T-Mobile's HSPA+ will soon be fastest data network in the US

Sprint has done a good job of making everyone think 4G is the fastest wireless data speed around, but T-Mobile actually will soon have double that 4G speed with HSPA+ and it seems few people even know about this. Maybe T-Mobile should call it 5G.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

I was all caught up in the excitement of specifications when I posted on the amazing HTC EVO 4G on Sprint and was getting all set to pack up my Pre Plus and return it within the 30 day window while skipping the HD2 launch from T-Mobile. I have had some more time to think about making this move and may make a few interim actions before the EVO 4G launches and may even end up skipping the EVO 4G. As I thought more about the T-Mobile HD2 that I felt sure I was going to buy before the EVO 4G announcement, I took a closer look at the T-Mobile and Sprint high speed data networks and am finding that T-Mobile USA may be the better choice for me. It seems that everyone is all excited about 4G, but the label may keep you from knowing that T-Mobile HSPA+ is twice as fast.

I tested the 4G Overdrive and found actual download speeds of over 4 Mbps while T-Mobile measured 1.6 Mbps with HSPA. Sprint states that their theoretical download speed for WiMAX can be over 10 Mbps with actual downloads generally in the 3-6 Mbps speed. T-Mobile now has their HSPA 7.2 Mbps network out in most areas and I have seen 3 Mbps regularly on my Nokia N900. T-Mobile is also rolling out HSPA+ across their network and that is stated to have theoretical download speeds of 21 Mbps, which is double the theoretical speed of Sprint's 4G network. However, T-Mobile is not promoting this as 4G or even 5G so I don't think people completely understand that by the end of 2010 T-Mobile USA will have the fastest data network that may even be faster than LTE that starts to roll out from other carriers in 2011. T-Mobile also stated that a smartphone supporting HSPA+ will be available before the end of 2010 so I think it makes the most sense for me to stick with T-Mobile and buy the HD2 to take advantage of the 7.2 Mbps current network and future HSPA+ network (not through speeds, but data availability).

As my friend Michael Gartenberg recently Tweeted, T-Mobile needs to tell the story of their wireless data network. They may have been last to the high speed wireless data party, but they came out swinging and are jumping to the lead over all the other major wireless carriers while still maintaining extremely high customer service standards and phone capability (I never get dropped calls on T-Mobile).

Editorial standards