promotion. Last week saw the most recent 3G launches with Little Rock, Ark; Moscow, Idaho and Pullman, Walla Walla and Yakima, WA.

While we’ve been hoping for at least a few cities to see HSPA+ launched before year’s end, it looks as though we’ll have to wait till next year. Of course at this point, that’s only 3 days away so really, not a huge concern.

With 3G, T-Mobile has laid the foundation to take the network to the next level. Having a nationwide HSPA network gives T-Mobile a competitive edge, since the network can be quickly upgraded to HSPA+ over the next year, providing customers with superior speeds and services. Pair it with an excellent line-up of existing and upcoming 3G devices, and T-Mobile’s 21 Mbps-capable network will give wireless customers a big incentive to switch to T-Mobile from other competitors.


  • Chino B

    Congrats on the milestone :)

  • fort

    All of this is great for those of us on T-mobile. But for those looking to leave their existing provider they will have no clue and T-Mobile has done nothing to help their case. They advertise about social network or making a phone all your own ( personal ) but Not a word about 3g or costumer service faster than AT&T and Verizon.

  • Galen20K

    COngrats T-Mobile but please PLEASE learn how to advertise!

  • TMOCustRep

    I totally agree. Its great being able to let current customers know what we are doing and planning for the future of the company, but really our advertising department needs to be fired along with our lovely CEO who has done nothing but blame front line employees for the issues of the company. Our Customer Service VP looks like the guy from Family Guy and doesn’t promote an image worth following.

    It really is hard being an employee of a company that has little self respect for itself. Shout out to the mothership, DT, if you are listening, your employees here in America want to be the best company possible, but our management levels suck!

  • LIES. There are way too many holes in the 3G coverage for me to believe 200 million seeing that they suggest they are covering 2/3rds of the US Population. I travel quite a bit as well so I know what I am talking about. The only cities I have been to that I have been impressed with coverage is NYC and Atlanta.

    Just locally here in Rochester, the Metro is about 1 million and I would say they are covering maybe 300,000. Just the City of Rochester is right over 250,000 and they don’t cover that 100%. I live in a urban setting with poor to no 3G coverage within city limits, and their coverage maps are a lie and they even admitted it on the phone they were a lie and that my local tower was not 3G with no plans this year.

    LIES DO NOT HELP. Weither your lying about 3G capabilites/performance (AT&T) or coverage (T-Mobile).

    • @startblue i work for at&t and i have to say at&t’s 3G coverage is just about as big as t-mobiles 3G coverage. what really really pisses me of is that people think that at&t has the biggest 3G network but they are blind they dont take the time to see that at&t’s 3G coverage is a joke .. at&t’s edge network is as big as verizons 3G , at&ts 3G is as big as t-mobile 3G. people get confused with the at&t edge map and they think its actually 3G coverage. u want awesome 3G coverage everywhere u go switch to verizon or sprint. i wouldnt be surprised if t-mobile has a bigger 3G network than at&t by next year. also for your information t-mobile’s 3G network is much more faster and reliable that at&t 3G .cause da at&t network is f**cked up cause of all those dam people using their iphones also t-mobile will upgrade its network to 21mbps by 2nd quarter next year which will leave at&t in da dust cause i dont know if u have been doing ur research which i have and t-mobile is playing catch up real fast and so far at&t has not extended its coverage very much its only investing on its network in large metro areas. with at&t u go out into the outskirts ur phone drops down to gsm not even edge. thats why even though i work for at&t my personal phone is a verizon blackberry storm .

    • Robert

      It is a lie. We know it. They know it. But it’s still reported.

      They don’t cover probably any major city completely other than a few. As you pointed out it’s the same here in Kansas City. They have holes all over this network and there’s no way they cover all 2 million or so people in the area but I know that’s what they are counting because they ‘have’ 3G coverage in Kansas City.

      I’ve said it before… they need to concentrate on getting better coverage rather than this idiotic attempt to suggest that they can cover 200 million people and then send out ‘rumors’ that they will have some super fast new coverage that obviously isn’t coming before the end of the year, no matter how much it’s reported on this site and others that it is coming.

      • John

        Here’s the thing…don’t know if you’ve ever experienced anything as big as what tmo is trying to do, so I’ll explain this easy way first. First off, not trying to have a troll fight, so don’t reply with something smart assed, but these things are going to take time. They do an initial hit and then a fill in. I’m in wichita ks, they flipped the switch around july-august, coverage was very spotty. It went out recently, and when all was back, I have full 3g, 4-5 bars of it, from newton ks to derby, haysville, andover, to goddard. Be patient, if the coverage isn’t up to par, options are change provider, or give the one you are on a little while to improve.

