T-Mobile Turns On 3G In First Metro Market

By Joseph Palenchar On May 19 2008 - 6:00am

T-Mobiie commercially launched third-generation wireless service for the first time in the United States, bringing W-CDMA/HSDPA service to the New York City area with plans to roll out a total of 20 to 25 major markets by the end of the year.

The company already offers W-CDMA phones in the New York area and said it plans in the coming months to offer its first high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) handsets to further accelerate data speeds. Also planned are the carrier's first "data-centric all-in-one" devices, which it didn't define.

T-Mobile is rolling out its third-generation service in the 1.7/2.1GHz Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum, "effectively doubling [its] spectrum position" compared to its capacity-constrained 1.9GHz network, which offers low-speed GSM/GPRS/EDGE service, T-Mobile said.

For now, T-Mobile isn't charging a premium for its 3G data service, but "T-Mobile will be revisiting pricing for HSDPA services later this year as we progress through launch," a spokeswoman said. The 3G service boosts T-Mobile's wireless download speeds to a range of 200kbps to 300kbps, but as HSDPA devices become available later in the year, download rates will accelerate to an average of 600kbps with 1Mbps peaks.

With the launch, T-Mobile becomes the last of the major national U.S. carriers to launch a high-speed data service.

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