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AT&T Says T-Mobile's '4G' Numbers Are Wrong

Article Comments  100+  

Nov 3, 2010, 2:23 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

AT&T came out swinging at rival T-Mobile today, after T-Mobile launched its new 4G marketing blitz. According to AT&T, T-Mobile has misstated the numbers regarding AT&T's HSPA+ footprint and speeds. In an email to Phone Scoop, AT&T said, "T-Mobile's claims about 4G are based on the same HSPA+ technology we have deployed to 180 million people today, more than T-Mobile’s reported 140 million, and we’ll have it rolled out to 250 million people by the end of this month, substantially more than the 200 million T-Mobile says it will have by year-end." On Tuesday, T-Mobile said that its year-end footprint of 200 million POPS covered would allow it to call its "4G" network the country's largest. AT&T says it will cover 25% more people than T-Mobile by the end of the year. Additionally, AT&T says T-Mobile is wrong about its HSPA+ network speeds. T-Mobile claims AT&T's HSPA+ network is limited to 14.4Mbps max downloads. AT&T says this is inaccurate, and its HSPA+ network today is capable of speeds up to 21Mbps. However, AT&T has only one device on its network, a laptop dongle, that is capable of hitting 21Mbps speeds. It has no handsets that surpass 7.2Mbps downloads, let alone 14.4Mbps or 21Mbps. AT&T implied that this is going to change, but it didn't say when. As of today, T-Mobile has at least one dongle and two handsets capable of HSPA+ at 21Mbps.

from AT&T



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This forum is closed.


Nov 3, 2010, 8:59 PM

Poor AT&T--

--always on the receiving end of competitive advertising & never the aggressor.
cause there a follower not a leader.
what do u mean by that?

Att has actually show some balls to make a statement this bold so quickly after tmobile makes their so called 4g announcement. Everyone else with hspa+ networks are calling it 3g and they have faster speeds then tmobile does...

Nov 3, 2010, 5:11 PM


Tmobile has one dongle and 2 that that the cellular version of meat and 2 veg?
I couldnt resist
Do me a favor and remind me of how many LTE/4G phones AT&T has to offer? Twisted Evil

Nov 3, 2010, 2:59 PM

Well at least Tmo. . .

Well at least Tmo has plans to bump the speeds *up* to
42mb/s, and not just stop at 21mb/s like AT&T!!!!

AT&T plans to go to LTE, and skip the 42Mbps....

LTE = 100Mbps in theoretical max.

Nov 3, 2010, 2:41 PM

How about the fact that it isn't 4G...

Calling a 3G technology "4G" is dumb...
Calling the first iterations of LTE or WiMax 4G is equally dumb, as neither qualify as 4G networks. Frankly, its just a naming gimmick anyway. 3G, 4G, whatever, as long as I have fast web access I'll be smiling.
Mathematically speaking, numbers can be rounded up. Explains the whole 4g, 3g claim.

So 3.5, 3.51, 3.75 could be rounded up to 4G. But then 2.75 could be rounded up to 3G.

Damn, EDGE was a 3G network, and most of us already had 4G networks (3.5G...
Details...details... Rolling Eyes

Nov 3, 2010, 3:43 PM

There Is More To 4G Than Speeds.

There are advancements and programs that are provisioned within the 4G standard. HSPA+ does not have the full capabilities to obtain what has been written for this standard.

But what is 4G?
G stands for generation. In order to claim a Generation, a very large percentage of the industry must adopt the same technology and build on this outline. Within this technology are the criteria of certain aspects to accomplish this goal. While speed is the obvious, what about the other ingredients.

Since HSPA+ is an advancement of the 3rd generation of broadband service, it is still within this 3rd generation technology. HSPA+ is the last step in 3G whereas LTE and WiMAX are the beginning of the 4th. While initially the bridge appears level and b...
"HSPA+ does not or cannot meet the criteria outlined for 4G."

"T-Mobile said that it plans to begin upgrading its HSPA+ network from the current 21Mbps theoretical max downloads to 42Mbps theoretical max downloads. It has already started preparing ...
i agree with squirrelbacon....sprint is doin the same thing to its customers by sayin their network is 4g when it doesnt met the standards either....and when verizon rolls at thier network they will the same thing
flip mode

Nov 3, 2010, 3:43 PM

Nurse! Verizon Wireless @ 200CC's, Stat!

