T-Mobile Speaks Out Regarding 3G Services


Once again our old friend, SVP of Engineering Neville Ray spoke to Moconews regarding T-Mobile’s commitment to serving 200 million users with 3G by the end of 2009. Once again, Ray reiterated the promise of HSPA 7.2 and HSPA+ 3G services, both of which will start widespread rollouts next year.

There to defend the carrier’s role was T-Mobile’s SVP of Engineering Neville Ray, who also spoke to Moconews after the event. He said they’ll be serving 200 million users with 3G by the end of the year (which is a smaller footprint than both Verizon and AT&T). But that they’ll leap-frog ahead, by upgrading those markets to HSPA 7.2, which is already supported in most of the handsets being sold today. Then, the carrier will quickly upgrade to HSPA 21, which he said can offer 3-5 mbps with bursts up to 10-12 mbps.

One of the more interesting mentions here is the small jab at AT&T and their overloaded networks performance, courtesy of the iPhone. When asked if he thought T-Mobile could handle the iPhone users “thirst for broadband?” Neville responded with a resounding yes: “Absolutely. We could do it, for sure. We like to think that we would not have the same level of problems.”

I have to say we love that level of confidence from T-Mobile, who while committed to the Android platform has yet to speak out or publicly express an interest in placing the iPhone in their lineup. While rumors continue to swirl and analysts continue to predict, T-Mobile is staying tightlipped on whether or not they would even make a play for the idevice if/when the AT&T exclusivity deal runs out. Regardless, we’re glad to know that they are confident enough to handle the bandwidth users would gobble up and create a user experience that has plunged AT&T into such negative light.


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  • NiiDiddy

    Hmmm….Interesting piece of news! This makes me feel good. This is the one thing we can all say came from “the horse’s mouth” and no rumour attached to it. I hope there wont be any delays and T-Mobile willreach the deadlines set for themselves to make all this happen, and happen quickly!!

  • g_willi

    Wow. You guys are such fanboys. He gave no details and basically said nothing and you guys sucked it down like a cheap whore giving a blowjob.

    • Robert

      I like how he said ‘we would LIKE to think we could handle it’ and they spun that as being confident.

      I was reading another site yesterday that gave a nod to tmonews because we had reported that they had reported we might be getting the iPhone but they also went out of their way to say that this site was FAR from objective.

      Yeah.. no kidding.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love coming here to see rumors and here from other T-Mo users… but seriously guys, I know you’re not reporters or anything… but do you constantly have to spin absolutely everything as the greatest for T-Mo.

      Nowhere did this guy really say a darn thing other than speculation and hopes and that they’d ‘like’ to be able to handle the iPhone… and yet you made it sound like come next year T-Mo will be the best carrier on the planet… ever.

      • David

        Geee, that was i4u.com and while I tried to reply their Disqus comment system sucks. With a first name like Robert is there any possibility you are the author of that article?

      • David

        Aside from that, I’m pretty sure T-Mobile is taken to task on this website when necessary. Aside from that, we make no bones about being a fan site, hence the spin and lack of objectivity as you put it. Which lines us up with every other Apple fan site that does its part to spin things in a positive light that are in reference to its namesake. Honestly, the armchair quarterbacking is tiring because so few of you have any idea just how tedious and difficult it is to actually run a blog of this scope.

  • J-Hop2o6

    I hope 7.2 HSPA is turned on around Christmas like they said/speculated was going to happen.. i’m tired of having max DL speeds around my house @ 120kb/s (0.96mbps), when some other areas close to my house gets 220kb/s (1.8mbps) max.

    • Danny

      That’s because they haven’t rolled out the fiber to add the additional capacity. The goal this year is to expand the 3G coverage. Early next year the focus will grow from network growth to fiber backhaul and additional T-1 sites to handle HSPA 7.2 and HSPA + 21.

      Be patient. The speeds will grow and spread with vigor next year. By mid year a much larger percentage of the T-Mobile network will be 3G capable and a large majority of that will have 7.2 Mbps enabled. Several large markets should have 21 Mbps enabled with more by the close of next year.

