WASHINGTON, May 24, 2011 - Wireless phone and Internet provider T-Mobile announced Tuesday that its fastest wireless broadband speeds would increase twofold in more than 50 markets, starting Wednesday.
The company boasts speeds up to 42 megabits per second (Mbps) available on the improved 4G networks, though consumers will need to upgrade their equipment to reach advertised speeds. T-Mobile also announced the release of the Rocket laptop stick, the company's first 42-Mbps-capable 4G product.
“While customers with existing 3G and 4G devices will benefit from our continued network enhancements," said Neville Ray, chief technology officer at T-Mobile USA, "new devices like the new Rocket 3.0 laptop stick will enable customers to reap the benefits of even faster 4G speeds.”
While T-Mobile has laid out 42 Mbps as a potential speed, it acknowledges that actual speeds depend on a variety of factors, including distance from a tower and traffic volume. Tests of T-Mobile's currently available 4G devices have shown speeds in the range of approximately 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps. Users switching to 42-Mbps-capable devices can expect speeds that double those of products already on the market, according to a statement by the company.
"To set expectations, it’s our goal to have others talking about the speed people are seeing rather than us dictate what people are seeing," said a T-Mobile spokesperson on Tuesday. "That’s why we work with several third-party reviewers, to test out a variety of situations that our customers experience every day, and to help communicate the average user experience on our 4G network."