  • 18.4009

    And yet Boise, Idaho and the areas around it with a population of more then 600,000 people are still in the wicked hold of Edge… Why T-Mobile why?!?

    • badger

      Agreed. Moscow, Pullman and Yakima but not Boise. WTF. Of course my friend at t-mobile is blaming the FCC for the delay here. Not sure how that factors in. But I guess all the towers in the valley are upgraded and ready to go. Let’s hope for early 2010.

      • JJ

        It is true FCC has a great role in sprectrum clearance. The band that is allocated for 3G use for TMO is being currently used by goverment and some microwave operators. They need to make clearance which then need to pass certain threshold tests before being used for commercial purpose. TMO works so hard with these agencies to get them cleared ASAP but delays happen in certain stages. it is one of the primary reason why certain big market launch took place in later part of the year than some smaller markets. But no worries many more expansion will be done within first part of 1Q-2010.

      • JJ

        I have heard that there are several new individual site 3g launches going on at break neck pace at TMO right now before EOY.

  • JBLmobileG1

    Awesome job Tmobile! Not bad at all and I am sure its still growing. Does anyone know when the HSPA+ will start to roll out nationwide? I thought it was supposed to happen this year but from the sound of it
    , it won’t be finished until sometime next year. I am hoping since the Henderson/LasVegas area was one of the first to get 3G it will happen soon. I’ve noticed my 3G signal hasn’t been as strong as it normally is and sometimes switching in and out fron 3G to edge and back. Hopefully this means something is going on. Also… anyone know if the 21Mbps is with the HSPA+ or is that something totally different? I know the G1 can do the 7.2Mbps or whatever but will that be on the same band that can out put the 21Mbps and when will we even start to see devices that will even support that? My guess is the phones may only see up to the 7.2 and the data cards for laptops may see the 21. Who knows that…. just a wild guess.

  • nps_ca

    Startblue: lies? They are adding 300k pops a day. How is that lying. They haven’t said 200m pops and we are done.

    Measuring pops is fully legit as this is how spectrum licenses are measured.

    Just because some areas have no 3g doesn’t mean it stays status quo. I have area here in so calif that have no 3g some filled in this month others will fill in over time.

    Btw; I have areas on tmo with 3g where my netbook on at&t 3g doesn’t have 3g – just edge.

    Nimby is the main issue why areas have poor coverage : if your city isn’t providing suitable sites to non incumbent carriers or forcing colocation then how can coverage improve. Tmo does plan to move existing sites to 3g – but backhaul can slow some down and to top it off the rf on 3g provides a different footprint than 2g so some sites are modified (antenna and rf power) others get fill in (new sites)

    • Maybe you don’t understand me. I don’t believe their 3G network does cover 200 million. They may say so, but that worries me even more if they actually believe they do cover 200 million. I do understand they are adding more 3G coverage, I just think they should be honest and only say they are covering 200 million when they actually are.

      My local situation is actually a perfect example. The coverage map says I’m covered, and sometimes when I go outside I get a bar or so of 3G coverage. My local tower/site does not have 3G, this ‘coverage’ is just fringe coverage off towers further south. If I go slightly more north where the coverage map still suggestes 3G coverage I get nothing, not even fringe. So to count me or others in my area as covered is wrong. Nobody lives outside, nor does 1 bar count as adequete coverage as its more the likely to jump to Edge if you try to do anything.

      I’m guessing T-Mobile is basing their 200 million on their coverage maps, and from on here to the forums I know that I’m not alone in T-Mobile pretending the offer me 3G.

      • Trill

        Maybe you didn’t hear the rest of us, and you have no idea of how they are basing the esitmate so drop it futhermore 3G signal in general is weaker than CDMA, GPRS, and EDGE therefore covering a smaller area so they will have to tweak a few things and fill in the holes later and the maps show an estimate not current. In the end they haven’t lied but you just asummed without any other standing and started yapping.

      • Danny

        Hi starBlue:

        Your frustration is normal and/or expected.

        But understand the way the POPS metric is measured and used. Think of POPS as the PERCENTAGE OF the POPULATION covered. It has no bearing on signal quality, signal strength indoors or wireless upload/download speeds.

        So technially in theory, there are no lies here. T-Mo USA is just saying that their network is accessible to X percentage of the US population. They may only have 33 or 34 million subs, but the 3G network is built in an area where 200 million or so people live, work and play.

