T-Mobile Readying Bone Crushing “4G” Speeds

T-Mobile has officially kicked off the “4G wars” with an advertisement that totally pokes fun at AT&T’s inability to use its network for video chat.  While Sprint has already responded and one can only expect that AT&T will respond soon, T-Mobile isn’t resting on its laurels.  Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer of T-Mobile USA, is ready to step up the fight with promises of HSPA+ reaching 42Mbps, something we already had an idea was coming.  He also hints about T-Mobile’s consideration of pushing beyond 42Mbps to 84Mbps and 168Mbps.  ,Holy cow Batman, 168Mbps??  Sign me up!

“With an upgrade path that continues to provide room for considerable speed enhancements, T-Mobile’s 4G network is purpose-built for continued growth. We are now on pace to increase our 4G footprint with plans to offer 42Mbps theoretical speeds in 2011,” added Ray. “As customer demand for wireless data increases, T-Mobile is well-positioned to compete based on the speed, breadth and evolution path of our mobile broadband service.”

Let’s scale it back for a moment though and talk about today’s scenarios and T-Mobile’s desire to bring the conversation back to real world speeds and not who has what “G” attached to their network.  By calling their network “4G”, T-Mobile is essentially saying that we have the best network no matter what the competition says and we can prove it.  They have proved it as T-Mobile has consistently shown higher speeds than Sprint’s Wimax network which is, arguably, an actual 4G technology or at least it was a few weeks ago.

As far as T-Mobile is concerned, 4G is less about the actual definition and more about what the network is really capable of:

So what is 4G, in T-Mobile’s view? It’s “a network that’s capable of delivering true high-speed performance” with “IP-capable backhaul.” And that excludes AT&T’s new HSPA+ 14.4 network. “14.4 is really still HSPA and not from a network perspective true HSPA+,” Ray said.

After all the hype of HSPA+, one might think that T-Mobile has all but written off a future move to LTE and that wouldn’t be accurate.  Deutsche Telekom, the T-Mobile USA mothership, is very much behind the LTE movement and T-Mobile USA promises to keep a close eye on it.  However, T-Mobile still believes it to be an unproven technology and isn’t interested in committing to it until there is a better “entry” than what is available for networks and customers right now.

“4G is about performance and today T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is delivering 4G speeds that match and often beat WiMAX and are readily comparable to what early LTE will deliver. Our 4G network is capable of theoretical speeds up to 21Mbps and we have seen average download speeds approaching 5Mbps on our myTouch 4G phone in some cities with peak speeds of nearly 12Mbps. Further, independent reviewers have seen average download speeds on our webConnect Rocket between 5 and 8Mbps with peak speeds up to 8-10Mbps,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA.

Catch the full articles below from both PC Magazine and InformationWeek.  They contain the full set of quotes and report and are very interesting reads on what we can expect from our Magenta in the future.

PCMag and InformationWeek

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  • ray

    still can’t get 1 mbps here in chicagoland.
    i don’t think they are up par with att or verizon for that matter .. YET

    • apt

      Got 6 mbps in chicago

    • Paul

      I can get easily 4 to 5 here in Chicago. You are probably in a dead spot, so I suggest that you move a little and try your speeds again.

      • Spencer

        Exactly, 4-5mbps sounds about right. How terrible. LTE is going to blow this out of the water and wimax already beats it with ACTUAL speeds, not theoretical possibilities.

      • Yes

        4-5mbps is pretty damn good. And WiMax is not faster.

  • Ricky

    Took us last night 7 hours to finish my stores refresh we picking up the pace.

    • TuffKritic

      I didnt leave my store til 9pm doing that refresh smh

    • blah

      Hey Ricky, wanna tell me why the black and purple SKUs aren’t in the system to be offered to partial customers yet??? The rep told me they do this to give new two years agreements first selection on the most desired colors… anyway I’m just buying it straight out instead but yea I was ticked to hear that. Anyone have this issue today and how did you get around it? Also I’m referring to in-store purchases not pre-orders..

    • blah

      Nevermind I retract my last statement. They just put the skus for upgrades in the system, guess I will extent my contract after all

    • sandytoes

      So glad I didnt work yesterday. Collateral takes forever sometimes.

  • jdizzey

    1st omg never beeen im so happy!!!! but my comment i glad that Tmobile is putting out actualy facts with all these claims and showing proof. I can believe in what Tmo is doing now and support 100% now cant wait till my lunch break to go buy the MT4G

    ~”pimpin ain’t easy but neither is algebra”

    • 16309A

      1st for what??

      • ob18

        1st to wear a padded helemt to his office ? You know for safety reasons.

