T-Mobile says HSDPA 7.2Mbps Upgrade is Complete

So if you are unfamiliar with T-Mobile’s plans for their data network, they came out with 3G really late in the game, but decided that they would play catch up as quickly as possible and hopefully pass the other carriers in terms of speed; going from 3.2Mbps, to 7.2Mbps, then finally to 21Mbps 3G by mid 2010.

Well, they have officially announced that they are moving along on schedule. They have just completed upgrading their entire network to 3.5G (aka HSDPA 7.2mbps) which would mean they just passed AT&T in terms of network speed (AT&T is still in the process of upgrading their entire network to 7.2Mbps). Now, granted T-Mobile has a slightly smaller network than AT&T but still it shows some initiative and shows that they are playing catch up nicely.

So 21Mbps HDPA+? Where for art thou?

Anyone notice any speed increases with their phones on T-Mobile yet?

  • tested it with mobilespeedtest.com and and it showed 500kbps. is this a good site for testing? let me know if there a better website. thanks

    • Dennis,

      Not really (I always get random readings from that site). What phone do you have? If you have Android goto the Market and search for Xtreme Labs. I think that is what it is called, its a speed test app and works pretty well.
      Let us know what you get.

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  • jerry

    This is very cool, and a big reason I am thinking of Nexus Oneing it sometime this week.

    I would be interested in reading an explanation of why HSDPA is not 4G, or what a 4G system will have over a 7.2 HSDPA, because there are just a few things between my wallet and a new phone, and one barrier is my fear that within 6 months there will be 4G phones out there and I’ll have a 2 year contract and a nice new huge ETF .

  • jimmy

    my results –

    Test Date: Jan 5, 2010 7:17:02 pm
    Connection Type: Utms

    Download: 865 kbps
    Upload: 228 kbps
    Ping: 128 ms

    A detailed image for this result can be found here:


  • Just downloaded said app and ran 2 speed tests. The first came back at 1 Mbps and the second came back as .43 Mbps.

  • Mr. O

    I did notice a speed increase, and also a coverage increase.

  • Patricio
    • Patricio,

      Well, AT&T we know hasn’t done anything but set up the software side nationwide (they have it running in test markets) and it would appear that T-Mobile has at least done the same (if not a bit further along). Either way, T-Mobile is chugging along and catching up pretty quickly.

      PS: The DSLReports guy doesn’t have that much knowledge. He’s speculating and waiting for T-Mobile to comment (even though he does make sense considering some have speed increases and some don’t).
      But more importantly, he says T-Mobile’s 3G is running on 1700 and 2200mhz which is just wrong so makes me wonder about the rest of his article (T-Mobile’s 3G runs on 1700mhz that’s it. They also own 2100mhz, not 2200mhz, but they have not used it yet. You can read more about this in this article: 3G Revelation

  • jessica

    i do notice the diff. im using wireless tether (damn comcast not working)and the pages are loading pretty fast…

    • Jessica,

      Do a speed test, download Xtremelabs from the Market and post the results. Im curious how many people are actually getting faster internet…

  • Engineer

    I would add, to be fair, speed for 3G is greatly dependant on your RF environment and your distance to the cell tower. If you have a weak signal, you won’t get an HSDPA codec, but rather be forced to R99 (384kbps max). To take advantage of the upgrade, you would have to be in an area with very good signal (full bars).
    Also, AWS spectrum includes both 1700 (uplink) and 2100 (downlink) which is what T-Mobile is using.

    • Engineer,

      Right, understandable about needing full signal. I’m curious though as to why my phone shows 3.5G when I don’t have full signal occasionally (Nokia N900).
      And no, T-Mobile is using ONLY 1700mhz for down and no 2100mhz. Read this for more info. I was also under the same impression as you for how we use one for up and one for down, but T-Mobile seems to not do that, yet. They seem to only have a downlink for 3G and no uplink (you can see this when doing a speed test actually).
      How we know that T-Mobile is not using 2100mhz (even though they do own it), is they currently have phones that ONLY have 1700 3G built in (i.e. the Samsung Behold, http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_t919_behold-2587.php, the Samsung Memoir, http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_t929_memoir-2663.php), no 2100mhz at all. So we can assume 1700mhz is what T-Mobile is using for 3G down and they are not using an uplink frequency at all at the moment (even though they probably will at some point).

