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T-Mobile's 42.2 Mbps HSPA+ network earns my respect as a 4G network

T-Mobile continues to roll out their super fast 42 Mbps HSPA+ network and after testing two new Android devices I am convinced it should be called a 4G network.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

I have been using LTE smartphones on Verizon for a few months and have experienced download speeds of up to 20 Mbps, which blew away all other carriers and had me personally only considering LTE as 4G in the US despite the marketing speak from other carriers. I am now changing my tune a bit and giving the nod to T-Mobile's 42 Mbps HSPA+ network as a 4G network. To support this personal decision, check out my speedtest results below.

In January of this year I wrote that the consumer really doesn't care about the wireless technology and just wants to enjoy the speeds of a 4G network. Sprint's WiMAX has limited range and rather slow speeds while AT&T's "4G" network is currently a joke until they get LTE up and running. T-Mobile has been pushing their HSPA+ network with updates to 21 Mbps and then 42 Mbps and the results show it is worthy of 4G.

T-Mobile sent me seven optimal locations in the Puget Sound area to test out the HTC Amaze 4G and Samsung Galaxy S II on their 42 Mbps network, including:

  • Starbucks - 11523 Avondale Road, Seattle, WA
  • Starbucks - 10214 NE 8th St., Seattle, WA
  • Starbucks - 102 Pike St., Seattle, WA
  • Starbucks - 626 106th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
  • Starbucks - 15015 Main Street, Bellevue, WA 98004
  • 6977 Coal Creek Parkway, Newcastle, WA 98059
  • 1785 44th Avenue, Renton, WA 98056

I went to the 102 Pike St Starbucks location and recorded the following results using the SpeedTest.net Android application from Ookla with the Lynnwood, WA server.

HTC Amaze 4G

  1. Download: 26.67 Mbps Upload: 3.30 Mbps Ping: 39ms
  2. Download: 26.63 Mbps Upload: 2.84 Mbps Ping: 44ms
  3. Download: 27.19 Mbps Upload: 2.87 Mbps Ping: 37ms
  4. Download: 24.90 Mbps Upload: 3.46 Mbps Ping: 48ms
  5. Download: 19.51 Mbps Upload: 2.69 Mbps Ping: 44ms
  6. Download: 27.99 Mbps Upload: 3.09 Mbps Ping: 39ms
  7. Download: 25.65 Mbps Upload: 2.74 Mbps Ping: 56ms
  8. Download: 27.61 Mbps Upload: 2.68 Mbps Ping: 61ms

Samsung Galaxy S II

  1. Download: 25.94 Mbps Upload: 2.75 Mbps Ping: 46ms
  2. Download: 23.88 Mbps Upload: 2.19 Mbps Ping: 49ms
  3. Download: 23.71 Mbps Upload: 2.46 Mbps Ping: 48ms
  4. Download: 21.86 Mbps Upload: 2.24 Mbps Ping: 43ms
  5. Download: 23.00 Mbps Upload: 2.96 Mbps Ping: 66ms
  6. Download: 26.07 Mbps Upload: 3.39 Mbps Ping: 39ms
  7. Download: 20.46 Mbps Upload: 3.27 Mbps Ping: 46ms
  8. Download: 24.85 Mbps Upload: 2.64 Mbps Ping: 49ms

I was blown away that both of these devices are easily beating my home cable network connection and now wish Apple would have released a T-Mobile HSPA+ iPhone 4S that could have blown the doors off the competition. It is now quite likely I will be picking up my own Amaze 4G as I find it to be an outstanding piece of hardware and with these speeds is a compelling mobile WiFi hotspot too.

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