        Like another poster mentioned, it sounds like T-Mobile hasn’t lit up 3G on all sites in your area. Just like Verizon did, T-Mobile is also rolling out 3G in phases. 3G (WCDMA) is different from 2G in the way its broadcasted and signal strength will flucutate depending on network congestion.

        Most likely in 2010, you’ll notice a general improvement overall in 3G coveage. T-Mobile will launch phase 2 of their 3G project in your area which will likely include more sites lit up along with the necessary backhaul needed to support HSPA 7.2 and HSPA+ 21 Mbps.

        Hang tight. I went through what you went through during phase 1 of the 3G launch in my area. Now since phase 2 has commenced not only is my 3G coverage up to par, it’s even better than 2G is. It just took several months for it to happen.

        You probably don’t remember, but when Verizon first launched 3G here in the greater Los Angeles area, for the first year my phones would keep going back to 1x (2G)indoors. Little did I know that Verizon was testing/monitoring, testing/monitoring, testing/monitoring and finally adding new sites to grow coverage and capacity but it didn’t happen overnight. We just forgot about it.

        The nature of any CDMA interface (which T-Mo’s 3G is based off of) is that you have to be careful about over broadcasting. You do it in baby steps since the last thing you want are the towers shouting at eachother. That’s why they start conservative and add sites as needed.

        The best thing you can do is let them know. Call customer service and open up a trouble ticket. The more tickets opened up in any given area the more attention your area gets. The techs get embarrassed if their servicable locations get the most complaints for network problems or dropped calls. Make your voice heard.

        Also, go to your local city hall. Look up all the times where T-Mobile has attempted to add more sites to improve coverage and see how many times local residents, school boards and business owners have fought them away. If there are planned proposed sites up for vote, make your voice heard! Show up and defend your right for better coverage!

      • SEFan

        StartBlue, your story is a rather like my own story for T-Mo GSM coverage. When I joined the coverage was rather sparse near my house, and maybe 1 – 2 bars inside the house. Even the local coverage map showed the area as iffy, so it’s not like I didn’t know going in. Over the next year the coverage map showed me as good signal, but on the ground my neighborhood continued in the 2 – 3 bar range, with occasional drops to nonexistent. Then one day the phone was showing 5 bars in the house.

        It took time but it got there. I’m sure there was equipment to be placed, tuned, upgraded. I had to make some calls to my municipality to lobby for equipment placement, attend a few municipal development meetings. I’m betting it’s the same for you and 3G. I understand your argument about stated vs actual coverage in your area, and by implication nationwide. But it sounds like all carriers use this same type of metric, so a few grains of salt are in order for everybody I guess. Local situations can be expected to vary for reasons stated better by others in this thread.

        Anyway, to me the advice about complaining to Tech Support makes good sense. Even if they can’t fix it instantly it’ll give the heads up that improvement is needed in your locality. Also, keeping an eye on how your local government treats mobile emplacements can be useful. I never realized how much the NIMBY phenomenon could affect my local coverage until I started looking at how my own community was dealing with the issue.

        Me, I’m still hoping T-Mo will finally bring a decent (for me) 3G phone in the new year….

  • jaymax

    When is TMO going to update their coverage map? It’s woefully out of date…

  • fort

    T-mobile g3 map.


    There not blocking the TV.

    • badger

      Well that map looks more like potential or coming soon 3G. The coverage for southwest Idaho is totally bogus.

  • Bob

    Looking on the T-mobile 3g coverage map, it shows my area having 3g but here where I live and my entire town is only edge. I am assuming T-mobile put 3g coverage for my area on the map in anticipation of future coverage soon to happen.

  • T

    at&t needs to stop saying they are the fastest 3G in the US, because T-Mobile beats them by a mile

  • mike

    come on t-mo give 3g to springfield, mo

    • Innuendo

      Thank the good old DoD for that one, they use the frequency and have imminent domain-ed the sucker for the foreseeable future.



  • Chad

    During the worse snow storm we have ever had in Asheville we got 3g 2 days before christmas. Way to go T-mo!

  • niididy

    Good milestone….with more to come I am sure.

  • 30014

    I can’t speak on any other cities, but the Atlanta metro area has to have one of the most expansive tmo 3g footprints of any city in the country. The coverage area is definitely larger than what tmo’s map indicates. I just wish they would go live with the hspa 7.2 update already. While the coverage is great the speeds aren’t much to brag about. I usually max out in the 500 kb/s area. All of u with crappy 3g coverage, I hope tmo gets it improved for u.

    • Robert

      Be thankful. I typically max out around 300 up and sometimes 300 down if I’m lucky.

