T-Mobile Talks Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G, Nokia Lumia 710, 4G Growth

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-01-11 Print this article Print

The Nokia Lumia 710 will benefit from T-Mobile's newly expanded HSPA+ 21 network, while Samsung's Galaxy S Blaze 4G will be the third to hop on the carrier's HSPA+ 42 networks.

T-Mobile may have spent much of last year in an awkward tug of war between AT&T and federal regulators, but it's now "in fighting shape" and "better than ever," executives said in a Jan. 11 news release from the Consumer Electronics Show, where it announced an expansion of its HSPA+ 21 and HSPA+ 42 4G technologies, an extension of its Bobsled Messaging feature and the upcoming availability of its newest 4G devices, most notably the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G.

The Blaze 4G will be the third smartphone able to leverage T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 technology, which is said to offer twice the speed of its standard 4G (HSPA+ 21) network. 

T-Mobile's extensive news from the show included:

- The Android-running Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G, which will arrive "later this year." On the T-Mobile site, interested parties can sign up to be alerted when a date is set. T-Mobile hasn't shared pricing yet, but in addition to being HSPA+ 42 compatible, the phone will feature a 1.5GHz dual-CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor, a Super AMOLED touch screen, and the ability to stream movies and TV at super-fast speeds. "We mean fast," T-Mobile officials added in their statement.

- In 12 markets, T-Mobile upgraded its 4G network from HSPA+ 21 to HSPA+ 42. It also rolled out HSPA+ 21 in nine brand new markets, extending 4G speeds to an additional 200 million people and bringing its 4G grand total to 217 markets.

- The Nokia Lumia 710 will be available from T-Mobile as of Jan. 11. The first Nokia Windows Phone to arrive in the United States, it'll retail for $50 after a $50 rebate and with a two-year service agreement. 

- When T-Mobile introduced free Bobsled calling through Facebook last April, it promised additional capabilities were coming. At CES, T-Mobile execs announced they have arrived. Its Bobsled Messaging app is now available in the Android Market and enables free, cloud-based group or individual messaging to any Android-based smartphone or tablet, regardless of carrier. Also improved is the Bobsled Calling service, which lets users place free WiFi-based calls-though standard data rates apply-to WiFi-enabled devices, including Android phones and tablets and the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

- T-Mobile has also been busy in the cloud. Among its offerings are the MobileLife Album, a service that lets customers upload, back up and store to the cloud photos and videos taken on their phones or tablets. Its T-Mobile TV premium service has also proven a hit, with executives sharing that the service has grown more than 700 percent-presumably since its launch-with tablet owners twice as likely to upgrade from the free to paid service.

During the months that AT&T defended its desire to purchase T-Mobile, both parties described T-Mobile, with its limited funding from parent company Deutsche Telekom, as having stalled 4G prospects, with Long-Term Evolution (LTE) an untenable hope. Moving forward, executives seem determined to put a new face on things.

"Our goal is to deliver amazing 4G experiences at a great price," Brad Duea, T-Mobile senior vice president, said in the statement. "We deliver these compelling and optimized 4G experiences by bringing together a fast network, smart devices and leading innovative applications and services."

Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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