T-Mobile's 3G Day of Reckoning

Anybody remember what happened July 2, 2007? That was the first Monday after the much ballyhooed launch of the original iPhone. On that day, the AT&T network, flush with thousands of new data users on the EDGE network, crashed hard. This left many of the happy new iPhone users-and lots of non-iPhone users-stranded without data access for the bulk of the day. Why the outage happened is up for debate, but the fact of the matter is, there was a significant outage. Now, the news is out that T-Mobile has taken preorders for 1.5 million units of its G1 with Google smart phone, which is replete with connectivity on the carrier's nascent HSDPA network. I'm guessing there is hardly any traffic on the carrier's 3G network at the moment, as T-Mobile only has six 3G phones available for sale right now and the traffic from unlocked phones like the Nokia E71 or Palm's Treo Pro has to be fairly negligible. Accordingly, I didn't experience any 3G problems during my tests of the new Android phone, but a causal glance at other reviews today indicates other reviewers weren't so fortunate. So the network's reach and stability are already in question. We don't know how many of the preordered units (if it is really close to 1.5 million after all) will be delivered to markets in which T-Mobile has deployed 3G, since the network is only available in 20 or so markets right now. But Oct. 23-the day after everyone who ordered early will receive their G1-will be Super Bowl flush day for the T-Mobile network. And I wouldn't be surprised if T-Mobile's network slows to a crawl, then rolls over and dies that day. Of course, frequent Google users should be well-used to Google services getting beta tested out in the wild.

Anybody remember what happened July 2, 2007?

That was the first Monday after the much ballyhooed launch of the original iPhone. On that day, the AT&T network, flush with thousands of new data users on the EDGE network, crashed hard. This left many of the happy new iPhone users—and lots of non-iPhone users—stranded without data access for the bulk of the day. Why the outage happened is up for debate, but the fact of the matter is, there was a significant outage.

Now, the news is out that T-Mobile has taken preorders for 1.5 million units of its G1 with Google smart phone, which is replete with connectivity on the carrier's nascent HSDPA network.

I'm guessing there is hardly any traffic on the carrier's 3G network at the moment, as T-Mobile only has six 3G phones available for sale right now and the traffic from unlocked phones like the Nokia E71 or Palm's Treo Pro has to be fairly negligible. Accordingly, I didn't experience any 3G problems during my tests of the new Android phone, but a causal glance at other reviews today indicates other reviewers weren't so fortunate. So the network's reach and stability are already in question.

We don't know how many of the preordered units (Super Bowl flush day for the T-Mobile network.

And I wouldn't be surprised if T-Mobile's network slows to a crawl, then rolls over and dies that day.

Of course, frequent Google users should be well-used to Google services getting beta tested out in the wild.