  • jdizzey

    correction thought i was first so i just… kanye west (shoulder shrug)

    ~”pimpin ain’t easy but neither is algebra”

    • ob18

      You can’t do your own shoulder shrug you mist mimic somebody else’s. Interesting.

      Kanye was better when his mouth was wired shut by the way.

      • Air One

        ha West is tight but he is a bit of a jerk.. dissn sweet ol Taylor swift. uncalled for. but anyway Go Tmobile with the fastest network, at least here in seattle.. dont know about others but i see that they just added 6 more cities on the list. go check it out.

      • sorandkairi

        man f taylor swift… Kanye was actually right… B should’ve won. How do you win Video of the year and NOT win Best (insert gender) video award amazed me too..

        lol… just playing I dont give a puck… lol

  • david

    Good stuff David! Keep up the great work!

  • daryl

    Actually neither Sprint nor Verizon Wireless have a 4G network. The ITU-R defines what is 4G as IMT Advanced. ITU-R has accepted 802.16m and LTE Advanced as 4G. Sprint has deployed 802.16e and VZW is deploying LTE, not LTE Advanced.

    No US carrier (T-Mob, VZW, Sprint) technically have a 4G network. However TMob was smart in going with the 4G marketing strategy. If the other carriers can bastardize the term, so can TMob. In fact TMob is smart to be proactive in this area, and is correct in that speed is what consumers want, they don’t care about the underlying network technology. One thing not being stressed enough is that T-Mob is using an IP backhaul network. That helps with network latency and makes video playback better.

    • Joshua

      Yeah, yeah. You are about the 1500th braniac to describe this to everyone. Just sit back, let people discuss things, and stop playing teacher cause you ain’t getting paid for it here.

      • vinyldestination

        Thank you. I had had enough when I saw one guy write something like… “you guys still don’t get so I’ll explain again”. And he pasted the same explanation! I’m just happy that TMo is moving on up.

    • blah

      No Daryl, that’s a lie. Tmobile, is NOT using an IP based network. Tmo uses seperate channels for voice and data. Lte and wimax use a single ip based channel and do coup through it. Hence why lte and wimax are 95% compliant where hspa+ is currently 0% compliant with 4g standards.

      • sorandkairi

        But again why would that matter if speed is ALL that actually matters. No one cares about that fact that T-Mobile doesn’t have a “4G” network. Again now, no one else does either so that basically the whole 3G/4G debate should be mute because, well nobody has it. Hit me back when you get to 1Gbit downloads.

        @ Joshua

        well what was your purpose for commenting on his comment….

      • doug

        However the way sprint currently uses their wimax network is data only. voice calls are still carried over the legacy 3g network. Sprint is using wimax as a glorified wifi access point. so really its no different than HSPA+ in terms of how IP based it is

      • blah

        Umm NO SORANDKARI IP-Based connections are more secure this also has alot to do with the Global networking movement to IPv6 in the next 5 years. There are alot of things going on behind the scenes at the global networking standard level which you haven’t a clue about… 4G IS NOT ABOUT SPEED, IT IS ABOUT IP PROTOCOLS AND STANDARDS!!!! The speed is neccesary to support the amount of data, VoIP, or other streaming content that the 4G standard would require!

        But youre right as a lowly consumer you wouldnt know the difference and I could tell you monkey balls run use 4G technology and you could care less. Congrats on having the IQ of an ape…

  • DEPT

    Two days off and on…..

  • vibfix

    168Mbps? Cool, I’ll be able to hit the 5GB monthly cap in 29.76 seconds!

    • vibfix

      Oh yeah, b vs B… multiply by 8, so I’ll hit the cap in 4 minutes!

    • Pimpstrong

      LOL Nice one! And don’t tether to that Data cuz then you’ll reach the cap alot f…. wait a minute IT’LL BE THE SAME SPEED just on a different device. SMH @ charging for tethering.

  • chrisa

    Really nice writeup on CNN.. http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/11/02/t.mobile.4g/index.html?hpt=T2 including 2 quotes about how no US carrier truly has 4G coverage. Nice to see some mainstream media get it kind of right for once.

  • James

    Small question is there any plans to expand the network to give us better coverage? i get 3g and + where i live but it will drop fast right down the street to g and then back up futer down.

  • Pimpstrong

    My God a lot of phones dropped today. Gotta be a record for Magenta.

  • alex

    Expand the 3g footprint as you build out the 4g network. Would love to have 3g consistantly in NYC

  • 16309A

    Very cool! Now if I could actually get something better then Edge where I live (Philly ‘burbs) I would get me one of those fancy MyTouch 4G’s!!

