Friday, December 18, 2009

T-Mobile Gets 3G Credit

Getting lost in the Verizon vs. AT&T 3G battle is how much 3G is available with the next 2 largest cellular carriers. Sprint has done a great job in increasing their broadband speeds with both "3G" and "4G" credits...even more than AT&T. But T-Mobile has a good horse in this race as well, and maybe with some advantages.

T-Mobile got a slower start in rolling out 3G, but they have expanded to the point where they already cover a large percentage of the US population, even though their map doesn't show as much color as the other carriers. T-Mobile had somewhat less capacity available to expand their broadband services, but with the purchase of big chunks of AWS spectrum, they are now able to offer all-you-can-eat 3G nationwide, with their new 1700/2100 MHz channels, which are not competing with their voice traffic in the 1900 MHz band. Plus, they're starting to offer the kinds of phones that can take good advantage of the new spectrum.

You may need to drill down in T-Mobile's detailed coverage maps to see just how much 3G they have to offer where most Americans live. And, of course, there's plenty of GSM/EDGE/GPRS coverage out beyond the core. So, don't give up on T-Mobile just because of the maps you see over the reindeer heads. They just may give you more bang for the buck...or reindeer.

1 comment:

Ian said...

T-Mobile has a list of 3G launches, as they happen, at http://ow.ly/MLqq.

That said, they still don't cover a LOT of areas; if you're not in a medium-to-large city (or a suburb thereof) you won't be able to get T-Mobile 3G.

In contrast, Sprint's network isn't quite as large as Verizon's, but it's still huge as far as 3G goes. I'm on vacation in the McAllen, TX area right now and Sprint's EvDO signal is great. Not sure about Verizon or T-Mobile but AT&T switched to EDGE-only a few hours before the destination.