With the close of 2011 at hand, the 4G network is the latest data network available for wireless devices.

One 4G or Fourth Generation mobile telephony technology is the -HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA, HSPA+ (High Speed Download/Upload Packet Access + “Evolved”). For the wireless device consumer, the network platform capabilities will dictate which data network it can sync and ultimately, how quickly data can be transferred to or from the wireless 4G device.

T Mobile launched the HSPA+ system in February 2010 to bring wireless user internet speeds that exceed 21 Mbit/s. Essentially, the HSPA is an improved version of the 3G wireless network. To offer a perspective on data transfer by technology, the following chart illustrates the data rate/network:

Year Network Data Speed
3G - 2 Mbit/s
2009 - 4G HSPA+ Release 7 - DL: 28 Mbit/s UL: 11.5 Mbit/s
2010 - 4G HSPA+ Release 8 - DL: 42 Mbit/s UL: 11.5 Mbit/s
2011 - 4G HSPA+ Release 9 - DL: 84 Mbit/s UL: 23 Mbit/s
2012 - 4G HSPA+ Release 10 - DL: 168 Mbit/s UL: 23 Mbit/s
2013+ - 4G HSPA+ Release 11 - 672 Mbit/s

Currently, T Mobile has brought the HSPA+ Release 8 to 152 markets (170 million users) via the the Category 20 Rocket 3.0 USB modem. It plans to launch its first HSPA+ 42 smartphone by year's end.

With the upcoming developments in network improvements, it is important to understand your current or upcoming smart phone's network capabilities. When looking to buy your next smart phone, look for the HSPA+ symbol or ask your store representative if the information is not readily available. This symbol will ensure that the phone/wireless device can "tap" into the latest HSPA+ releases as they are available.
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Jenny Tsai

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