It’s been clear for some time now that T-Mobile has been seriously falling behind in terms of mobile broadband speeds and technology. While the popular carrier has claimed on numerous occasions to have the largest 4G network in the US, its ‘4G’ offerings have been limited to dual-channel HSPA+ technology. HSPA+, even in dual-channel form, is simply not as fast as 4G LTE. The difference is so extreme that outside of the USA, HSPA+ is rarely even referred to as 4G, instead being called 3G, 3G+ and even NextG, among many others.
A lot of tech gurus have been talking, even joking about how the soon-to-be-most-recent entrant to the USA 4G LTE club has its sights on reaching over 200 million Americans by the end of 2013, especially seeing as we’re already most of the way through February and the switch is yet to be flipped.
Soon, however, that will apparently change. T-Mo is finally entering the 4G LTE race. While it’s unlikely that the smaller carrier will initially be able to keep up with giants like AT&T and Verizon, at least it will now be part of the competition.
From what we’re hearing that 4G LTE switch is ripe for flipping on another carrier, too.
US Cellular also has some lofty 4G LTE goals for 2013, reportedly planning to bring LTE to 87% of its existing customers by year’s end. Now, US Cellular has actually had 4G LTE for a short while now and already covers up to 61% of its customers, so this aim doesn’t seem too unachievable. That is, until one realizes that the 2013 target will see “more than 3,800 additional cities and towns” gaining access within the next 10 or so months. Where this would be easy for one of the larger carriers, US Cellular only weighs in at #8 on the USA rankings.
“New 4G LTE service will be launched in select cities in California, Kansas and Nebraska and existing 4G LTE service will be expanded to include additional cities in Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Some of the new cities that will receive 4G LTE include Lincoln, Neb., Omaha, Neb., Manhattan, Kan., Eureka, Calif. and Ukiah, Calif.”
via US Cellular
US Cellular currently offers 10 4G LTE devices including “the Samsung Galaxy S® III and Samsung Galaxy Note® II, in addition to a tablet, hotspots and a wireless modem.“
Compared to this T-Mobile’s rumored opening 4G LTE device, the T-Mobile Sonic 2.0 LTE hotspot sounds pretty paltry. However, we’re sure T-Mo will have more than its fair share of LTE enabled devices and smartphones in no time, perhaps even by heavily rumored March 27th launch date.