  • JM

    It really is about times for them to start talking about it … it has been really impressive on my Nexus and HD2 so I look forward to it on my next HSPA+ phone.

  • jp

    Keep ut coming !!!

  • Julio C

    Hope it all works well, I cant get a good signal for the life of me at work. Only good enough for calls, sms and mms. But right now I cant view youtube vids at work and I like to do that at breaktime.So I just want the signal to come through the steel and concrete alittle better. My co workers with other carriers get better signals then my HD2 weather its in windows or android. Good luck Tmo.

  • redman12

    I really like where T-Mobile is heading! They pushing HARD! TMobile strategic department gets an A+ for awesome.

  • Illegal Machine

    I couldn’t get my MyTouch4G from Radio Shack because I returned a Vibrant to a T-Mobile corporate store (horrible GPS).

    When you return a phone to T-Mobile’s stores, and they reset your contract, it blocks 3rd party retialers (Costco/Radio Shack) from upgrading you. It even shows on my profile that my contract expired in 2008, but my line shows I’m ineligible for upgrade.

    This happened to me as Costco, also. When I returned the Vibrant above, I went and picked up a Vibrant at Costco ($100 cheaper, convinced me to give it another shot). I drove 50 minutes to Costco to find that I was blocked from getting an upgrade in their system.

    The manager at the Radio Shack said they can do a manual upgrade, but they won’t get paid. EXACT same thing the Costco-Wireless-Tent manager told me a few months ago.

    So I owned a MyTouch 4G for about 3 minutes. It was awesome.

    • blah

      Go to TMO, It took me a few hours to find the one in black, then they wouldnt sell it to me because new 2 year contracts get first debs and the SKU wasnt in the system for partial upgrades yet. Finally got it, the SKUs are in the system. As a side note, yes the phone is awesome and Im getting all HSPA where im at :)

      • Illegal Machine

        Well, the difference with Radio Shack is they give you the $50 rebate up front. No paperwork. No waiting.

        And the manager was really cool and reserved it for me. It’s a shame he now doesn’t get a sale out of me.

        Oh, and it wasted a TON of my time. Lets not forget that.

        The manager said Sprint used to be the same way, but fixed it a long time ago.

      • blah

        I was able to get the rebate without any paperwork and up front, plus you can opt differ the payments or put it in installments if you qualify.

  • Dave

    T-Mobile >>>>>>>>>>>> What’s supposed to be the competition (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T), psssh

  • Ricardo

    The My Touch 4g is a freaking mazing. IIIIII am just so impressed. Speedy, powerful.I am a very happy camper.

  • Androidless

    Great. T-Mobile can claim the largest, fastest network until AT&T decides to flip the switch on HSPA+ in 2010. Enjoy it while it lasts, I guess. I’d still take less data speeds if I could get more coverage. Speed is useless when you cannot count on the signal.

  • Tristan

    This is confusing. So T-Mobile doesn’t feel that AT&T’s 14.4mbit HSPA+ can be considered 4G while the G2 and MyTouch 4G have a max speed of 14.4mbit?

    • s0nic_201

      at&t network is only capable of 14.4mb/s while Tmobile is currently capable of 21mb/s. As for the G2 and the MT4G only being able to achieve 14.4mb , it was kinda sorta smart because they will save on a small percentage of bandwith when users start to crowd the network. I cant wait to get the MT4G tomorrow and hopefully it can be rooted, so i can run a cm6.1. oh 168mbp/s i cant wait, yay “4G”

      • Tristan

        Oh yeah I totally understand that part but I just think maybe its strange to say the MyTouch 4G is a 4G phone at it’s 14.4mbit max while saying AT&T’s 14.4mbit can’t be considered 4G. Not hating or anything, G2 owner here.

      • vinyldestination

        I can’t wait to achieve 14.4mb/s on my G2 in NYC. I average from 1-5mb/s.

    • blah

      The entire arguement doesnt make any sense since tmobile is basing their entire “4G” moniker off of speed which is comparable to Sprint’s “4G” which ATTs is comparable… Its ridiculous like the pot calling the kettle black but according to TMOs definition every wireless carrier in the US has 4G now if their data speeds in anyway shape or form compare to Sprints…

      • j

        you do realize no one cares! As stated how many times already, all people want is performance! they could care less about how it happens

  • David

    Still have Edge 30 minutes west of Chicago. How about we concentrate on getting us to 3G consistently and then worry about 4G? Being 30 minutes west of the third largest metropolitan area in the US one would think 3G would be the standard. All this talk about 4G speeds makes me crazy when I can only get Edge.

