T-Mobile's self-described 4G footprint now includes eight new metro areas. By year's end, it plans to cover 100 metropolitan areas, as Verizon shoots to bring LTE to 38.
4G network" just got a little larger. Or so says T-Mobile. On Nov. 23, the
country's fourth-largest carrier announced that it has expanded its HSPA+
network to eight new metro areas: Detroit;
Grand Junction, Colo.;
Lafayette and South
and Youngstown, Ohio.
By the end of 2010, the carrier plans to cover 100 metropolitan areas and
200 million people. While WiMax and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) have widely been
considered the two types of 4G technology, in early November T-Mobile decided
to call its HSPA+ network "4G"-despite previously referring to it as
3.5G, while saying it offers speeds comparable to, if not faster than, some 4G
In a Nov. 2 television commercial, T-Mobile began branding itself "America's
Largest 4G Network,"
while additionally taking a swipe at competitor
AT&T, which-largely due to the data needs of its iPhone customers-has had a
hard enough time even maintaining consistent 3G speeds. It also shows off the HTC-made,
but T-Mobile branded myTouch 4G, which is capable of enjoying the network's
speedy new capabilities.
"With typical download speeds that are on par with or faster than
competing 4G technologies, T-Mobile customers with the latest 4G devices in
more than 80 metropolitan areas around the country can now enjoy blazing fast
Web browsing, seamless video streaming and quicker downloads at no additional
cost," T-Mobile said in a statement. "Continuing the aggressive
expansion of our 4G network, T-Mobile is on pace to expand its HSPA+ footprint
to reach 200 million people by the end of this year-with plans to move to
faster speeds (42M bps) in 2011."
The day before T-Mobile's announced expansion, Verizon Wireless, which was
expected to be the second major carrier-behind Sprint, which offers 4G via
Clearwire's WiMax network-to begin rolling out 4G, confirmed that it will begin
offering its LTE network in December. With T-Mobile calling dibs on quantity,
Verizon instead went for the quality hook in its labeling, describing itself
advanced 4G network in the world."
By the end of 2010, Verizon
executives expect the network to cover 38 metropolitan areas and 60 commercial
While T-Mobile may be accused of playing fast and loose with the term "4G"-which
in marketing speak has come
to mean "really fast"
-so, too, may Verizon, as neither network
meets the 100M-bps speeds for mobile devices that the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) has proposed
as a requirement for the 4G standard.
However inexact the labeling, both networks are, by early accounts, fast.
And fast enough for the U.S.
government. T-Mobile announced Nov. 28 that it has won a contract with the
Internal Revenue Service. With the Obama administration having set a goal of
boosting the number of federal employees who work remotely to 150,000 in 2011,
T-Mobile said in a statement that it can be, for the IRS,
a "partner that can make mobile productivity gains and decreased mobile
expenses a reality."