      But yet we ‘have’ 3G coverage in Kansas City.

  • Dwayne

    3G is nice and everything but tmobile need to improve their voice coverage everywhere cause their is pretty bad in certain places and its frustrating that you pay them a crap load of money a month and your not able to use phone.

  • The Dude

    Hey TMobile Im happy for you and Imma let you finish but At&t 3G covers most if not all Puerto Rico with only a few towers. Why cant you do the same? BRING 3G to Puerto Rico already!

    • Bob

      Hey there Kanye, how are things down there? lol.

      • sorandkairi

        ^^^^^ LOL THAT WAS ACUTALLY FUNNY!!!!!!!! LOL

    • beastly

      LOL! Not a bad suggestion. Call ’em and let ’em know!

  • kershon

    Congratulations to T-Mobile for meeting their goal. Now that all of us that read the blogs know it please tell the whole world what has been accomplished! Marketing, Marketing, Marketing. Advertise this and the upcoming network improvements and put the other carriers, ie. ATT in their place!

    • Robert

      I’m confused as to why you think they should ‘market’ the fact that they potentially cover 200 million potential customers when that pales in comparison to the other carriers?

      I’m also confused as to why they should ‘market’ their proposed upcoming network improvements when they are just ‘proposed’ right now and in fact their network is horrible – just read the comments on this thread and most others – compared to the other carriers.

      Perhaps they should actually FIX their coverage and their network before they should start trying to pronounce themselves the greatest on the face of the Earth.

      I fully realize you are a shill and that every post you make applauds T-Mobile for every little thing they do… but in this you’d again hope they would actually have something to market… before they actually do market.

      • kershon

        As you seem to be easily confused let me try to clarify. T-Mobile has met a goal that they have set for themselves to have 200 million pops covered by the end of 2009. The network is rapidly expanding. By next summer hspa+ is to start deploying and by the end of the year have wide coverage. Why not tell people what the plans are and what has been accomplished so far? It would be good advertising to let potential customers know that the network is getting better all the time. I don’t understand what you mean by fix their network, unless it is to offer wider coverage and fill in the holes in the existing 3g footprint. That takes time and is rapidly taking place. Now as far as me being a shill and every post I make applauds tmobile, you have not read my other posts on other articles on this site. When criticism is due I give it. And in case you haven’t noticed, this is a T-Mobile fan site where most, if not all of us are T-Mobile cheerleaders.

      • Trill

        No one has called T-Mobile perfect are even in the top 3 but facts arre they delivered and it will get better soon. No carrier is without its fault and while I must say I’ve done some traveling myself about 4yrs ago I remember not being able to use my phone when I went to Carlinville IL and I was ticked but that very next year I went I had great coverage, so while its not as great in terms of the amount it covers,its ceratinly nothing to just brush off and theyre working on improving it constantly.

      • John

        Here’s another fun pop fact…if you factor all forms of signal ie 1xrtt, evdo, gprs, 3g (umts, hspa) etc… the pop numbers are 98% att, 97% verizon, 96% tmo, 96% sprint. So in all actuality, when you mention voice coverage, tmo is not that far behind the power curve

  • dothack

    Finally someone with common sense and knowledge, that’s some great info in a nutshell. customers just think that “turn it on” to make it all work, we all wish it was that simple. with so many signals in the air from gps, other gsm networks, microwaves, radio antenas, even powergrids affect how signal is send/recv on your device.
    im sure that you have a prob with tmo. however your arguments dont really stand cause because one person – you – had a bad day with tmo. just because people post bad comments here doesn’t mean network is bad. did you know that people tend to complain more when things dont work than when they do?? yeah, things break with everything, no exceptions. if you did some research..google, jd power awards..you can clearly see that att ALWAYS ranks low in jd power satisfaction along with so mnay articles out there stating so horrid service with there network..im sure they are some with verizon/tmo/sprint, like i said, no one is perfect however at least they rank by far more awards (tmo leading of course) than any telco in the usa..so just because you had one bad day with tmo, it doesn’t mean the rest of its 32 million customers are as well

    • Robert

      No, that’s not it.

      I’ve been a T-Mo customer for as long as they’ve been T-Mo here in the states. I’m quite happy with what they do provide but like a good majority of their customers I’ve stood by them hoping that things do get better.

      I like the company but am not a shill or a homer and will not just sit here and applaud everything they do or act like they are God’s gift when they do have problems.

      This site is a fan site and obviously slanted as many of the posts here will confirm as well. People act like if T-Mo adds one customer that it means that they are the best in the world at anything they do.

