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T-Mobile Adds 24 Markets To HSPA+ Footprint

T-Mobile indicated on Wednesday that its HSPA+ wireless network now covers 85 million Americans in nearly 50 markets. It is also adding a new laptop dongle.

T-Mobile has been rolling out HSPA+ to markets aggressively this year. T-Mobile says that 16 devices in its portfolio can "benefit" from the HSPA+ network, though T-Mobile has yet to announce any full HSPA+ capable handsets.

The lastest batch of cities to gain access to the improved wireless speeds include: Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Waco, Texas; Baltimore, Md.; Baton Rouge and Lafayette, La.; Birmingham, Al.; Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale and Jacksonville, Fla.; Greenville, S.C.; Honolulu, Hi.; Indianapolis, Ind.; St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee, Wi.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Portland, Ore.; and Wichita, Kan.

T-Mobile noted that it has also increased the size of its HSPA+ footprint in the Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas.

In June, T-Mobile added HSPA+ to Los Angeles; Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Seattle; Tampa and Orlando, Fla.; Pittsburgh; Charlotte, Greensboro, Fayetteville, and Winston-Salem, N.C.; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; New Orleans; Anderson and Charleston, S.C.; and Bentonville, Ark.

The total number of people now served by T-Mobile's HSPA+ network stands at 85 million, and T-Mobile says it is on track to cover 185 million people by the end of 2010.

In addition to the new HSPA+ markets, T-Mobile also announced the webConnect Rocket 2.0 USB Laptop Stick, the latest version of its first HSPA+ capable device. The new laptop dongle improves upon T-Mobile's first HSPA+ dongle by adding a swivel. It and T-Mobile's existing HSPA+ dongles are available in markets covered by the HSPA+ network.

T-Mobile is marketing its HSPA+ network as "4G like." This bit of marketing lingo used in the company's recent press releases should be squashed ASAP. Based on my experiences, T-Mobile's HSPA+ network is outperforming Sprint's WiMax network in sheer speeds, but HSPA+ is a 3G technology through and through. To call it anything else is confusing at best, and a disservice to the general public.

Despite the marketing obfuscation, HSPA+ is some seriously fast wireless broadband.

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