AT&T Says T-Mobile's '4G' Numbers Are Wrong

according to at&t, T-Mobile's formula for calculations is wrong like the iPhone 4's antenna. pure coincidence or potential patent dispute


the real test will come when the iPhone is finally released thru Big Red. My prediction is that at&t will slowly lose subscribers compared to the sprint fiasco and only because the etf is insane so most people are going to avoid that and instead go thru the life of the contract.

an iphone on verizon OR tmobile would be a far superior choice.
Except the ETF on such a device on VZW is even worse.
Remind me again how Iphone is going to be better on Verizon's network? You could have the biggest 3g network in the entire world and if millions of customers are using that data constantly and in large quantities, any network will slow down!!

So f...
One problem:
In most markets Verizon has way less bandwidth than AT&T has. Unless of course Verizon chooses to run things on their AWS properties which are not used at this time.

CDMA does use bandwidth more efficiently than UMTS but not efficient...
I am not a fan of AT&T each provided has their issues based on where you live in this great country of ours but this statement about
"the iPhone 4's antenna" Apple built the phone it would have been the same on any network.

Nov 4, 2010, 10:52 AM

Have you noticed...

That a lot of the same people who mocked T-Mobile on the forums yesterday on the announcement because they're wrong, are now crucifying AT&T for saying the exact same thing?
GeeksAreBest said:
That a lot of the same people who mocked T-Mobile on the forums yesterday on the announcement because they're wrong, are now crucifying AT&T for saying the exact same thing?

And the same "tools" b...

Nov 3, 2010, 3:08 PM

What AT&T did NOT say is more important

AT&T did NOT say:

"We're going to file a lawsuit for falsely claiming you have a 4G network."

+1 for T-mobile.
excellent point.
yeah, but why *would* AT&T sue? Its much easier for them to deploy lots more HSPA+ and optimize it for higher speeds than it is so build out LTE (like they were planning to do).

It lets them get more mileage out of their 3G network.

Nov 3, 2010, 6:23 PM

Wrong again PhoneScoop!

The g2 is only capable of reaching 14.4mbps look it up and I have not seen any g2 go passed 8mbs on tmobiles network. I believe the my touch 4 has the same chip which means tmobile is in the same boat as att. I would like to see the g2 get anywhere close to what im getting on my Epic 4g so far ive done nothing but send tmobile fanboys home pissed off at tmobile Cool
DiamondPro said:
The g2 is only capable of reaching 14.4mbps look it up and I have not seen any g2 go passed 8mbs on tmobiles network. I believe the my touch 4 has the same chip which means tmobile is in the same boat as att. I wou

Nov 4, 2010, 11:46 AM

iPhone Troubles

I would be surprised to see an iPhone even on another Network before they can do simultaneous voice/data. I know lots of criticism from people who don't have this capability on their own network. You can't love what you haven't used before. After all almost every one of the 'Apple' Ads show this function being utilized, with the phone call being minimized with the home button then accessing email/replying to one. Accessing Google Maps, and lots of other data centric applications while online are very useful without ending a phone call. I know LTE is coming for Verizon but how long will that take. The iPhone did cripple AT&T’s network, the are fighting back, but let’s face it they are still ahead of this department. I doubt that...
From what I understand, the CDMA Verizon is working on will have this capability early next year ;}
Shocked I'm not exactly sure what the iPhone has to do with this topic, but I will offer up my take on your post.

Most everyone I know that bought an iPhone, bought because it said Apple. Not for simultaneous voice and data. They didn't even know about...

Nov 4, 2010, 4:36 PM

Whoa... hold on... since when does any of this matter?

Hear me out alright?

The year is 2015, Every single carrier except for T-Mobile has "real" 4G service running at 100mbps. T-Mobile is still on that old-school 3G garbage @ 42mbps.

Nobody notices.


Because at a certain speed, there is no advantage to going faster for almost everyone.

(of course, everyone is using the "iPhone cld" by then [CLD= contact lens display]) on all four carriers.