      Are you an engineer for T-Mobile? Would love to continue this conversation as I came up with the theory myself and still am not sure about it entirely but the evidence points to it for sure and no one else can explain otherwise.

  • Engineer

    I did the xtremelabs test with two bars and got 550kbs down and 161kbs up.

  • Engineer

    You don’t have the right info and neither did that kid’s mom about the details of T-Mobile’s use of the AWS spectrum. The phone has a 1700 transmiter because that is the Uplink frequency from the phone to the tower. The Tower uses 2100 to the phone for downlink. These two frequencies are included in the AWS spectrum purchased by T-Mobile in the last FCC auction.
    As for the phones, if you got to Samsung for the specs directly, it will list it as 1700/2100. If only 1700 was used there would need to be a time division access and no one in the world is doing that.
    Sorry, you were miss informed.

    • Engineer,

      I actually spoke to Samsung and those phones use 1700 for download and they do NOT have 2100 in them. So give them a call 🙂

  • Engineer

    We have the same thing for GSM in the PCS Band. Take A Band for example. We call it 1900, but it is really 1850/1930 used in smaller 200kHz blocks with both Time and Frequency division. UMTS uses code division of a 5MHz uplink and and additional 5MHz in the downlink.
    Your Nokia phone has some non-standard icon change for your 3.5G which I guess represents the difference between R99 and HSDPA.

  • Engineer

    I hope that clears it up, but please note the signal strength when comparing speed tests.
    I love your site.

  • Engineer

    4G networks are actually, WiMAX or LTE (Long Term Evolution). The current 4G networks are only able to carry data. There is a big dispute over the future of voice traffic on 4G as VOIP or if another solution will develop. IMHO I would suggest LTE handsets are more than a year away and if one did come out tomorrow, there is not a current voice solution. This is why you can not talk and surf with WiMAX or LTE. AT&T and T-Mobile 3G are actually WCDMA which allows multiple access (data and voice) at the same time.

  • shatterv2

    Quadruple post ^^

    Speed testing now

    DL: 907kb/s


  • jessica

    i tried doing the speed text on my nexus.. the app ran kinda buggy. there were words on top of words and i couldnt read it

  • Unlockr,

    I work for T-Mobile’s tech support and the Samsung Behold, for an example that you gave, shows that it has 1700/2100 UMTS band support on the page that we look at for specs on all of our phones. I know you had mentioned other phones as well, but it seems that there is mixed info here. What other phones did you say only showed the 1700 band?

  • Engineer

    Open the PDF version and check again.

  • Unlockr,

    Yea, I was looking at the Behold I. I read your 3G Revelation post way back when I just never really looked into it too much. The Gravity 2 only shows “Band IV” but the Memoir shows both “Band I and Band IV.” I believe band iv is just 1700 right? The Highlight shows 1700/2100…BUT the fact remains that the Gravity 2 only shows one band and it does 3G, I play with them all the time at work…hmmmmmm

    • The_Sleeve,

      Did you see the link I posted? From Samsung’s page showing 2100 NOT in the Behold I? lol (I’ve worked with T-Mobile for a long time, I know not to trust what comes up on the screen 100% lol).
      But ya, regardless plenty of T-Mobile phones only have 1700, so someone help me explain this (prove me wrong, I’m totally ok with that. I just want an explanation for 1700 only one way or another lol)

      FYI, can we continue this convo over at 3G Revelation to keep it on track? 🙂

      You work on the inside, love to hear what you find…

  • Sorry about responding so late. Down loaded Xtreme labs speed test and ran a test. Got 538kbps. Does not seem like 7.2mbps to me.

  • remixfa

    correct me if i am wrong, engineer, but didnt nokia just finish the VoiP problem for LTE?


