T-Mobile Upgrading HSPA Network

T-Mobile USA is apparently rolling out 7.2 Mbps HSPA service this week. Android and Me reports that T-Mobile began a software upgrade to 7.2Mbps on their AWS band (1.7/2.1 GHz).

Users are reporting that a simple reboot will enable faster 3G speeds. How fast is open to debate. Tmo News says the average download speed in New York and Chicago, have been measured at 3.8Mb/s and 5.4Mb/s, respectively, although actual speed may differ when the upgrade is officially rolled out. T-Mobile USA has been offering HSPA for a while, although it topped out around 3.6 Mbps.

The recent T-Mobile network outage, that left some 2 million users without service, may have had something to do this “network upgrade”, speculate users. According to T-Mobile only 5% of customers were affected, by the outage, but it appears a large portion of those people had 3G phones.

T-Mobile USA is investing $2.7bn on their 3G network rollout and awarded contracts to both Nokia and Ericsson to build their 3G network in the US. Nokia’s small, low-power Flexi Base Stations are used in the South, Central and Western states, while Ericsson covers New York City and California. T-Mobile spent $4.2 billion for AWS licenses alone, in 2006.

The AWS auction in 2006 was far more important to T-Mobile than any other company, observes Phone Scoop. T-Mobile was unable to launch any kind of 3G service due to lack of spectrum and the AWS spectrum allowed them to launch HSPA and catch up to the other major carriers. T-Mobile says it will cover 200M pops in 3G by end of 2009. In the United States HSPA is available on AT&T and T-Mobile. HSPA Networks are in 110 countries.

This week the company rolled out the Android-based Motorola CLIQ and Samsung Behold II, joining the earlier Android devices, the HTC myTouch 3G and the HTC G-1. No word on whether Motorola’s Droid may be coming to T-Mobile USA.

T-Mobile USA lost 77,000 customers and saw revenue continue to slide in the third quarter even as its operating profit margin increased two percentage points.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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