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T-Mobile Turns on HSPA+ Using 1900MHz in Vegas
As Part of Strategy to Woo Unlocked iPhone Owners
by Karl Bode 08:53AM Monday Sep 24 2012
T-Mobile says the company has turned on HSPA+ service using its 1900 MHz PCS spectrum in Las Vegas, the first full market where it has refarmed its HSPA+ spectrum. Back in February T-Mobile announced that the company would be making the shift to LTE, and has since been busy installing new equipment at 37,000 cell sites and refarming spectrum in order to launch LTE in 2013. While the actual launch of LTE won't happen until next year, a key part of T-Mobile's strategy is to use their 1700 MHz AWS spectrum for LTE while it refarms its 1900 MHz spectrum for HSPA+ service. A major perk of that effort is that the company can then woo iPhone users over to their network without having to eat the costs associated with selling the phone themselves.

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buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·AT&T DSL Service

A Bit of a Win / loose situation in my opinion...

A win for those with Iphones coming over to Tmobile service or already on it, A loose for those with Tmobile smartphones and feature phones that don't support 1900 mhz HSPA ( and there are quite a few). Over on the TMO forum it was originally said TMOs HSPA would be multi-directional on 1900 and 2100 mhz which would mean most would still be covered, its not looking that way now.

So many are still left to wonder if that will be the case. for those users not ready to upgrade or on prepaid next year if TMOs 1700 is totally refarmed for LTE all those HSPA 1700 mhz phones will be semi useless. I Wonder how the lot of MVNO on TMO will handle the influx of customers that start to complaint when there hispeed data is missing due to there phone now being incompatible.

a333
A hot cup of integrals please

join:2007-06-12
Rego Park, NY
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

1 edit

Re: A Bit of a Win / loose situation in my opinion...

Pretty sure most AWS handsets are not 1700/2100-only, but also support at least one of the major bands used worldwide (1900-PCS) for 3/3.5G services. Also, I would imagine T-mobile will keep at least a single 5x5 channel of paired 2100/1700 spectrum running the HSPA/HSPA+ services in all but the most desperately spectrum-strapped markets, since it's not quite as urgent for them to upgrade to LTE in markets with DC-HSPA+ (the speeds might be noticeably different for large transfers, but latencies are actually quite similar, and speeds more than adequate for mid-size downloads and media streaming.)

EDIT: Also, IIRC, isn't T-mobile testing spectrum sharing with gov't services on the AWS band? If that's the case, there might be some more spectrum coming their way, making the urgency of moving ALL 3.5G to PCS a bit lower...

--
Physics: Will you break the laws of physics, or will the laws of physics break you?
If physicists stand on each other's shoulders, computer scientists stand on each other's toes, and computer programmers dig each other's graves.

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

Re: A Bit of a Win / loose situation in my opinion...

A few things:
1. They're not moving their 3g off of AWS for a long, long while.
2. All Samsung handsets support HSPA(+) on the PCS band in addition to the AWS band and the IMT band, and most HTC handsets sold in the past 2 years as well. All devices should be able to swap between PCS or AWS depending on which provides better service where they are. Of course, iPhones and the like will only get PCS service.
Also:


They're basically reducing their GSM spectrum to a minimum, and using that spectrum for PCS-3g. Excess AWS spectrum is where LTE will be launched. In some markets (like my own) we may not see LTE until PCS 3g can handle the load, because we only have ~10mhz available.

--
"What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? ...If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."
-United States Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara

djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
There is still AWS HSPA+, Along with PCS 1900 HSPA+. Nobody's phone lost any signal. In fact, T-Mobile seemed to have put the pcs HSPA+ at a higher power than the AWS cause it's going a lot further and deeper into buildings than the existing AWS. (Which in a lot if not most places is not at full power, for whatever reason.)
--
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult. The day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.
Alden Nowlan
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·CenturyLink
T-Mobile Samsung phones are all using 1700Mhz now for 3G and 4G and 1900Mhz for Edge. I wonder if they will work using HSPA+ on 1900Mhz, if it will require a firmware upgrade or if it's even possible at all without buying a new phone? I would be glad to see them work on 1900Mhz since there are 6-7 2G towers around me but only 1 4G tower that's 2 miles away by the nearest T-Mobile store and too weak to get the signal unless I drive over there. Maybe that would make my Samsung Exhibit II finally work that can't get 3G and since 4G is too far away it doesn't get anything but Edge most places now?

tmh

@comcastbusiness.net
said by buddahbless:

A win for those with Iphones coming over to Tmobile service or already on it, A loose for those with Tmobile smartphones and feature phones that don't support 1900 mhz HSPA ( and there are quite a few).

it's a win-win-win for me. I have a GNex. Works anywhere in the world I want to be.

