T-Mobile came out this week and said its HSPA+ network will cover 200 million Americans at the end of 2010, more people than 4G networks from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. But HSPA+ is not technically 4G, even if its faster than traditional 3G networks.
AT&T wasted no time in throwing a wrench into T-Mobiles claims, not only challenging the 4G reference, but saying T-Mobiles claim to have the largest HSPA+ network isnt even right. An AT&T spokesperson told Information Week that AT&Ts HSPA+ technology will cover 250 million Americans by year-end, compared to T-Mobiles 200 million. And in a comment to Fierce Wireless, Sprints 4G president said, Halloween is over it’s time for T-Mobile to stop dressing up like their favorite super hero Sprint 4G.”
In addition, T-Mobile says at speeds of 21Mbps, its network is faster than WiMAX and LTE, something AT&T also disputes. One thing AT&T cant challenge, however, is that T-Mobile has an advantage in the mobile device arena when it comes to HSPA+ speeds. T-Mobile has two phones that are HSPA+-capable, which it claims can download data at speeds of up to 21Mbps. AT&Ts best claim is 7.2Mbps.
Well see if T-Mobiles claims can hold up when Verizon and AT&T get their LTE launches going in the coming months. Sprint and its partner, Clearwire, have 4G (WiMAX) service up and running in most major 74 markets in 25 states.