    • 16309A

      Same thing for me–Edge about 30 minutes west of Philadelphia.

  • jake

    Agree with expanding 3g I live in between nogales and Tucson az and all I get is edge until I go into either city.

  • podstolom

    Yeah, that’s the main achiles heel with TMo. No 3G coverage outside of major metro areas. And I don’t really expect this to change soon, TMo being the smallest of the carriers. But where it works, it’s great. And the MyTouch 4G is a well-built phone. Played with one at store yesterday, tried the Wi-Fi hotspot, another review said the USB tethering works also. Just too bad it’s gonna be charged for come the 14th of this month. This tethering thing really torques me bigtime. As a compromise, since TMo gave it away (TOS notwithstanding) for 10 years, they should at least give a nominal allowance for free (500 meg maybe) and charge for the full 5 gig if you want it. Don’t really care about video chat or mobile TV but it’s nice to have I guess. Other review said WiFi calling is OK but not all that great and pretty garbled if the signal is weak. Not as good as the Blackberry UMA.

  • mike

    downtown Chicago 12:30pm still no hspa+

    • emet

      You’re…not kidding to slow not happy in Chicago downtown 700 kbps

      • mike

        i am on the top of Sears Tower and still no 4G LOL

  • DatNizzle

    I’m so tired of ” I live this far from this city and my service sucks.”
    Here’s a tip if you have to describe the city you live in by it’s distance from a REAL city, don’t expect a company to bend over backwards to give you a signal. Of couse they put the signals in concentrated areas. Sorry suburbs don’t qualify.

  • jason

    Our new CEO has a pair. Its about time we step up and start attacking the competition instead of letting them curb stomp us.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      I agree with you 110%.

      Ever since Herr Humm arrived T-Mobile has stepped up its game on ALL fronts.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if in a meeting some pantywaists were saying “Oh we can’t say 4G sir, because (insert pussy remarks here).”

      Humm no doubt said “What department you work in? You’re fired. And you (gesturing to the marketing guys) get some 4G marketing ideas for my review by next week. Anyone else want to chime in about why we can’t or should not advertise we got 4G?”

  • jason

    Furthermore, 4G has not been defined. When Sprint started advertising 4G they only had it in about 6 major metro areas. Sad part for Sprint is T-Mobile was still faster in those areas.

  • nain

    i average about 7mbs here in waterbury connecticut, HTC HD2

  • Barry

    Great for everyone else, sucks for me. Maine is a data black hole. I worked in Tmos Maine CS call center for 4+ years and they still can’t even give the area 3g. It’s complete BS that we’re still stuck with EDGE in the area. They set up 3g INSIDE the call center for the simple fact that need to have their employees talk good things about it which they can’t do if they have never used it.

    • j

      just how many people are in maine, it just doesn’t seem to be a large population area to me, I ask cause I really am not sure. weather may be issue as well

  • nogoodnik

    Ummm…HSPA+ in Allentown, PA, Strwartsville, NJ….I guess those are major metropolitan areas.

  • yea i have yet to see any real awesome internet speeds consistently. Springs 4G is just a battery drain and they hit you for 10 bucks

    Tmo is basically glorified 3G which barely cracks 3G speeds at times. Plus the whole coverage thing.

    At the end of the day you have a lesser of 2 evils.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    As you all know, even non-4G phones get a performance increase with HSPA+ service. Here in San Francisco, about a month ago we got HSPA+ service.

    I have a Vibrant, running 2.1 with the update.

    Anyway, I searched T-Mobile TV in market and saw that it was available for download. So I installed it.

    Sidenote: Remember when we were discussing in here the new T-Mobile TV service? One of the questions was, is this simply a re-branded MobiTV. Well interesting, when I installed T-Mobile TV, a pop-up message said installing T-Mobile TV will uninstall MobiTV.

    After installing T-Mobile TV after running it for a day I have to say I am very impressed. The interface is better than MobiTV (see below) and the signal is great. Is this because I now get HSPA+ or is the T-Mobile TV software better than MobiTV?

    T-Mobile TV, in conjunction with my higher speed here in San Francisco, seems a great combination and I might consider subscribing to it (especially since I scaled back my cable TV since Comcast has a monopoly of sorts here. Prices were going up and services were decreasing).

    As to the interface, two things I immediately noticed: There’s a tab/icon on the main page that says “Live TV.” I like that feature since Mobi TV did not tell viewers which were the live TV broadcasts and which were streams.

    Also, I played an episode of The Office to test it out. Although the episode was in three different clips (just like MobiTV), it played one then automatically played the next clip. I did not have to back out to the menu and click the next clip.

