T-Mobile USA is apparently just about to take a giant step forward, and will kick off 3G service tomorrow.
T-Mobile has sent out a note that says, "Inform customers who are interested in high-speed data that the first phase of our 3G roll out supports voice only." Initially T-Mobile will use its new network only to increase the number of calls that can be made simultaneously. There is no word on when improved data capabilities will be added.
An increase in voice capabilities isn't what most customers are hoping for. They want UMTS to do wireless data transfers at a significantly higher rate of speed when compared to the telecom's current 2.5G service, which uses EDGE.
The launch will be in New York City, according to information that was leaked to TmoNews, but T-Mobile plans to roll out 3G service in at least 20 more cities before the end of this year.
A Slightly Different Version
Not all T-Mobile's phones will be able to take advantage of the 3G network. In order to get the radio spectrum it needed to create a national 3G network, T-Mobile had to use a different frequency from the other U.S. carriers that offer UMTS service. This means that standard U.S. 3G phones won't be able to access T-Mobile's 3G network.
The new leaked information says that four of this wireless network operator's models will have 3G support. Exactly which ones these are is not yet known, but it will likely be smartphones like the T-Mobile Shadow.
In 2006, this company paid billions of dollars to acquire the rights to the wireless spectrum it needs to roll out this 3G network. However, the government agencies that were using that spectrum at the time ran into delays freeing it up.
The long delay has been hard on this telecom, as it's the only major wireless carrier in the United States without a 3G network. And one of its competitors, Sprint, is going to start offering a 4G network to customers in the near future.