      However…. not all comments are like that and if some of you and ESPECIALLY T-Mo themselves took notice you’d notice that not all is well. Yet what most of you do that support the company is ‘seem’ to overlook the bad and attack every single person that ever has anything negative to say about the company.

      Reading the threads over the past few weeks as I’ve been on the site more there is overwhelming evidence that even though T-Mo HAS 3G coverage in quite a few areas and now says they ‘cover’ 200 million potential customers… their coverage is spotty at best and slow at worst.

      I don’t speak for everyone… but I do know a few people on T-M0 and also by reading this site see that more than just me and a few others get VERY VERY slow 3G coverage and very spotty coverage as well.

      I travel from Kansas City to Marysville KS and down south towards Coffeyville and then East towards Jeff City so all around Kansas and Missouri (not Wichita however) and can attest that I don’t even get coverage in half the areas I travel and even in Kansas City will switch back and forth from 3G to Edge all day long. And even when I get 3G at my home it’s around 300 to 400 up and 200 to 300 down generally. That’s not good coverage and not great speeds.

      People here are obsessed with numbers. Wow… T-Mo hit 200 million potential customers that they ‘cover’ with 3G. Wrong. They haven’t. And I’m FAR more concerned with them actually filling in holes and upping their speeds as I am with some illegitimate number that really doesn’t mean anything.

      Fix your holes. Speed up your network. Get some phones that people REALLY will crave.

      Then you’ll have a FAR more excitable fanbase and a reason for people to jump up and down… and probably actually be competitive in the market as well.

      Well people that really understand the business and not just homers that jump at every little detail.

  • Jay

    I’m in Albany, NY, and Ive been starting to pick up 3G signal. I guess they finally put up the towers….I’m so excited!

  • beastly

    I’m not sure what surveys or studies you’re basing your criticism on. I doubt T-Mobile would lie about covering 200 million. However, the more I think about that number, the more I realize how completely irrelevant it is to any of us customers. It’s irrelevant to me because I get great 3G where I live and work, and sorta decent 3G when I visit my relatives in the next town over. And it’s irrelevant to you, since you aren’t one of the 200 million. They could offer fantastic 42 mbps download speeds in Europe and Asia, covering 3 billion, and it wouldn’t matter to you. The only question you need ask yourself is: am I covered where I live and work and tend to hang out? If not, then call ’em up and ask ’em to. Can’t hurt, right?

  • Trill

    I get 1.86MB down and 0.50 up so not everyone has bad speeds and most of it has to do with those sites just going up and if you live in a large area its being monitored in which case they determine how many T1 circuits they need to add amongst other things. If I go to Houston because of the amount of people on the network therefore causing more traffic on the network the speeds wouldn’t be all that great. I could go on but there isn’t much reason to.

  • eli_the_great89

    By 200 Million pops, I’m guessing it means People?
    if so thats quiet impressive, if it were up to my judgement and I looked at T-Mobile’s 3G coverage the little scattered dark purple dots around the nation definitely don’t give off the impression of 200 million “pops.”

    Hopefully they won’t be as slow to bringing in the HSPA 7.2 as they said they would.

  • TMO,

    Your next region to go 3G – Florida Panhandle – Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City. Frommer’s No. 11 Top Global Destinations for 2010.

    Thank You.

  • any word on Puerto Rico? im jealous of Iphone users and their 3G all over here….T-Mobile dont sell 3G phones here in Puerto Rico if you are never gonna get us 3G!!!

  • chsguyi69

    I hope 3G makes it to the Pensacola, FL area soon, this whole part of Florida ha military bases from Air Force to Navy. So not hold my breath. Have the phone for 3G now just need the service.

  • dan

    Truth is T-mobile 3G coverage is pathetic. You get what you pay for, you guys complain about lack of 3G? How about lack of EDGE, having only GPRS, while my buddy surfs the net on ATT 3G. T-MOBILE IS CHEAP!!! SO IS THEIR NETWORK!

  • mepe

    Who uses TMOBILE in the panhandle?? I dont know a single person – Fort Walton Beach area, Pcola, Destin , FL panhandle – ALL the other carriers have 3G here. NOT TMOBILE. I am in FWB and hitting 1.1MBPS down an ATT.

  • Brad

    HORSE S**T

    I live in an area of 188,000 people halfway between Charlotte and Atlanta, not a SINGLE area of T-Mobile 3G coverage. I have T-Mobile b/c I was told 3G would be here LAST YEAR, so when this contract is up I’m outta here!!!

  • Phaelenx

    CONGRATS Tallahassee, Fl…We finally have 3G as of tonight!