T-Mobile USA expands HSPA+ footprint to 25 markets

Wireless competitors are disputing claims that HSPA+ is 4G.
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T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network works on the Samsung Vibrant and other phones. Photo courtesy T-Mobile.

T-Mobile USA now covers 25 metropolitan markets with its HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access) network, which the company now markets as 4G. New markets launched include Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle and Tampa and Orlando, FL. T-Mobile already made its HSPA+ service available in New York City, upstate New York, Connecticut, Providence, RI, Memphis, TN, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and the Washington, D.C., suburbs.

T-Mobile’s earlier announcement regarding the expansion of the HSPA+ network was met by complaints from AT&T, which chastised the telco for calling HSPA+ a 4G service. AT&T is also using an HSPA+ network, but as a step toward full LTE deployment in 2011. Although the wireless community generally calls HSPA+ a 3.5G service — and points to LTE as the 4G successor to 3G — T-Mobile executives note that they are marketing the service as 4G because it provides 4G speeds.

Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless stated that its LTE network will completely replace its current 3G network by 2013. After the commercial launch of its LTE network later this year, Verizon plans to move 25 to 30 U.S. markets to LTE by the end of 2010. Verizon also plans to add LTE coverage in areas that never had the 3G network, completing the rollout in 2014.