Karl

@verizon.net

I plan to use my iPhone 4 on T-Mobile

The iPhone 5 looks very nice, and I love the latest gadgets, but my iPhone 4 does everything I need. I hate AT&T's signal quality, so I have already switched to T-Mobile. It's EDGE now but, as with AT&T, sometimes EDGE speed is faster than what I had on AT&T 3G. There are T-Mobile 1900 MHz around me but not right where I live. I trust they are on their way, and it is a relief to be through with T-Mobile.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: I plan to use my iPhone 4 on T-Mobile

said by Karl :

It's EDGE now but, as with AT&T, sometimes EDGE speed is faster than what I had on AT&T 3G.

Isn't that sad? I can say the same in a few parts of Verizon's footprint, the 3G network is so congested that it's actually faster to force your phone onto 1x. 1x can attain ISDN'ish speeds, which is a godsend when the 3G network is delivering sub-dialup speeds.

Karl

@verizon.net
In my last sentence I meant a relief to be through with AT&T (not T-Mobile). Sorry.
WhyMe420
Premium
join:2009-04-06
kudos:1
Couldn't agree more, except I have a 4S.

King P
Don't blame me. I voted for Ron Paul
Premium
join:2004-11-17
Murfreesboro, TN

Can't wait until they refarm Nashville

Right now I'm on an AT&T MVNO called Red Pocket Mobile, and I get HSPA+ connectivity, but it is still very slow. The coverage is great, but I may move back to T-Mobile prepaid, just because the EDGE speeds are almost comparable to what I get now, for slightly less than what I pay now (RPM = $59.99/month vs T-MO = 54.xx/month).

The bonus with T-Mobile is that I have unlimited data, as opposed to the 2GB I get with RPM.
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kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

TMO's HSPA+ is *FAR* superior to any data service out there

Click for full size
Financial District, Manhattan, middle of the day...
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·CenturyLink

Re: TMO's HSPA+ is *FAR* superior to any data service out there

I get 22Mb down on my T-Mo 4G Galaxy S-II but I have to go over to where the tower is next to the store to get it since there aren't many 4G towers around. I get 5-7Mb on 3G though which is more than adequate for most uses and 3G is much more widely available.
nysports4evr
Premium
join:2010-01-23
kudos:1
That is impressive considering the time and place.

toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR
where they have 3g service, or even any service maybe.

kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

Re: TMO's HSPA+ is *FAR* superior to any data service out there

Pretty much everywhere sans redneck-land but that does not matter anyway.
DarnellP

join:2004-10-12
Las Vegas, NV
That's a nice speed test and all, but 'FAR superior' to anything else out there? Nah, I think that's hyperbole on your part.

kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

Re: TMO's HSPA+ is *FAR* superior to any data service out there

It is. It's about WHERE and WHEN and then COMPARE THEM right there, apples-to-apples and you'll see.
n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
Here's what I got on AT&T LTE while passing through Bakersfield, about 4 days before it officially went live. I'm assuming there were not very many other people on the tower .

LTE was a godsend in Vegas. Decent latency, downstream bandwidth usually in the teens. HSPA+ was unusable, maybe 1 Mbps down, a fraction of that up, and 1+ second latency.
--
KI6RIT

kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

Re: TMO's HSPA+ is *FAR* superior to any data service out there

Well, no offense but that's in a godforsaken small town, BEFORE IT WENT LIVE... hardly a valid measurement point.
n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA

Re: TMO's HSPA+ is *FAR* superior to any data service out there

In Vegas, I got similar downstream speeds to what you posted. Upstream might have been a bit higher, I can't remember for sure what it was. I think latency was a little higher though.

Maybe Bakersfield is small to you, but it's roughly ten times the population of where I live .
--
KI6RIT

Datx
Huh? What?

join:2001-01-21
Austin, TX

1900 3G available in part of Austin, TX.

I just enabled data for my iPhone last Friday and found that certain part of Cedar Park (NW of Austin, TX) area has 3G enabled for the 1900 spectrum.