T-Mobile Ramps Up 3G Network for G1 Android Debut

T-Mobile adds Memphis and Tampa to its 3G network with Washington on its radar by the end of 2008. The carrier plans to have 120 major U.S. cities on the network for the rollout of its T-Mobile G1 with Google smart phone, the first mobile device to feature Google's Android mobile operating system.

T-Mobile is aggressively adding markets to its 3G network in advance of the Oct. 22 debut of its G1 with Google smart phone powered by Google's Android mobile operating system. The carrier lit up a 3G network Oct. 17 in Sacramento, Calif., and plans to launch 3G networks in Memphis and Tampa the week of Oct. 20. When Washington is added in November, T-Mobile says it will have 3G coverage in 120 U.S. cities.

The network can deliver download speeds of up to 1M bps, allowing T-Mobile customers with 3G-capable handsets to take advantage of new and emerging applications such as the wide array of services that will be accessible on the G1 with Google, the carrier's highly anticipated smart phone set for an Oct. 22 public debut.

"We're excited about the broad scale and reach of our 3G footprint in major cities across the nation, already accessible by tens of millions of consumers. And today, where the majority of our customers use data services, our 3G network is there for them," Neville Ray, senior vice president of Engineering and Operations for T-Mobile USA, said in a statement. "Our 3G footprint will continue to expand, and we look forward to continuing to deliver the rich experiences a 3G network can bring to T-Mobile customers."

T-Mobile, meanwhile, continues to neither confirm nor deny Internet rumors that it has preordered 1.5 million G1 with Google smart phones from manufacturer HTC. Even if the numbers are inflated, the presales demand seems to support T-Mobile's prediction that it will sell more than 500,000 units by the end of 2008. HTC, which is manufacturing the G1, has said it expects that T-Mobile will sell 600,000 to 700,000 units from late October through Dec. 31 and as many as 2 million by the end of 2009.

Presale orders are currently limited to existing T-Mobile customers. Orders placed before Oct. 21 will be shipped on or around Nov. 10. T-Mobile is selling the G1 for $179, with a two-year voice and data service plan.