T-Mobile talks network upgrades

Rather than debut anything unknown or surprising, mobile network operator T-Mobile today presented everything it had already announced, and then concentrated on talking about the widespread 3G network upgrade it's rolling out this year.

While this doesn't always get people drooling, T-Mobile looks to be taking a level-headed approach to network growth which the company says will result in the overall fastest 3G network in the US.

T-Mobile says its HSPA+ network upgrade will be complete by the end of this year, bringing a theoretical peak throughput of 21 Mbps to the company's entire 3G footprint.

Now, there's been some confusion as to what this upgrade will mean, as evinced by some of the questions in today's Q&A session with T-Mobile at CTIA.

As of right now, T-Mobile has launched or announced about 12 HSPA 7.2 devices. Every single one of these will be compatible with HSPA+ because the network upgrade is fully backward compatible. T-Mobile said this path is much easier on users because it doesn't require any new hardware on their side. Once the network is upgraded and activated, they simply get faster service.

In an era where the lifespan of mobile devices keeps getting shorter, T-Mobile's growth plans are a refreshing change. Instead of tempting customers into new hardware, the carrier is actually trying to add value to the devices customers have already purchased.

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