Mossberg Reviews T-Mobile’s HSPA+ Network

Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg (yes, him), took some time out of his busy Apple dominated schedule to review the less interesting parts of wireless networks.  That less interesting part being the actual network.  In his test, he compared the new 3G iPhone 4 with the MyTouch Slide and the webConnect Rocket with Verizon’s UM175 modem.  He found that T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network beat the competition in all the tests.  His results are as follows:

In each spot, I did 10 tests of the devices and averaged their speeds. At the first location, the T-Mobile Slide barely edged out the iPhone, with a download speed averaging 2.84 mbps versus the iPhone’s 2.74 mbps. At the second location, however, the Slide’s edge grew, with an average download speed of 4.26 mbps versus 3.65 mbps for the Apple product.

The laptop tests were much more dramatic. At my first test location, the T-Mobile Rocket drove the ThinkPad to an average download speed of 4.88 megabits per second, versus just 1.36 megabits per second for the Verizon data modem. At the second location, the Rocket achieved an average download speed on the laptop of 6.15 mbps versus 1.58 mbps for Verizon’s modem.

The only disclaimer is that these tests were performed in areas were T-Mobile’s network is strong and HSPA+ ready.  I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to the development of this network and a real HSPA+ phone.  Leave your thoughts in the comments!


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  • raymond

    nice post andrew ;)

  • mingkee

    Damn that iphone 4 doesn’t have AWS, or it’ll shine over “real America most fastest 3G network”!
    It’s 10000% Apple fault.

    • edward

      um, what? “most fastest” and did you mean att not apple?

    • Davidohio

      Did you really just say “most fastest”? Lmao!

    • Aaronforjesus

      Use the Old English “aller fastest” and be done with it. It means the fastest of all.

  • Broke

    Good for T-mo. But I must reserve judgment for when HSPA is widespread and Verizon has released their competing data upgrade this fall.

    Everyone already knows ATT is bogged down. No surprise there. Keep at it T-mo. I hope you maintain your momentum!

    • rob

      Just so you know, T-Mobile will have the fastest network out there until 2012. Might want to do at least a little bit of research every now and then.

      • Broke

        Ahole who loves to start arguments on the internet with strangers…If the 3G is not even available to me on a daily basis, I don’t really give a darn how fast they claim to be or how fast they say they’re going to be “until 2012.” Real world speed is what I’m interested in having right now. I’m on Edge in a large market while the speed of other networks are blowing it out of the water all around me.

        I’ve stuck with them for years. I don’t have to answer to you and why I’ll believe it when I see it. So, get you panties out of your butt on this. I wasn’t personally attacking you til now. You’re dismissed.

      • WTF?!

        And who is too blame for you living in a bad area for decent 3g coverage? If you don’t like T-Mobile that much then stop whining on an internet site, starting lame fights, and just switch cell phone carriers. You seem ignorant and stubborn, so switch to a iPhone and join the herd. DISMISSED!

    • B

      Holy hell. Brooke made a very legitimate comment, even wished Tmobie goodwill, yet still got attacked. No wonder the authors on this site are always talking “our beloved magenta.” Some of you really have relationships with your electronics and service providers.

  • niididy

    I read this earlier from another twitter link. Good stuff. Keep at it!

  • HaVoKtek

    You know we clown on TMO so much that we don’t notice the awesome sh@t that’s coming
    Down the pipe. Good post and rock on Magenta, rock on.

    Where the trollers at now huh? Sucka ducks!

  • vinny

    When T-Mobile has their HSPA+ network all set up the speeds will be mind blowing. We are so used to pathetic speeds in this country. When Verizon has their fast network up and running they will also be very very fast but the thing is this, once you reach these speeds one is as good as the other. People want fast networks that is all. T-Mobile has all ready started to make plans for after HSPA+, they will not be #4 for long. I left Verizon after 12 years, screw me once shame on you, screw me twice shame on me. They are the most expensive network, I get much more bang for my buck with T-Mobile. I will be receiving the new HSPA+ speeds very, very soon. GO T-MOBILE. MY NEXUS ONE THANKS YOU.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    Finally, some T-Mobile recognition from the big boys. Walt packs some influence on the national circuit, so when he says T-Mobile HSPA+ “CRUSHED” the others, people are gonna listen.