      T-Mobile will focus on the backend to support the myriad of high speed capable devices they plan to launch next year. If the iPhone does land on our network, then at least we’ll know they are prepping to stay ahead of the data demand to avoid the network problems faced by AT&T.

      • J-Hop2o6

        I know about the added circuits/fibers.. im juss sayin that a 2 minutes drive away from my house, to a busier part of my city, close to the 509 hwy (Burien, SW Seattle) gets the 1.8, but my side gets 0.96.. so im like wtf.. im not mad or anything.. i juss want those speeds.. a tmousa tech rep told me a month ago that tmo was gonna do some “work” on my local tower around nov. 10th.. his notes didn’t specify exactly what kinda “work”, but he hinted to me it has something to do with data.. but im still at 0.96mbps.. so i was just sayin i hope tmo turns on 7.2 (atleast for and around Seattle).. and sorry.. im a real impatient person (im a taurus) lol..

        and hopefully them tryna quickly upgrade to 21 after 7.2 is a sign that tmousa is prepping for a release of the iPhone (not for me tho).. I know that’ll jump up tmo’s customer base (quickly past Sprint?)

      • David

        Good point. Hopefully these guys with rooted and jailbroken devices won’t be bandwidth hogs clogging the network and slowing it down for everyone else because they can. Whatever happened to wifi? Why do people tether to laptops anyway? I would have no need to do that as I have wifi at home and the coffee shop I go to and the places I eat etc….just venting, I’m just tired of bandwidth hogs clogging the network when they don’t have to, really.

    • tmogeek

      Don’t hold your breath for any 09 rollout. Lots of work to do. Fiber is slowly coming online, but there is more to HSPA than bandwidth. Current fiber configuration “muxes” it down to individual T1’s. There needs to be a major software upgrade on the network side. The conversion will shift from T1 to ethernet to the bts. HSPA will cause the loss of the soft handoff too. Can’t wait to see what issues come from that. With the soft handoff, there was a data buffer at the bts for continuity. With HSPA the data buffer will be lost with the handoff and it will have to re-buffer at the next site. So in theory it looks like stationary speeds will be higher than if you are moving down the highway.

      T-Mobile has the benefit of a parent with HSPA experience, so the learning curve while challenging, won’t be severe.

      Looking forward to an exciting new year.

  • Still waiting for 3G…

    • acsteffy87

      Still waiting for edge

      • J-Hop2o6

        lol damn..

    • Bill48105

      Still waiting for a signal. :D

      • kershon

        Still waiting on a phone so I can get rid of the string and tin cans. lol

      • Bill48105

        @kershon LOL hope that is a very long string. Perhaps smoke signals would work better. At least better coverage than TMo :D (Calm down people it’s a joke that is only slightly true lol)

      • kershon

        @Bill48105 I used smoke signals for a long time. Got tired of cutting wood and graduated to the string and cans. HAR HAR HAAARRRR

      • Pororo

        hahaha! Too Funny!

  • G1Joe

    So reading between the lines it sounds like the markets that don’t get 3G are gonna get left behind. I live in a city where Tmo is the only carrier that doesn’t offer 3G. I don’t want to switch carriers but fear I may have to.

    • Danny

      Well you need to do what suits you best. Vote with your wallet.

      The reality is that the larger populations will be covered first. These areas have the greatest amount of users and the areas with the most return on capital. T-Mobile has to turn a profit otherwise investors will not agree to pump more funding for additional buildouts.

      If you do live in a large city but still don’t have 3G you most likely will by next year. Again though, use what suits you now. You can always come back to T-Mobile when and if their products and services suits your need at a later time.

      Where I live, we just got 3G in October. There was 3G available just 20 minutes away for an entire year. I was so close but so far! I stuck it out because I enjoy my service and my rate plan is outstanding. (grandfathered). I was tempted to leave a couple of times but I stuck it out.

