Thursday, January 27, 2011

Comparing 3G Coverage

I spent some time updating our 3G and 4G coverage maps this week. The biggest change is the coverage shown as "Future" 3G/Mobile Broadband for AT&T. It appears they will be able to throw the big switch around April 1st and all those new Alltel and Unicel sites will magically become 3G. AT&T also hints that it will be an equally easy switch to upgrade the whole 3G network to HSPA+/4G, later in the year.

I haven't found an updated Sprint 3G map mainly because their current 3G map shows "native" 3G service in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming, which we're told will go away, right around the time AT&T speeds up similar areas to 3G. However, Sprint and their WIMAX partner Clear Wireless have added a handful of additional markets with 4G coverage. BillRadio has a new Clear site visible from his window near Denver that appears to be the next step in ignoring the "disguise" theme of the sites around it.

T-Mobile no longer shows 3G coverage. What have they got to hide? They do show expanded 4G coverage. Cricket and US Cellular no longer show their own 3G coverage and instead include on- and off-network 3G service. I have kept their older (and maybe still current) 3G maps to show what belongs to whom. Fortunately, the coverage may be transparent whether roaming or not. That's the way we like it.

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