T-Mobile Is Tooting Its Own Horn For HSPA+


What appears to be an internal newsletter is currently being circulated to T-Mobile employees—a little self promotion regarding HSPA+. Mainly a cheerleader letter patting them on the back for recent testing results regarding HSPA+ services by two prominent tech bloggers, there is also a little dig at Clear. As hoped for, the test results came back quite favorably considering current market offerings and continue to increase the excitement and possibility of what faster data services could offer consumers. Not so much for Clear however, who was outgunned by T-Mobile on both the upload and the download, so much so that the friendly competition led to Clear packing it in early. Nice job Tmo, way to finally show off some of that 3G muscle through a spin doctored email.

What is HSPA+

HSPA+, is the technology T-Mobile will deploy in 2010 to increase network performance, delivering faster speeds and better performance for customers. HSPA+ delivers throughput speeds that are three to five times faster than many 3G networks offer today. Engineering teams across the country are preparing the integration of HSPA+ with T-Mobile’s current 3G network for national deployment.

HSPA+ is backward compatible, so many of the 3G devices T-Mobile customers are using today will automatically be faster.

The Reviews Are In

Kevin Tofel, a tech blogger in Philadelphia, recently tested the new technology. Using the webConnect USB Stickand a Nokia N900 device, Kevin reported that “… the race for faster mobile broadband is on and in my back yard, T-Mobile’s HSPA+ just took the lead.”

Tofel compared HSPA+ to WiMAX, a type of broadband network, and wrote that “testing the HSPA+ network today deals a bit of a bloody blow to WiMAX in my mind – T-Mobile will have it rolled out faster and existing hardware will benefit immediately from it.”

PC Magazine put T-Mobile’s HSPA+ on its list of 2009 Technical Excellence Awards and decided to take a close look at the Philadelphia test.

“PCMag sent our managing editor for mobile, Sascha Segan, down to Philly to do some bandwidth testing. He found that HSPA+ could go toe-to-toe with a 4G network.”

“I found it to be much faster than Verizon’s and Sprint’s 3G networks, and even sometimes faster than WiMAX – and that’s using older devices that can’t get anywhere near HSPA+’s maximum speed. In other words, it’s only going to get faster,” Sascha wrote.

Sascha reported that “Within the HSPA+ bubble … speeds went wild. My little laptop stick gave repeated results up to 3.6 megabits per second–a six fold increase. That’s faster than any 3G connection I’ve ever tested.”

Clearwire Sent Packing

T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network performance evidently was more than a Clearwire rep could bear at a recent charity event north of Philadelphia.

“The rep from Clear (Clear Communications, aka Clearwire) was showing off his services to the public and told everyone it was faster than our 3G services,” said IT Administrator John Sankus. Sankus was on site helping Corporate Retail set up for the event.

“When we put it to the test, the results came back that our service was not only faster,” said Sankus,” but consistently showed a solid connection resulting in not a single service interruption to our mobile retail store all day.”

Speed tests run by each rep on their own laptops provided the data.  T-Mobile HSPA+ download was as much as 22% faster; upload was more than 90% faster.

Sankus said later he wished he could have taken a picture of the Clear rep when they compared results, because, “It was priceless.”

“Not only did the Clear rep stop pushing so hard, he left early.”

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  • sorandkairi

    tmobile that’s GREATTT,………what happened to Tony the tiger, not that i think about it!!!!!

    • sorandkairi


    • reyes2007

      The voice actor for Tony the Tiger died.

      • Danny

        wait, really?

      • 2FR35H

        Damn that is a shame

  • kendrix_myrealname

    T-mo just shames the competition all day. Rock on!!!

  • Nice!! I like the part about the Clearwire rep getting angry and leaving. He got owned.

  • Rev

    I have Clear (in Atlanta) and am also a T-mobile customer, so no bias there:

    – limited 3G coverage, not much larger than the Clear coverage
    – limited 3G speeds (nowhere near its potential)
    – caps on data
    – cheapest option I found was $80/month everything plan (includes calling)

    – pretty good (and expanding) coverage in the ATL area
    – 4G speeds: consistently get 10 to 11Mbit in most places
    – no limit on data
    – Pick 2 plan (2 accounts on 1 plan) unlimited download/1.0Mbit upload: $50/month, so effectively $25/month per account.

    Truth is, these services do not compete: Clear is meant as a replacement for your home Internet, with the added bonus of using it mobile. T-mobile is a faster than 3G data plan for your phone, not meant for home use.

    • sorandkairi

      ??? That would all be true IF u are comparing the speed from T-mobile with HSPA+, hell even 7.2. U can’t compare the current 3g services in ATL to clearwire’s network because at least at this point in time, T-mobile hasnt push HSPA+ to ATL. That was the point of the blog, to actually compare the speeds of two systems, aka Clearwire’s and HSPA+. That is a bias. Now for the record tho, if u pay that for ur wireless through clearwire per month, thats a good deal! The test in Philly showed every1 that T-mobile’s still not optimized 3g/3g+ service can and well be used as a valid wireless carrier!

    • 30014

      I have tmo 3g and I’m in Covington, about 30 miles east of downtown. Tmo has a bigger 3g coverage area than clear has with wimax. Wimax stops about 15 miles from my house. They’re mostly just in core area while tmo has its 3g deep into the suburbs.