    I wonder if Herr Humm greased his palm for this glowing review. LOL. After all, it’s the way they do things in Europe. ;)

    • kershon

      While he’s at it Mr. Humm oughta give a few others a grease job. Anything to advance the cause. lol

  • Chiapet

    So how do you know when your device is benefiting from the HSPA+ speeds? Does the 3G icon look different?

    • Shawn

      Yes, the 3G logo becomes an H.

    • TheLight

      It’ll change to an H

      • nesto

        I have a cliq XT (yeah lame i know) but my 3g logo isn’t an H and i live in dallas and i went from 1088 kbps down and 1003 up on perfect bars be4 hspa+ to 5432kbps down and 1062 up such was awesome but th damn phone still laggy. But like I said mine don’t have an H

      • Deaconclgi

        I like how my N900 displays 3.5G Simple.

      • Will

        I never got an H always 3G in houston, but i got max download speed of 5525 and max upload of 1676 (i have a mt3g slide)

    • Patrick

      Largely depends on your phone. It may not change to an H. Take my TP2…when it would USE the internet….it would change to an H, but if it was just using the 3G signal for calls, it stayed 3G. Technially H comes from HSDPA which t-mobile’s network already is. It’s just the terminology changes from HSDPA to HSPA+ after 14mbps. What I’m saying is, older phones will probably have no differentiation between 3G and HSPA+ signal. However, T-Mobile will probably incorporate the differentiation in their newer devices

      • J-Hop2o6

        Exactly.. TP2 DOES have the H symbol.. but Tmobile disabled it for some reason.. but once i started to use custom roms, they enabled it.. but yea, it depends if your phone supports the H symbol and if its enabled.

    • john

      On any android phone dial *#*#4636#*#* touch phone info, look at network type it’ll either say umts for 3g, or hsdpa.

  • kendrixedwards_myrealname

    That’s my t-mo!! Way to go. HSDPA+ is quick in Dallas. I love it

  • Hurlamania

    Isn’t the slide a real hspa+ phone?

    • Davidohio

      The slide is not hspa+ dedicated but does benefit from the hspa+ network with faster data speeds. The t-mobile pocket lap top stick is the only hspa+ dedicated device right now. Here in Cleveland Ohio hspa+ was turned on a couple weeks ago and my nokia nuron is getting much faster data speeds even though it is not hspa+ dedicated.

      • HaVoKTEK

        We have hspa+ here in Cleveland????
        Man I’m slippin’ gotta get back on the tech grind!
        How did I miss that!?!

      • booklost

        What the hell? How does Cleveland rate a roll out over Columbus?

      • Hurlamania

        The manual says it is… And I don’t know where in cleveland there is hspa + or even 7.2 according to t-mobile it isn’t… T-mobile rep says lucky if by end of august….

      • David Thomas

        No, Cleveland is getting HSPA+ later in the year. I’m pretty sure we don’t have it yet. I live in Cleveland Heights and work on East 9th, and I sure as hell don’t see the speed boost.

  • alexdagreat1

    hope i did get the signs mixed around lol was never too good w/ inequalities

  • TMO Tech

    HSPA+ is actively increasing. I know in my market we have installed the high speed units and are just waiting for the fiber to be delivered. Once we get a certain percentage of sites prepped, then we will activate them all and shoot out the HSPA goodness. Can’t wait to take advantage of the data rates normally associated with home cable modems.

    • watbetch

      Are you guys doing all of the towers within city limits or just the ones with the most traffic?

  • Great love tmobile about time they are seen for their greatness.

  • CallawayBomber

    As I stated a few months ago, I was noticing an “H” where the 3G icon would be on the TP2…When I called in, the rep said it was picking up my home network.

    BZZZZ, wrong answer.

    The “H” only lasted for about an hour on a Friday here in Eastern TN…

    Now that we have a HD2 and a 9700, I’ll be on the look out for it…

    • mikeeeee

      @callaway, lucky you in eastern tennessee. here in western tennessee, i’d be thrilled just to have t-mo coverage.

  • Andrew

    WOW! Walt M. isnt hugging Apples balls for the 2300433 time? Surprised he didnt lie and just say the iphone beat everything. Good lord

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      LOL… that’s why I commented about Herr Humm greasing his palm. Plus Walt in that video has a kind of “I’m being paid by T-Mobile to say this” look about him.