    Lastly, live TV (that are simply streamed broadcasts over the Net), was sharp, clear and lag free. I suspect that part of that is T-Mobile’s new HSPA+ service. If it is, IMHO T-Mobile has every right to advertise its new 4G service.

    As I said before, what the public will understand is that T-Mobile’s 4G is a hell of a lot faster than 3G. (My experience confirms that.)

    Now the only question I have is how much of my 5GB LIMITED data plan watching TV consumes. (I no longer get MSNBC on cable since I scaled back my TV, opting to keep my 15 mbps broadband and 70 TV channels for $48 monthly.) So I plan on watching MSNBC on the Vibrant, nightly.

    I have my data usage monitoring programs installed on my phone so I’ll keep an eye on TV usage and report back.

    For now, I am very pleased with the direction of T-Mobile, specifically its handsets and HSPA+. I say “for now” because I am sleeping with one eye open on T-Mobile and what it does with its data plans.

    If it goes to tiered data plans, only, and takes away our 5GB limited data plans, I will look at other options.

    Note: Appx. ten days into my billing period and moderate usage (including using T-Mobile TV for about an hour in the last 24 hours) 3G Watchdog indicates 254 MB usage, or 4.9% of my 5GB Limited plan.

  • Ruufus

    Note to Tmobile: spread HSPA+ further sooner instead of making faster HSPA+. Right now in Fort Lauderdale I regularly switch between Edge and 3G – its the end of 2010 already!

  • Can someone test the tv service and see if it will go out to a Big screen? I’m curious….

    Stay thirsty my friends!

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    Update: Remember some people in here saying that anyone with a 5GB “limited” plan is being ridiculous because 200MB is plenty for most people.

    There were also people saying that 5GB is not as issue because it’s really hard to use 5GB of data.

    Well I just did a test, watching about one hour of T-Mobile TV. (I submit to you that one hour of T-Mobile TV a day would not be excessive.)

    I had three different data monitoring programs running in the background to see how much data watching one hour of TV used. I looked at the total for each program and averaged them out.

    A measly one hour of TV consumed 189 MB!! (That compares with my experiment on the HD2 back in June 2010, where two hours of MobiTV indicated about 280MB data “consumption.”)

    So clearly unless one is using WiFi at home, at the airport or at a Starbucks, one has to conserve and monitor data usage, even if you have a 5GB “limited” data plan.

    Note: The signal was excellent. And the video on my Vibrant was… well… vibrant.

  • speedofsound

    Holy cow Batman, 168Mbps?? Sign me up!… you had me dying David when I read that.


    CHICAGO — 4G World — Everyone knows that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is planning to move to Long Term Evolution (LTE) next year, but is the operator also planning a further upgrade of its 3G network in 2011?

    In his keynote here on Tuesday, David Haight, VP of business development at AT&T’s Emerging Devices Organization, said that if users roam off LTE, they would go to faster 3G in 2011. “The good news is that you’re going to fall back to HSPA+, so you’re falling back to 21 megabits, not 7.2 or 3.6,” Haight told the crowd. (See 4G World: AT&T Learns Lessons From iPad.)

    So far, AT&T has only said that it will deploy the earlier 14.4Mbit/s upgrade by the end of this year – 2010, revealing nothing about a 21Mbit/s upgrade in 2011. So we asked AT&T what the official word on this was.

    “HSPA+ technology has a theoretical maximum speed of 21Mbps,” a spokeswoman said, in an email reply to questions. “WE HAVE NOT BEGUN DEPLOYING THE TECHNOLOGY AT THIS TIME”,she said that ONLY this October – then now magically they have 21 hspa+??? (See AT&T Plots Widescale HSPA+ Rollout .)

    Nonetheless, if AT&T is interested in keeping up with GSM rival T-Mobile then HSPA+ is a logical progression. T-Mobile is currently rolling out a 21Mbit/s upgrade for 100 cities by year’s end; it currently has the speed boost running in 75 cities in the US.

    The average download speeds offered on 21Mbit/s HSPA+ are in the 5 to 8 Mbit/s range. (See T-Mobile’s HSPA+ Rivals Clearwire, US LTE Speeds.)

    When we are in Austin,Texas for ANDROID FESTIVAL, TMobile executives said that 42Mbps hspa+ will be available by last week of January or 1st week of February-2011 then AT&T will start to deploy 21Mbps hspa+…

    I called a friend who is engineer in AT&T MOBILITY unit & he said to me that THEY STILL USE THE 7.2Mbps & some area with 14.4Mbps HSPA, NOT YET THE 21 HSPA+ (maybe next year around February-2011, he said)