updated 06:10 pm EDT, Wed November 3, 2010
ATT disputes T-Mobile HSPA plus claims
AT&T today took issue with some of T-Mobile's HSPA+ claims. The carrier not only noted that its now launching network has a peak of 21Mbps, not the 14.4Mbps argued by T-Mobile. It likewise disagreed with T-Mobile's insistence that its network was the largest, since AT&T's HSPA+ was potentially reachable by 180 million users today versus T-Mobile's 140 million.
T-Mobile plans to expand its reach to 200 million by the end of the year, but AT&T said its own service would reach 250 million Americans in a similar timeframe.
The assertions by T-Mobile have drawn controversy since HSPA+ by its nature is not 4G but instead a variant of 3G. T-Mobile has based most of the claims on its ability to outperform Sprint's 10Mbps maximum WiMax service, but 4G is widely considered to be LTE by most carriers and is officially defined by the ITU as being services that can get over 100Mbps in practice, like WiMAX 2.
T-Mobile's primary advantage is in phones, as it's the only carrier in the US with HSPA+ phones that include both the myTouch 4G and the G2. AT&T said it would have HSPA+ phones in the future but hasn't given a timeline. Most expect these to arrive in 2011. Current AT&T hardware, including the iPhone 4 and all but one modem, peak at 7.2Mbps.