      I mean has Walt ever said anything glowing about T-Mobile? I can’t recall him ever doing that.

      My hunch is that money exchanged hands.

    • psychoace

      Actually if you noticed he mentioned the Iphone 4 and the Ipad specifically in the beginning but when it came to listing any android devices he just went generic and said “android” or “similar tablets”. He was still shilling for Apple in this video even though it was for a rival network. Maybe it’s a sign the Iphone is coming to T-Mobile ;) jk that will never happen.

  • nain77

    i rarely ever see the “3G” on my phone, im using an HD2 with a custom ROM, and all i see is “H”. If its just 3G with an H icon then im really excited for hspa+ because when i have the H icon going my internet speeds are extremely fast!! especially loading full webpages and youtube videos.

  • nain77

    tmo’s 3g is already extremely fast.. i cant wait

  • MikeTheProf

    That’s nice and all, but I live in MS, and practically the entire state does not even have 3G yet. That’s just pathetic, TMO.

    • yeah

      Agreed… HSPA is great but the current 3G coverage is embarrassing

  • cj

    The Vibrant benefits from enhanced speeds with T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network, but it’s not an HSPA+ device.

    What does this mean? What kind of speeds will it get vs a true HSPA+ device?

    • J-Hop2o6

      depends on what the phone maxes out at.. current phones are maxed out @ 7.2 or 10.2mbps Down.. T-Mobile’s max theoretical speed is 21mbps.. but in a real life test, the highest you’ll see it at is 12mbps.

    • tmogeek

      My N1 gets 2-6Mb/s on HSPA+ I expect the Vibrant would perform the same.

  • Borg

    I’m in Oklahoma City, and have yet to see the speed increase we were promised. Currently 1.5 mbps up and 0.5 down.Using MT3G jack.

    • Tj

      i live in moore and before i was lucky to recieve .5 mbps down i just checked and now im recieving 4.05mbps down and .39mbps up (i’ve got the original MT3G)

      • Borg

        I guess I spoke too soon. I’m now getting 3.3 down and .5 up.

  • Wilma Flintstone

    at first I thought this article was saying that someone was testing the HSPA+ speed in Mossberg Chicago. Shows how significant Mr. Mossberg is to me. Haaa!

  • I think that the HSPA is the beginning of the New CEO making the changes that TMO USA would not do. TMO Europe has not been happy with the U.S. market for quite some time. I believe that those of you like me have been holding on to their full upgrade will have a real phone option soon. It appears that the CEO change over will complete and we will see TMO US. make the changes as quick as they can to make them a real competitor. I’ve been told that in Europe you see them everywhere and TMO does dominate. It is about time for us to have the good phones. I think they hear the complaints and are making the necessary changes. Stay thirsty my friends…

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Spot on and good post. Yes, I suspect Herr Humm is immediately shaking things up here in the U.S. As I said before, he is not waiting until he officially takes over next year. Besides, T-Mobile can suffer significant damage if it waits to implement Humm’s ideas.

      T-Mobile needs help now. T-Mobile’s new “general” needs to take immediate action in the current carrier war.

    • tmogeek

      Herr Humm will certainly be the nexus of change at TMUS. However the HSPA+ network was accomplished while Dobson was at the helm. Herr Humm is under no illusion that he will rocket TMUS from #4 to #1. A solid #4 with consistent quarter to quarter net adds and profits will position TMUS in the coming consolidation amongst wireless carriers.

  • gadgetmerc

    EVDO revA tops out at 3.1 mb/s down in perfect conditions (like a lab) and HSPA+ tops out at 28 mb/s down in the same conditions. In real world you only get about half of that pipe if the provider isn’t throttling. Verizon isn’t throttling the connection since 1.5 mb/s isn’t that great to begin with. T-mo is throttling the connection which is fine since most phones cant handle anything over 6 anyways. Long story short. If all four providers place their best phones in a place with equal coverage, its goes Sprint 4g, T-Mobile, At&t, and Verizon bringing up the rear. It is good to note that Verizon released their technology to the public in 2006 way before anyone else.

    In the end, Walts tests are exactly as expected. He is only relevant because stock brokers listen to him. The tech world should go into all of his reviews as, “what does grandpa think?”

