4G or Not 4G T-Mobile Says Its HSPA+ is America's Largest 4G Network


The latest ads for T-Mobile HSPA+ data tout that it has "America's largest 4G network," which is causing criticism from real 4G networks.

Sprint 4G President Matt Carter responded to T-Mobile's claims, "Halloween is over--it's time for T-Mobile to stop dressing up like their favorite super hero--Sprint 4G."

Other carriers suggest that calling HSPA+ 4G is misleading because it is technically 3G.  The International Telecommunications Union has not certified it as 4G.

ITU's Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) recently completed the assessment of
six candidate submissions for the global 4G mobile wireless broadband
technology, "LTE-Advanced" and "WirelessMAN-Advanced" being accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced, qualifying them as true 4G technologies.

The ITU requires 100 Mbps (mobile) and 1Gbps (fixed) speeds, among other criteria, to qualify as true "4G."  That is about three times the speed of today's LTE and WiMAX systems.

According to a recent Yankee Group study, aggressive marketing for 4G has confused people.  Almost 3/4 of respondents in the Yankee Group Consumer study said that they do not know or understand what 4G is.  More than 50 percent of consumers still don't know what 3G is.

"4G is about performance, and today, T-Mobile's HSPA+ network is delivering 4G speeds that match and often beat WiMAX and are comparable to what early LTE will deliver.  Our 4G network is capable of theoretical speeds up to 21Mbps, and we have seen average download speeds approaching five Mbps on our myTouch 4G phone in some cities with peak speeds of nearly 12 Mbps.   Further, independent reviewers have seen average download speeds on our webConnect Rocket between 5 and 8 Mbps with peak speeds up to 8-10Mbps," said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer, T-Mobile USA.  "The footprint of our 4G service is not something that competitors are going to match anytime soon, and starting today, we will begin marketing our network advantage with TV commercials advertising 'America's Largest 4G Network' from T-Mobile."

T-Mobile is running television commercials that spoof iPhone ads.  Verizon's 4G network LTE is expected to go live by the end of this year.

Along with expanding its network to six additional metro areas, T-Mobile introduced the T-Mobile myTouch 4G and T-Mobile's first 4G netbook, the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 4G.

New HSPA + network coverage includes Chicago, Ill.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.; and Raleigh-Durham and Wilmington, N.C.  T-Mobile customers with 4G smartphones or netbooks in 75 metropolitan areas can get faster web browsing, uninterrupted video streaming and quicker downloads at no additional cost.

T-Mobile plans to offer a selection of affordable data plans for both smartphones and broadband products, with smartphone data plans starting as low as $10/month.  T-Mobile customers do not pay a premium for access to its 4G network.