    Besides, all that i have read and understood so far is that the first LTE phones, which are slated for launch shortly if things go right, are going to be LTE for the data side and CDMA for the voice side, until they can wane off the legacy CDMA network sometime down the road. Pretty much the same thing they did with the analog network a few years ago.

    Here in Jacksonville,FL, there isnt a speed increase so far.. at least on the west side of town ;(

  • Engineer

    I saw an article like this about VOLGA on an lab LTE network in Europe. The technology is on its way, but may not be just around the corner. The connection reliability for VoIP seems to be the main challenge to meet consumer expectations. I suspect the first LTE devices will likely be data only until the transitions between networks becomes seamless. I don’t work in product development so it is purely my opinion.

  • Jeff

    Did do a speed test (extreme labs) and with 2 bars my Max DL was 384kbs, Would LOVE to see my phone shoot to 7+. I do live in Utah, and we were one of the last places to receive 3g (about 4 months ago) so possible that upgrade is not truly complete with T-Mob. 3bars test gave me 700kbs (698) and I am inside my apt, but next to the window so it runs good. 4bars (outside) resulted in only 398.3kbs (weird)… So seems to average 500kbs. Which is fine, just to make sure it was not my phone I went wifi and it ran at 4038.6 max (Comcast) Running MyTouch w/root Ahman Rah Recov w/1.6.3 Donut ROM released on 1/8/2010. Love the website man, thanks for helping me take the worry out of the root process. I work for Verizon Wireless (Cust Care) so if you need any inside scoop I got that. We just saw the new(er) Palm Pre and its sibling the Palm Pixie.

    • Jeff,

      Not too bad, but definitely not the speed were should expect if they were done with their network upgrade, so hmmm.
      Thanks! Glad to help!
      Nice, ya shoot me an email if you see anything interesting (don’t get in trouble though).
      Send Us a Tip

  • jon

    Speed tests done with both services both on 3G with 2 bars:

    With XtremeLabs Speedtest:
    Download: 1872.4 kbps
    Upload: 162.4 kbps

    With SpeedTest.net:
    Download: 1928 kbps
    Upload: 374 kbps

    alright T-MO!

    • Jon,

      NICE! Thats the first good one we’ve heard! Thats an upgraded 3G for sure 🙂

  • nick

    just did speed test from xtremelabs speedtest with 4 of 5 bars and 3g connection and download was 318.2kbps and upload 195.4kbps upload i wish mine was up to jons speed cause im in vegas a big tmobile city lol ooh well hopefully soon right

  • rydr

    I can tell you I have seen IPhones do speed tests up to 3000 kbps in 2 different places in Florida. 1 was in Fort Lauderdale with speeds ranging between 2100 kbps and 2600 kbps. About 50 miles north in WPB I witnessed 2500 kbps to 3000 kbps. These were both IPhone 3GS. Being a N1 owner on Tmo I could only get up to 980 kbps in WPB and 700 kbps in Fort Lauderdale.

    • Rydr,

      Never seen speeds that high in FL on any iPhone, except on WiFi.

  • Matt

    on mobilespeedtest.com on a 2mb file I can get 3meg down quite frequently on the 3G on WA. 21meg on cell phones I can even imagine.

  • Ok!
    I have a big interference from wireless telephonnes Dect.6.0(1920_1930 MHz) ! in BTS uplink frequencies!(Romania).
    FCC good work for US and Canada …

  • I would add, to be fair, speed for 3G is greatly dependant on your RF environment and your distance to the cell tower.

  • hayden keller

    I noticed the speed increase. A few days ago I was only getting 100kbs speed with 40-100kbs transfer rates. Now I get up to 3.2mb/s with 100-500kbs transfer speeds. Its amazing. Using this on my laptop just replaces a home broadband connection completely.

  • lamont

    x7500 advantage indianapolis ,indiana-downtown never had 3g ever only edge

    • Lamont,

      That will never change. That’s because the x7500 doesn’t have TMobile’s 3G frequencies in it.

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  • lezlee

    Nope. Just drops 3g a lot and h seems slower.