updated 12:15 pm EDT, Fri October 6, 2006
T-Mobile UMTS in US
Next-generation mobile broadband in the US -- that is, 3G and beyond -- has so far been scarce, dominated largely by Cingular's 3.5G HSDPA network and only now seeing competition from Sprint's EVDO Revision A. Today, the American division of T-Mobile announced that it would offer a third option for 3G access through a major deployment of a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network. The carrier says it will spend $2.66B rolling out the option to all its users over the course of the next two to three years. UMTS is similar in many ways to HSDPA (though it uses W-CDMA instead of GSM towers) and can offer a theoretical maximum speed of 2Mbps downstream; numerous European smartphones already work with either standard, opening the possibility of phone launches in the US that would previously have been impossible. No devices were launched with the rollout, though T-Mobile states that the early network and accompanying devices should be ready by mid-2007.