T-Mobile, USA: Touch of a button

T-Mobile offers almost-instant broadband access on the move by upgrading its network to HSPA+ with Ericsson

Top speed

In partnership with Ericsson, the operator began an aggressive rollout of High Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+), evolving its national high-speed 3G service to offer top peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps. This enables T-Mobile to offer users a high quality broadband experience on their devices, similar to the quality and speed obtained at home. This makes activities such as surfing the web, accessing multimedia features and sharing content virtually instant, at the touch of a button.

Natural evolution

For T-Mobile, providing high quality multimedia services to users has always been a priority and the operator has evolved its mobile broadband offering in a way that maximizes this experience. Having HSPA already implemented meant that the upgrade to HSPA+ was a natural evolution involving only a modest capital investment. This has enabled T-Mobile to focus on working in a precise yet timely manner.

In 2008, T-Mobile became the first operator to launch AndroidTM based devices and its current mobile broadband offering includes overage-free data on smartphones, netbooks and USB data cards. With a background in multimedia devices and knowledge of the network capabilities needed to meet mobile broadband demands, the upgrade cements T-Mobile's commitment to providing the best user experience for the smartphone segment.

Britt Wehrman, Vice President of Product Development, T-Mobile describes the benefits of the upgrade: "We've seen the user experience change dramatically with our smartphone offering. Users now do things spontaneously that they previously had to wait to do, such as updating their Facebook status, sending emails and watching the latest YouTube videos."

New markets

The solution involves the rollout of HSPA+ to more than 100 metropolitan areas, reaching 185 million people by the end of 2010 and providing speeds comparable to current 4G speeds in the US. Sören Elsborg, Executive Vice President & General Manager, T-Mobile, Ericsson explains Ericsson’s role as one of the primary vendors: "Ericsson offered T-Mobile the opportunity to be the first operator in the USA on 21 Mbps. The key to the success of this project is that we have been able to offer an end-to-end solution including the radio network, circuit core network and packet core network."

In addition to services such as tuning, optimization and network rollout, the technology included UMTS RAN and Ericsson's new GGSN with Deep Packet Inspection. The advanced functionality of GGSN with Deep Packet Inspection enables the operator to enhance the user experience and offer additional services. For the user, this means a home broadband-like experience on-the-go, when surfing the web, accessing multimedia features, sharing content and more.

Be the first

HSPA+ has allowed the operator to deliver reliable, high-speed services, enhancing the user experience and elevating T-Mobile towards its goal of having the fastest network in the country. Neville Ray, Chief Network Officer, T-Mobile discusses the reasons for evolving to HSPA+: "This was a very easy upgrade for us. There is a rich roadmap on HSPA+ devices and we have already launched our first device with our data rocket stick. We are now seeing speeds up to three times faster than those available from other providers of 3G in the marketplace today."


Customer: T-Mobile, USA

Customer Objective

  • Enhanced user experience
  • Support future growth
  • Support speed and quality on devices launched
  • Lower churn rate

Ericsson Solution

  • Upgrade to HSPA+
  • Tuning, optimization and NRO services
  • Backhaul to support upgrades

Customer Benefits

  • Improved network performance
  • Peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps
  • Improved spectral efficiency
  • Greater competitive differentiation

Real impacts

High speed mobile broadband caters for ‘spontaneous surfers’, users with a smartphone that want faster access to the internet on the move, without the hassle of booting up a laptop, entering a password and waiting for a connection.With the introduction of HSPA+ and the improved network quality that this brings, it is easier to use the smartphone when limited on time, such as on the commute to work. In addition, 3G smartphones deliver a better mobile web experience and so users do not need to spend money on a device upgrade to receive new services. However, spontaneous surfers have not given up on the laptop altogether; users recognize the value of needing greater performance and a larger screen when working on documents, images or watching videos. With an embedded mobile broadband connection in the laptop, users will find that no extra time is needed to connect – access is virtually instant.

Customer profile

T-Mobile is the fourth largest operator in the United States. It is a national provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services with over 33 million users. The operator brings more competition into the mobile marketplace, making broadband more affordable and accessible to a greater user base.


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