Nov 3, 2010, 4:54 PM

T-Mobile Rebrands HSPA+ as '3.9', Says Its 3.9G Network Is the Nation's Largest

T-Mobile today announced plans to move forward with marketing its HSPA+ network as "3.9G". T-Mobile will launch a national advertising campaign, which will appear on TV networks and cable TV stations, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and TNT, and on websites, including AOL, MSN, and The message will brand T-Mobile's HSPA+ network as "America's Largest 3.9G Network." According to T-Mobile representatives that spoke to Phone Scoop, the company feels that the real-world peak and real-world average download speeds, which it claims are 12Mbps and 5Mbps, respectively, handily beat the speeds offered by Sprint's WiMax network and Verizon's forthcoming LTE network. T-Mobile believes the speed and capacity of its HSPA+ network gives it the gr...
Looks like you know how to cut & paste & edit! LOL!!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Nov 4, 2010, 10:07 AM

It's all BS anyway

I think the insistence on whole-number designations is stupid. Just say what the fricking data speed is.

Is it a lie to say that something is a 4 when it doesn't meet the technical requirement? Most consumers probably have no idea what the arbitrary data rates are for either 3 or 4, so functionally it is all just marketing hype anyway.

Plus "4G" is just a *term* that a panel of experts agreed on....way back before HSPA+ was a reality.

Nov 4, 2010, 8:42 AM

Where does ATT get these coverage numbers from?

Looking at the map for their "3G" coverage, how can they claim their new "3.5G?" will cover some 200 plus million people? Do they count people that might travel through their coverage area at some point in a year? I am not an ATT customer but my father is so I know how poor their coverage is and is even worse for the "3G".

Nov 3, 2010, 6:53 PM

This is information from ATT Website! LTE (4G) is coming for att customers!

What is LTE?
LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a wireless broadband technology designed to support mobile Internet access via cell phones and handheld devices. LTE is sometimes called 4G, or fourth generation, technology. AT&T began trials of LTE in 2010 and we plan to launch LTE commercially in 2011. When it's available*, any of your AT&T LTE-upgradable devices will be able to connect to LTE after performing a simple software upgrade.

What does LTE mean for you?
Expect faster speeds for better information delivery. LTE will support higher data throughput rates for downlink and uplink speeds.

LTE is the next step in network evolution. With AT&T’s nationwide deployment of HSPA+ for 2010 and in 2011 deploying LTE,...

Nov 3, 2010, 5:22 PM

ATT is a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

they dont even have HSUPA on their phones!
Samsung captivate is a HSUPA capable phone, but ATT disabled HSUPA on samsung captivate!
to enable HSUPA on your captivate, you need to flash a europe rom!

Nov 3, 2010, 4:47 PM

Best Marketing ploy EVER!!!

If T-mobile can call its HSPA+ network 4G, because its speeds are comparable in real world testing, then it will be able to call LTE 5G when it switches to LTE in the next few years.

"T-mobile, the first 5G network!*

*With 3G speeds by definition"
Let's see who reaches 10G first.

And 100G.

And 1000G.

Let reaching the milestones begin.

Nov 3, 2010, 3:31 PM

I don't care what AT&T says, because i can't make a call

Yeah, how about you improve your network first? because i had to leave for Verizon waiting and waiting until i can make an uninterrupted phone call.... simple phone call... not to say how bad your data speeds are...
I had a lot of dropped calls on AT&T because too many people have the iPhone. I switched to Sprint and then moved, and had dropped calls again so now I am back with T-mobile and I don't get dropped calls. I could care less about data, I have an iPOD...

Nov 3, 2010, 3:14 PM

AT&T has been mighty quiet about its HSPA+ network...

AT&T has been quiet about its HSPA+ footprint until now. You can't blame anyone for not knowing that AT&T even has HSPA+ live.

Curious as to what speeds you can see on AT&T's HSPA+ network at this point.

Also, the fact that AT&T's flagship handset (the iPhone...despite the multiple Android devices running on the network now and WP7 phones coming soon) doesn't support HSPA+ is...a bit of a problem, where T-Mobile has had HSPA+ long enough to release not one but two HSPA+ dongles, and now has two HSPA+ phones and an HSPA+ laptop.

Nice to see a 3G/4G arms race at this point though...

Nov 3, 2010, 3:03 PM

If we overclock a Droid processor to 1.25ghz

If we overclock a Droid processor to 1.25ghz, does that make it a next generation processor? Does it really matter as long as the speeds are the same?
Ops wrong topic... where's the delete button?
Precisely! HSPA+ 3.5G/4G all that matters is how many megabits!!!!
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