Video: T-Mobile’s HSPA+ webConnect Rocket

In September 2009, T-Mobile became the first carrier to launch an HSPA+ network in the U.S. A lot of people these days are clamouring about the new 4G network from Sprint, but it turns out T-Mobile’s network may be better or equal in many cases. T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is considered 3.75G and offers a maximum download speed of 21Mbps. In order to benefit the most from T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network, you need an HSPA+ capable device. Right now, the only one available is the webConnect Rocket USB stick.

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Real world speeds range from 2Mpbs where T-Mobile has not yet implemented the HSPA+ upgrade to close to 7Mbps in optimal HSPA+ locations.

The USB stick is fairly straight forward. You plug it into a computer and it allows you to install the custom software. I found the software to be buggy, and uninstalled it. Luckily, the broadband adapter was still recognized natively by Windows 7 and worked better without the software. Granted, the software is useful for keeping track of your data usage which is important if you’re on the 200Mb/month plan. The software also has an interface for finding T-Mobile WiFi Hotspots for which the webConnect service plans also include unlimited access to.

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On the same network without the HSPA+ support (only HSPA 7.2Mbps), the T-Mobile HD2 (and any other T-Mobile 3G handset) still benefits from the added speed increases on the back-end. So even if your device is not HSPA+ capable, you may see speed increases as T-Mobile continues to upgrade their network.

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About The Author
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for since they first appeared on the market in 2002. Read more about Adam Lein!
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