T-Mobile pulled the sheet off the master plan for its new high-speed network, announcing at the CTIA Wireless 2010 show that it will deploy HSPA+ technology across its entire 3G footprint - 100-plus metropolitan areas housing 185 million people - by the end of 2010.
HSPA+, a 3.5G technology, is said to deliver speeds up to three times faster than competing 3G wireless networks. T-Mobile rolled out the service in Philadelphia last fall, and has since extended the service to New York City, New Jersey, Long Island and the suburbs of Washington D.C.
Los Angeles is next in line for the speedy treatment, with a deployment coming "very soon," according to the carrier.
"Consumers want a mobile broadband experience that's easy and as good as their connection at home on the best wireless devices available," Neville Ray, T-Mobile senior vice president of engineering and operations, said in a March 23 statement. "This year T-Mobile will upgrade its national 3G network to HSPA+, which will support faster speeds and give customers a superior wireless data experience when they access their mobile social network, steam videos or share content."
At the CTIA show, T-Mobile demonstrated the speed of its HSPA+ network using its webConnect Rocket USB Laptop Stick, a modem it introduced March 14, making it the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer an HSPA+ capable device. Also called into service were the HTC HD2 smartphone, the Motorola Cliq XT, the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and the Dell Inspiron Mini 10.
"The great thing about T-Mobile 3G network evolution is its backward compatibility," Cole Brodman, T-Mobile chief technology and innovation officer, said in a statement. "Most of our 3G smartphones will deliver a better mobile Web experience. Customers don't have to spend money on a device upgrade, which is a rarity in consumer electronics."
Dell's Inspiron Mini 10 is not only - as of March 24 - brand new to the T-Mobile lineup, but is the carrier's first netbook offering. It's now available online and in select T-Mobile stores.
Weighing just under 3 pounds, the Mini 10 features a 10.1-inch screen, Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, an Intel Atom N450 processor, and WiFi connectivity, in addition to T-Mobile's 3G and HSPA+ networks.
A 6-cell battery offers up to 8 hours of on-the-go use, T-Mobile's webConnect Manager software comes preloaded, to help customers manage use time and avoid overage fees, and there's of course support for emailing, instant messaging, photo sharing, Web surfing and social networking.
Dell debuted the Mini 10 with an original starting price of $399, but T-Mobile is now offering it for $199 with a two-year contract and qualifying webConnect data plan.
In February, Dell announced it was offering the option of WiMax connectivity with the Mini 10, enabling it to access the 4G technology offered by Clearwire, with partner Sprint, in currently 27 U.S. markets.