T-Mobile has just announced that it is upgrading its network to offer higher speeds, thanks to an HSPA+ network roll out. Seen by T-Mobile as a 4G (4th Generation) network, HSPA+ has been demonstrated at the recent Mobile World Congress and can reach theoretical speeds of 56Mbps (down) and 22Mbps (up). In reality, it will be more like 2-6Mbps (down) which is very good, but the question is: what is the latency (latency=delay between the request and the server response)? In general, (cellular) wireless network have had high latencies, which explains why web requests are slower, and this is a problem even today. Finally, I wonder if T-Mobile will put a bandwidth limit on user accounts. If that’s the case, what’s the point of having a much faster speed that you effectively cannot use because watching a few movies over the air will max out the cap?
Update: It seems that HSPA+ has been (partially) deployed to a few cities already : Philadelphia, New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, Washington DC and Los Angeles. Coverage will expand from there.
Also, T-Mobile has shed the 5GB limit previously in effect. Instead, they have chosen to slower the connection speed when users go beyond 5GB. Better that than being charged for an arm and a leg at the end of the month. If you are using the 200MB plan, you might still be subject to “reduced” overages charges. In any case, I strongly recommend you to read your contract. I usually don’t trust anyone when it comes to overages, especially the customer service on the phone (sad, but true).
Qualcomm Keynote @ Uplinq 2011
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