    • Bryan

      Sprint’s 4G is simply not faster than HSP+, reviews by Laptop Magazine, Phone Scoop, and not Mossberg’s reviews have all shown HSP+ to be faster on both upload and download speeds and has lower latency.

      Additionally, in my area (Northwest metro Atlanta) Sprint’s 4G has not been anywhere near the speed of HSP+. I did speed tests on an Evo and a Mytouch Slide using the app, both phones showed full bars. Sprint 4G was very inconsistent with low speeds around 50 Kbps and high just over 1Mbps, while the Mytouch Slide was consistently between 800Kbps and 1Mbps. The Mytouch Slide was not on a HSP+ tower and the download speeds were more consistent and as fast or faster than the Evo on 4G.
      The same Mytouch Slide when connected to a HSP+ tower averages around 4Mbps (5.5Mbps was the fastest).

  • Johny

    Uhm I kno it’s off this topic but the sidekick is still on tmobiles site?

  • artcarney

    I live in a town (city?) of 20,000 + in southern Maine. All we have here in town is GPRS.

    I’d be happy just to get EDGE, thrilled to get 3G here!

  • Sgt. Cell

    I live in Rochester NY, a city where they’ve deployed HSPA+. I never get the H just the regular 3g symbol. I thought the HD2 was a HSPA+ device? The speeds are faster just no change in the symbol.

    • J-Hop2o6

      T-Mobile prolly disabled the H symbol in the Stock Rom.. do a Google search for “enable H symbol HD2” or something like that.. i have a TP2 and T-Mobile did the same thing,, but its there.. I enabled mine (well the custom ROM did).

  • just wondering witll da blackberry bold 9700 have an ”H” icon?

  • nain77

    if u flash a stock ROM u will get the H symbol, my phone says i currently have H, BUT im guessing its just 3G

  • Davidohio

    Suck it steve jobs!

    • Wilma Flintstone


  • JethroGibbs

    Anyone else feel like this was like watching your grandfather trying to do a video review about checking his email after you just took 3 hours out of your day to show him?

  • Tony

    Why is MyTouch 3G Slide having problems with antenna, same as iPhone 4. Basically, it drops the calls and loses signal when I hold it in hands in low-reception areas. Few seconds after I put it on onto the table, the signal comes back. I take it in my hands, and the signal drops again. This happens on both my and my brother’s MT3GS. Anyone else with these issues? Again, issues happen only in low-reception areas. In high reception areas, the effect is milder, a bar or two gets dropped when in hands.

  • TMOprophet

    So this is only relevent to people that live in overcrowded, congested metropolitan areas… thanks, Id be happy just to get 3G

  • nokiaN900user

    Nokia N900 displays 3.5 instead of H for HSPA+. i get ave of 2 to 3 mbps DOWN and 1.2 mbps UP in northern VA but in Northern NJ and the city, i rock between 4 and 6.5 Mbps DOWN and 1.6 UP consistently. T-Mobile for the WIN. Nothing beats listening to internet radio on phone and tethering laptop to browse heavy flash pages lol

  • booklost

    I hate to be the downer here, but I didn’t see it posted (yet). TMO’s network saturation has got to be no where near VZW or AT&T. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not poking things with a pointy stick — just saying that unless TMO built their network out right (and they probably did) things could go downhill quickly if we get “a real phone” or the customer base started snowballing.

  • zazou

    Does anyone know if they have turned it on in Jacksonville Florida, or are they just testing? I just got over 3000 kbps with my nexus one…

  • jack

    Fastest network and crappiest phones!

  • Ike G.

    if we want change, we have to stand up and take it. no more complaining: we have to stand up and say, ” we will no longer be let down, we will no longer be cheated, we will no longer be kept in suspense for failure, leading to a fix with a promise of an update…” consumers…its time

  • Bbswany

    Not trying to troll here but how many people are on the HSPA+ network? 1,000? Speed is dependent on users and data flow. The less people, the faster the data.

  • Ryan

    Just ditched my Verizon card last week for the T-Mobile rocket stick and their new $40/mo unlimited plan. I used Verizon Mobile broadband and never saw speeds much above 1 mbps, but already with my new card I did a test with 1 bar of coverage and got 6.5 mbps! The only downside I have seen is that service is not as good as Verizon, but speeds are much higher, and it is cheaper.