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T-Mobile expands HSPA+

Wed, 07/13/2011 - 8:10am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

T-Mobile USA has rolled out dual-carrier HSPA+, which doubles the speeds of its current wireless service, in 56 new markets including Boston, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.

The upgrade brings T-Mobile's total number of dual-carrier HSPA+ markets to 152, covering 170 million people. The operator claims the service offers average download speeds "approaching 10 Mbps," putting the dual-carrier HSPA+ network on par with LTE and WiMAX services provided by Verizon Wireless and Clearwire, respectively.

T-Mobile currently offers just one device fully compatible with its dual-carrier HSPA+ service, the Rocket 3.0 USB dongle, but said today it will launch its first dual-carrier HSPA+ smartphone later this year. Current customers stand to benefit from the upgrade even without compatible devices, since the technology improves overall network capacity.

Neville Ray, T-Mobile's chief technology officer, said in a statement that the upgrades would help the operator keep up with "explosive demand" for mobile data. Video streaming over T-Mobile's network has reportedly tripled over the past year.

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