    • Robert

      And by ‘markets that markets that get 3G’ you mean actual parts of that market right?

      Let’s not fool ourselves… because MOST of those markets have VERY limited coverage in them.

      It’s nice to say that Dallas and New York and LA and Kansas City and wherever else they have 3G has it… but by all reports when that coverage doesn’t even extend over the whole town then it’s not really ‘true’ 3G coverage. Also in many of those towns it’s THE town itself and if you wander 5 miles outside city limits… you might get a couple of bars of Edge service if you’re lucky.

      I live around Kansas City and can tell you for a fact that I get VERY limited 3G service in several parts of town and just outside nothing at all… and then when I travel through Missouri and Kansas I’m lucky to get coverage over a good portion of either of those states at all.

      • 30014

        I don’t know about Kansas City, but 3g is widespread in the Atlanta metro area. U can go 40 miles from downtown Atlanta in any direction and still have 3g coverage.

      • watbetch

        How is coverage generally in ATL?

      • 30014

        @Watbetch…The signal is consistent and strong. My only gripe is the speed, I have 3 different speed test apps on my g1 and I rarely get more than 500 kb/s on any of them.

      • watbetch

        Yes well that *should* change in Q1 2010.. I’m there with you though.

  • @g_willi

    Really? He gave plenty of details.

  • ctk

    i live in a market where tmo doesn’t offer 3g either and i believe switching to another carrier just because of that is not only idiotic, but ill conceived. i read this as tmo is still rolling out 3g and in those later markets after tmo has switched to mbps 21, those newer rollouts are going to progress straight to the 21 mbps without those incremental jumps in speed from now until then.

    what i take out of this quote is that tmo says they can handle the iphone. i really don’t think that this aggressive 3g rollout and the iphone exclusive deal running out at nearly the same time is all that coincidental. and as time goes on and more iphone 2gs and 3gs coming out of the end of the initial contract, with at&t’s self inflicted horrific customer support i can easily see those people coming over to magenta should tmo start offering the iphone. and don’t forget there are probably somewhere around thousands to tens of thousands of people who have iphones already on tmo’s service. the network hasn’t cratered because of those people and the heavy usage of the edge network on the iphone.

  • @Danny

    Danny while you may be partially correct, where do you get your information about investors? TMO USA is not publicly or privately traded so… um… yeah.

  • Danny

    Investors in T-Mobile International / DT (Deutsche Telekom)

    T-Mobile International is currently looking for investors to share the expense of their proposed 4G plans but for now all capex network investments comes from the mothership.

  • e

    This all fine and all and i hope it works, but in my situation i’m supposed to have full 3G at my house and i get nothing. In fact i only get 1 bar of edge. wtf mate!!! My concern is that the frequency t-mo is using for 3g kinda blows or something and doesn’t travel very far. t-mo and at&t and vzw are on the same tower here in my small Massachusetts town and well as much as i hate to admit this (and i really do!!) AT&T has perfect 3G service contrary to what everyone on the web says about them and it kind of pisses me off. I want to have that same service with t-mo on my my-touch that my family gets with their iphone 3gs phones. And when i go to the store to complain about it all they do is put me on the phone with customer care. It’s like i’m getting no where quickly. So for cole to be saying t-mo would be prepared, i don’t fully believe it. I think they need to work on their RF engineering before they make claims like that.

    • watbetch

      The more people using the 3G, the lesser the signal extends. So, the upgrades should improve coverage.

      AT&T has perfect 3G there because your area probably has a small amount of users..

      • Bill48105

        And ATT probably paid more to be higher up on the tower. ;)

        Call TMo cutomers service, they should be able to put in a ticket for their engineering to check into optimizing the tower. Oh and have everyone you know do coverage checks on your address to set the usage flag. hehe

    • Gina D

      More than likely even though you have 3G in your area not all “sites,” are turned up for it. That means that the 2G service may be stronger than the 3G services locally.