      • phoneking13

        Covington, KY? :o

        I’m at work in Covington and my mytouch keeps flickering between 3G and EDGE. :(

      • 30014

        Not Covington, Ky. Covington, Ga(suburban Atlanta )

    • Viper

      From Clear’s website: “Typical download speeds are 3-6 mbps with bursts over 10 Mbps.” The $30 plan gets you “up to 3” so I don’t care about the bursts, I care about what is consistent.

      $40 gets me Time Warner’s “up to 7mbps” plan which is giving me consistent results between 11-17mbps. I don’t even see Clear as a good replacement for home internet… that and it’s 100% wireless. I’m weary of that

    • Tek

      Knowing a bit about TMobile’s network, I can tell you Atlanta isn’t exactly their crown jewel of performance. You would have better results in many other areas.

      • sorandkairi

        ^ Ive lived in ATL so I already know!

  • Once they get it fully rolled out, they need to make commercials comparing their download/upload speeds to AT&T’s so called “America’s Fastest 3G network”. They can pick on AT&T cause of their network slogan. lol.

  • podstolom

    I want a T-Mo HSPA+ card in my next netbook ASAP.

  • Galen20K

    T-Mobile rocks my world, I love their company in how they think differently from all the “other” telcom networks. That’s whats going to really win it for them in the future that they are not like all the rest and exactly the reason I love them so much.

    Way to go TMob! You consistently get me excited for the future.

  • Jason

    I’ll Toot too! Toot Toot, yeah everyone hit twitter up and talk about the nexus one and tmobile let make it the number one trend on twitter!!

  • kershon

    Way to go T-MO! Sic’em! It is a Merry Christmas. Ho HO HO

  • Pete Figueroa

    I cannot wait until they unleash this to the general public.

    • sorandkairi

      2nd that!!

    • kershon

      3rd that! Let’s get some marketing going here. There’s no app for that. And Clear cleared out. hahahahaha

  • Jeff

    do the phones need an update or are they ready to go for 7.2. also, how will we know when in a service area? is there a 7.2 icon in the status bar?

    • Trill

      Most of the current phones support 7.2mbps so you just will see an increase in speeds and most phones that show HSPA which would be an H aren’t available in the US so just wait for the end of the year for the speeds to crank up even though not everyone will see a change at first since only 50% of the network will get the okay for it and the rest to follow.

      • taj

        So while some phone might support 7.2, are there options/configurations/hacks that will allow the phone to make even greater useage of the new possible speeds? For that matter, are there things that can be done to my current 3G (G1) that can more effectively use the 3G network?

      • Trill

        There are no hack or exploits to make use of the speed and the G1 supports up to 7.2mbps but the reason as to why it can’t be changed is hardware my friend it will not exceed what it was originally designed for so you would have to purchase a new device to take advantage of HSPA+ 21mbps.

  • Trill

    I think most overlook the fact that this is how it is when upgrading data services and so on besides not to long ago Verizon started out the same with 3G and for those that don’t know 3G signal is much weaker than GPRS, Edge or even CDMA for that matter therefore it doesn’t cover as much but the wholes will get filled in once the core has been established. AT&T should stop messing with other carriers even though they have better coverage and faster speeds (at the moment) its certainly not the most reliable and you will have issues especially if you own a iphone since appearently there network wasn’t ready to handle all the traffic.

    T-Mobile just needs to keep expanding coverage and not just 3G, get us phones with better hardware like the droid or N900, and offer more types of plan for data with the launch of a network card that supports HSPA+

    • sorandkairi

      keep it trill, trill, lol

  • Brian

    I under that the Blackberry 9700 can’t really utilize HSPA+. It is limited to standard HSPA.
    This true? Any blackberry reps on the site?

    • J-Hop2o6

      the BB Bold 2 9700 maxes out @ 3.6mbps.

    • Trill

      No phone today utilizes HSPA+ speeds so max is 7.2mbps but the N900 does max out at 10mbps.

      • Torben

        If this means that I will actually get 3mbps speeds instead of the sub 1mbps range I see now on my 9700, I would be a happy camper. Until RIM has a better browser, I really don’t know what I would do with 7mbps.

        any news when the current 3g areas are going to get a speed bump into the multi mbps range?

  • FILA

    haha thats great, thats really good to hear. T-Mobile, we on top for 2010!!!

  • PUNCH T-MOBILE! Show them how it’s done!

  • Eli

    Hey I got Clear and its fast enough to not only ditch my home internet but whats even greater I don’t have to pay any longer for a cell phone carrier’s price plan for unlimted calls to landlines or cellphones. I pay for unlimted Globe $12.95 a month to 40 countries unlimted USA and do this from an iphone WITHOUT A SIM CARD. I use my Clear USB device and connect it to Clear’s Hotspot mobile turns it into a mobile wifi 24-7 on the go then sends wifi to my iphone and then open my skype app and make & recieve calls anyone in the Clear Coverage. So I can say $78 dollars a month unlimted mobile phone and internet at home 24-7 and i’m still mobile with fast internet unlimited usage don’t have to worry about those 5GB limit usage from carrier’s then they want to charge you like 0.05 – 0.20 cents a MB which is ridiculous just to watch an hr 1 1/2 of Netflix movie stream can use upto 1GB usage so if was to say which is better I would say the one that has no limit plus the ease of system integration with other devices that I can use. I even tested on a G1 mobile phone without a sim card over wifi and was able to make a call too. SO ditch your sim cards the time is coming and is available to do so in the areas where its capable over 4G Clear :)…..