08/30/2010 09:07 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Will T-Mobile's First HSPA+ Handset Change the Landscape

T-Mobile is the fourth largest mobile operator in the United States. The company has been busy over the past year rolling out their next generation network -- HSPA+. Magenta has rolled out HSPA+ in over 60 markets and is on track to hit 100 markets by the end of the calendar year. HSPA+ is an acronym for High Speed Packet Access and boasts download speeds of up to 21Mbp/s -- in theory. T-Mobile subscribers who have 3G capable devices will also experience improved performance when on the HSPA+ network -- explains Neville Ray -- Chief Network Officer for T-Mobile USA.

Real world speeds will be slightly more conservative than the theoretical 21Mbp/s. Kevin C. Tofel (editor of jkOnTheRun) tested T-Mobile's webConnect Rocket USB Laptop Stick (HSPA+ native). The results were impressive -- 9.11 Mbp/s download and 2.73 Mbp/s upload. The assumption stands that we will see similar speeds on the T-Mobile G2.

T-Mobile recently announced their very first HSPA+ superphone in the U.S. -- the G2 (AKA HTC Vanguard). The release date is rumored to be September 29th. Some sources also reveal that consumers may be able to pre-order the G2 on September 1st. T-Mobile has been stingy with the details -- perhaps taking a few pages from The Book of Steve Jobs -- let the storm of rumors create the viral campaign.

What is know so far is this -- both our friends at Engagdet and the Android Police report rumors of the MSM7x30 chipset. The chipset boasts these attributes:
  • 20P video encoding (recording) and decoding at 30FPS
  • Integrated 2D/3D GPU's with OpenGL ES 2.0 and Open VG 1.1 API support
  • 5.1 surround sound output
  • Up to 12 megapixel camera support
  • Integrated GPS
  • Support for processor speeds between 800MHz and 1GHz (Scorpion CPU's, same as Snapdragon's)
So what does all this technical jargon mean for the consumer? It stands to reason that the consumer will have a better experience.

From an infrastructure perspective -- it's clear that our current 3G infrastructure is simply buckling under the crushing weight of data consumption. Evidence of this fact can been seen by AT&T's difficulty in supporting the iPhone in certain markets and the fight for more spectrum.

From a handset perspective -- we are currently in the midst of a mobile renaissance; fractured as it maybe. We are seeing massive movement on multiple fronts -- massive content availability, superphones,  the mobile Internet and mobile payment systems.

All of these extra added services not only require a more robust handset but a more robust network. At the moment -- T-Mobile has the advantage with being in over 60 markets and with the impending release of the G2. My hopes are that T-Mobile also release a handful of broadband applications at launch. This should lend itself proof positive -- that T-Mobile's HSPA+ network and superphone are ready to take on the mobile data monsoon.