      It was like that for us too for a few months until T-Mobile started their Phase 2 fill-in project. Phase 1 is to get the network live. Phase 2 is for “fill-in’s,” and optimization. That’s why you need to call in and complain so tickets can be filed for research and repair. Their network operations team can’t always know all bad spots even with the best testing equipment so feedback does help.

      Not everyone remembers but when Verizon first launched 3G it was the same thing. EV outdoors but the phones would revert to 1X inside. They’ve had years to grow, fill-in and expand so T-Mobile likewise will need a good year to fill in the weak spots. The good thing is that T-Mobile is well aware of their under-dog status and are working furiously to grow its network.

      • Land Of The Trill

        This is very well written and I know exactly what Tmo is planning and their 3G will be just has fast as 4G also only roughly 50% of 3G sites that are ready will be given the green light for 7.2mbps it won’t be turned on all at the same time by the end of this year like many believe but still its going to be fantastic.

  • abe

    for real, i hope they concentrate on their cellular signal as well as they do their 3g!

  • Chino B

    That was a very good read indeed. I love T-Mo

  • clie78787878

    There is a massive change underway in the mobile media market as it becomes unshackled from the operators’ portals that have dominated it for a decade, all without having made any significant inroads into the content use of mobile users. The new capped data packages, fuelled by further competition, will see a total revamp of the mobile media market. It will no longer be based on portals but on direct services by content and services providers via open source phones and mobile-friendly Internet-based services. The next step is the continued emergence of m-commerce and in particular m-payment services. 

  • Max

    That’s great, keep talking up HSPA+ while I sit in Louisville with no 3G in sight and its ridiculous how many times we’ve been promised it.

    • john

      3g is on in the ville…lol

  • rushmore

    And where I lieve is lucky to have a decent Edge connection. All of this talk about 200 million. Is this in China;)

    Corporate trash talk to try and prevent Verizon making fun of Tmo;) Wow, given that Tmo coverage sucks even more than At&t, Verizon would have a field day.

    Then again, I am paying $25 less a month, but if the N900 was a Verizon device- I would be gone. $25 more is acceptable if I have 3G everywhere and a phone that actually gets a signal in most places.

    Tmo coverage in all but bigger cities- sucks. Not way to spin it.

    • john

      I’m in wichita ks. We’ve had 3g for 6 months now. Only 460k people. Not huge by any means.

  • Brian

    This is sooo laughable! I live in one of the major cities that had Tmo 3g first. I drive all over the city and I average about 170-250 kbits! YES BITS…on a Blackberry 9700 with 3g. Tmo isn’t even NEAR 1.5mbs! (a base speed) I get basically double the speed of Edge on Tmo 3g. All this talk about 3-5 megabytes! is ridiculous! I’m get hundred of bits and they have even reached ONE megabyte in my 3G city!

    Their 3G is vastly slower than verizon, Sprint and even over worked AT&T 3G. Tmo’s here is always double the speed of edge! (that is IT). The other three companies all test near the 1000 (regularly) and I get 170 to 250 on tmo.

  • HoOn

    This is awesome! I didn’t know about this until. I was checking my 3.5G speeds here in NYC and was shocked to see 3.65Mb/s Down – 1.15Mb/s Down. I tried it again and it was around 2.5Mb/s. I guess he is telling the truth. ;)

    Here’s a Link to my Speed Test

  • Kendrix_myrealname

    I could just imagine my MyTouch with 3-5, 10-14mps burst of speeds. I already don’t give my phone a break, my battery would definitely hate me then

  • dothack

    Let me see..even more plus @ $79.99 unlimited talk+text+web with iphone + no contract… I AM SOLD. The only reason stopping me now to buy the iphone now and unlock it, its the fact its not tmo 3g compatible..i am confident that iphone will jump to tmo..apple realizes the fact how its market share is huge in countries that its sharing carries..i just recv my bb 9700 and its awesome device, im sure bb didnt take much R&D to add 3g band..im sure apple can thats my new years eve wish!! lol

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