I’ve discussed before how I’m perfectly content with T-Mobile’s HSPA+ speeds on my Nexus 4 at least for the time being, but the opinion of most carriers seems to be that LTE is always better. This is true in the sense that LTE is more of a true 4G network, while HSPA+ is more 3G+, but LTE speeds so far haven’t been quite impressive enough to completely make up for some of the disadvantages. As the last carrier without 4G LTE, T-Mobile has been advertising its HSPA+ network as 4G for a while, but they have recently started moving towards a rollout of their own next generation network.
Some of the first real world evidence of this network surfaced just this week on XDA, courtesy of an AT&T Galaxy Note II being used on T-Mobile. The user of the Note noticed some LTE connectivity in Kansas City, and was smart enough to run a couple of speedtests and post the results for the rest of us to see. While the speeds aren’t as impressive as Verizon’s LTE, the ping times are better than what I often get on HSPA+, and with an LTE network in place speeds can easily get better.
It may not seem like much, but this is certainly a start for T-Mobile, who hopes to have LTE available for quite a few people by the end of this year. The carrier will also offer LTE enabled Galaxy S III and iPhone devices along with their new subsidy free plans. This, along with the added LTE spectrum from the company’s acquisition of MetroPCS, seem to suggest quite a bit of further expansion for the underdog carrier. After nearly being purchased by AT&T, I can’t wait to see what kind of comeback T-Mobile makes.