T-Mobile USA, fourth largest US mobile carrier, announced that it has completed its upgrade to HSPA 7.2 (High-Speed Packet Access) for its 3G network. HSPA 7.2 promises to deliver a maximum of 7.2 Mpbs, twice the maximum speed of 3.6 Mpbs of the current 3G networks.
High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 is a mobile protocol that allows devices to access data over the air at speeds up to 7.2 Mbps. It is only a baby step toward eventual HSPA+ (21 Mbps) and 4G implementation (100 Mbps). In real life you should expect half the theoretical speed under good network conditions.
T-Mobile USA customers using 3G can now avail the HSPA 7.2 speed, with their HSPA 7.2 supported devices such as Nexus One. T-Mobile has the smallest 3G coverage area among the big four service providers, but claims its 3G network covers more than 200 million Americans.
T-Mobile has been trialing HSPA+ in Philadelphia and hopes to deploy the update to its entire network by June 2010. HSPA+ will offer download speeds up to 21Mbps, faster then most of the DSL and cable lines.
While most mobile operators look toward LTE (Long-Term Evolution) as the next major generation of mobile data networks, 3G technology continues to evolve with higher performance and greater efficiency. Both AT&T and T-Mobile have said they will deploy LTE in 2011. [via]
AT&T also announced completion of a software upgrade at 3G cell sites for the deployment of HSPA 7.2 technology across 3G cell sites nationwide. The combination of HSPA 7.2 technology and enhanced backhaul will support theoretical peak maximum speeds of 7.2 megabits per second, though as with any mobile broadband network, actual speeds will be lower than the theoretical maximum and will vary due to a number of factors. AT&T has simply enabled its network to function at 7.2, and it will be laying fiber-optic cable so customers can take advantage of it in 2010. AT&T’s first six markets will be Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Miami. [via]