T-Mobile confirms that it will have an Android G2 phone on the shelves soon on its HSPA+ network. The carrier says its HSPA+ (High-Speed Packet Access) network will allow 4G speeds at downloads up to three times faster than 3G.
The successor to the T-Mobile G1, the G2 will be the company's first HSPA+ smartphone. Earlier this year, T-Mobile released other HSPA+ devices, such as the T-Mobile webConnect Rocket USB Laptop Stick.
T-Mobile has set up a barebones Website for the G2. The company says its customers will initially have exclusive access to the new Android model.
"Delivering tight integration with Google services, the G2 will break new ground as the first smartphone specifically designed for our advanced HSPA+ network, which delivers today's available 4G speeds," T-Mobile wrote in a statement. "In the coming weeks we'll share more details about the G2, including information on how current T-Mobile customers can get exclusive first access."
The HSPA+ network is now available on parts of the East Coast, including areas of New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut. T-Mobile plans to offer HSPA+ speeds to 185 million people in major metropolitan areas in the United States by the end of 2010. According to T-Mobile, its HSPA+ network achieves theoretical peak download speeds of 21M bps and theoretical peak upload speeds of 5.7M bps.
Sprint already offers its 4G WiMax network in parts of the United States, and AT&T and Verizon reportedly will debut phones on its 4G LTE network either late this year or in early 2011.
In an e-mail to eWEEK, Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group, noted that a reduction in battery life on the G2 may offset any increase in speed on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. "You would hope that trade-off would be handled better with this generation of phone because a lot was learned from the earlier Sprint phones, and I would expect the HSPA+ radio would drop to a lower power state automatically if no HSPA+ signal was found," Enderle said. "T-Mobile was slow on 3G, however, and, much like we saw with Sprint, you don't get any benefit from a 4G phone until the related network is built out," he added.
Enderle expects HTC to manufacture the phone and to launch it in mid-September. He noted that a fourth-quarter launch for the HTC is well timed, as the iPhone will "feel less new and more vulnerable" as the year progresses. Reports indicate the iPhone will be available on Verizon's network in early 2011.
The design of the G2 is believed to be similar to that of the Palm Pre, featuring a thin form factor and a keyboard with a horizontal wide-side load, Enderle said.
T-Mobile unveiled the G1 in September 2008 as the first Android phone in the United States. It launched on the company's network that October.