At T-Mobile's press conference today at CES, LG took the stage to show off their new T-Mobile G Slate Android OS 3.0 Honeycomb tablet. After posing for some vanity shots with the tablet and LG's head, T-Mobile's CEO, Philip Humm, discussed their 4G HSPA+ network build out. They claim they have the largest 4G footprint nationally with fast data in the top 100 markets.
Humm went on to say that 81% of users queried want smartphones but only 31% currently own them. In other words, this is a huge growth market. T-Mobile's customer base is younger and likely more price conscious than the other 3 major carriers, and that's why they've pushed the $100 and less Android smartphones along with keeping 3G/4G pricing as low as possible.
Video consumption has increased 300% in the past year. Data consumption doubles every 7 months- wow. Of course T-Mobile had to challenge AT&T, and T-mo says their backhaul build-out has been going on for a year and is beyond AT&T's (backhaul refers to the data pipes running to the towers rather than tower build-out-- towers do no good without fast Ethernet running to them).
T-Mobile will do LTE when they feel the ecosystem is mature. In the meantime they'll continue building out HSPA+, which can reach 672Mbps theoretical max speeds in their estimates (a seriously fast number). Interesting.
T-Mobile announced that they'll be moving to HSPA+ 42Mbps this year- nice. They're running HSPA+ 42 right now as a test in Vegas for CES, and they claim it's as fast as Verizon's LTE 4G which is also live here in Las vegas. The test is running on a laptop projected to the big screen so we can all see it, and they're averaging 30Mbps on the HSPA+ 42 test network here. Next they downloaded several songs using the Amazon MP3 downloader, and it's going as fast as a solid home wired connection via FIOS or cable modem.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview