2G and 3G carriers? The lowdown on AT&T and T-Mobile USA

2G and 3G services 2G and 3G services

BLOG: July 18, 2012 — There’s been a lot of confusion regarding 2G vs. 3G in the USA. Here, Wyless CEO, Dan McDuffie sets the record straight …

AT&T is retiring its second generation (2G) network in the USA sometime in the next few years, whereas T-Mobile USA has guaranteed 2G across its entire network for at least the next five years, and most likely much longer.

T-Mobile is also re-farming a portion of its current 2G 1900 spectrum for HSPA in order to compete with AT&T for things like iPhones and iPads. For machine-to-machine (M2M) service users that means that any 1900 HSPA design will work across the T-Mobile network later this year. However, T-Mobile has committed to leaving adequate spectrum to service millions of 2G M2M devices long into the future.

The bottom line is that, unlike AT&T, T-Mobile doesn’t have any capacity constraints, especially with the new AWS bandwidth that it got as part of the break-up fee from the failed AT&T merger.

T-Mobile has also recently announced its LTE deployment, which is starting in Q4 and will be completed next year. The T-Mobile version of LTE will be faster than AT&T and Verizon as they are going straight to “Advanced LTE,” otherwise known as “LTE Release 10,” just as the T-Mobile HSPA+ service is faster than AT&T’s 3G. Sometimes it pays to wait and start a little bit late.

For more information on T-Mobile’s LTE release have a look at this Reuters article on Ericsson’s win:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/08/idUS26751+08-May-2012+HUG20120508

The 2G story continues with CDMA. Both Verizon and Sprint are guaranteeing 1xRTT 2G through to 2018/2019. And if you need a partner Wyless can offer 2G (GPRS and 1xRTT), 3G (HSPA and HSPA+) and, where appropriate, 4G LTE.

By the way, check out this Fierce Wireless story on AT&T’s re-farming activities

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