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Wireless Networking Communications The Internet Technology

T-Mobile's First HSPA+ Modem Goes On Sale Sunday 74

Posted by timothy
from the danke-sehr dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "T-Mobile announced that the webConnect Rocket USB Laptop Stick, the first HSPA+ device for the US, will be available beginning on Sunday, March 14. The device was originally announced at MWC in February. HSPA+ is interesting because it could enable 4G LTE-like speeds using existing 3G infrastructure and according to a hands-on, it smokes Wi-Max. Right now, it's still just for Philadelphia, although we should see several major cities light up with HSPA+ on both coasts well before the end of 2010."
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T-Mobile's First HSPA+ Modem Goes On Sale Sunday

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  • Portugal (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    US cell phone market is so pathetic... Here in Portugal, we have HSPA+ for a couple months now...
    • Re:Portugal (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jimduchek (13246) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:24PM (#31444586) Homepage

      The problem with the US market when it comes to broadband, wireless tech, etc vs. Europe or Japan is population density. US cities (It's an American mentality, I suppose) tend to sprawl out, and most of the country is rural, but still fairly populated. Most countries have a higher density (the US is 178th), and most of the non-3rd-world ones that are lower (Canada, Russia, Brazil, etc) have large areas that are entirely unpopulated (and thus don't need to be taken into account for density when it comes to rolling out tech). Not to mention the US is freakin' huge to begin with -- Portugal is a little smaller than Maine, our 38th biggest state. But with a population of 10 million, that's more than Michigan, our 8th most populous state. Rolling out a technology here in the US requires an _enormous_ outlay of cash because of the area that needs to be covered in order to cover enough people to make it worthwhile.

      • Re:Portugal (Score:4, Insightful)

        by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:47PM (#31444986)

        The problem with the US market when it comes to broadband, wireless tech, etc vs. Europe or Japan is population density. US cities (It's an American mentality, I suppose) tend to sprawl out, and most of the country is rural, but still fairly populated.

        I can buy that argument for the rural areas of the US, but when you areas such as NYC I can't fathom as to why they don't apparently have the population density and size to support all the fancy technologies that seem to spring up elsewhere in the world. If anything NYC should be showcasing to the rest of the world as to what high population densities and capitalism can do for technology. But then again, I suppose the technology they have actually *does* showcase the tech that the companies want to install, and that basically the companies couldn't give a flying fuck about providing the best shiny and newest technology.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by DarthBling (1733038)

        ...non-3rd-world ones that are lower (Canada, Russia, Brazil, etc)...

        Don't mean to nitpik, but Brazil is a third world nation.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_World [wikipedia.org]

      • by knarf (34928)

        Ah, the old population density bird... it still won't fly. Population density in Sweden - where I live - is lower than that in the US. Mobile telecommunications is quite popular here as you probably know. Ericsson and Nokia are well-known names in the field of mobile telecmmunications. Nokia from Finland, Ericsson from Sweden.

        Population density in Sweden comes to about 57 heads per square mile. Finland is lower with 44. Norway is even lower with 39.

        The USA has a population density of 84 heads per square mil

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It's awesome that you have something we don't. Congrats. You're much better than we are. You rule. Now that you've heard that, maybe you can leave us the fuck alone already? Sheesh.

          • Then stop posting on /. about how your Great Wild Country of Hardy Individualistic Hard Men can't have a proper cell network because the expense of building such a unique cell network is so much more expensive.
      • Ok, that explains why Durango, Colorado or Selene, Kansas doesn't get this stuff... but what about New York City? Los Angeles? Chicago? Detroit (oops, never mind that one), Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Seattle, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Albuquerque, Boston, Miami, and on and on and on and on.

        In other words, you are dead wrong. Thanks for playing. :)

        strike
           

    • by hazydave (96747)
      HSPA+ has actually been rolled out already by AT&T.. that's the 7.2Mb/s you hear in ads all the time. The problem with HSPA+ is the same problem GSM has always had. The original voice/2G protocols ran on 1.25MHz down, 1.25MHz up channels. The CDMA folks (Verizon and Sprint) run EvDO Rev A, which does 3.1Mb/s down, peak, on these same channels. This is why virtually every CDMA cell in the USA is 3G. The original HSPA wants 5MHz up and 5MHz down, to deliver 3.6Mb/s downlinks. Unfortunately, this demande
  • Canada (Score:5, Interesting)

    by courteaudotbiz (1191083) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:41PM (#31443768) Homepage
    Up here in Canada, we already have HSPA+ in urban areas... strange that we are so much in advance, we are known to usually adopt technologies well after the US...
    • Re:Canada (Score:5, Funny)

      by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:02PM (#31444174)

      Up here in Canada, we already have HSPA+ in urban areas... strange that we are so much in advance, we are known to usually adopt technologies well after the US...

      Shhh .. the US likes top think that it gets all the cool new technologies first and that the rest of the world can barely use electric lights. If you let on that you have advanced technology then they will start to feel inadequate.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Kjella (173770)

        Don't worry, the bits take so long to get there they'll never notice.

      • Some of us yanks know how far behind we are in the cell phone realm. The FCC is a corrupt, inept agency. Perhaps this will start to change with Obama in the White House. I'm not holding my breath.
        • It matters little what the FCC does or does not do, IMO, but what localities do. In some cases they offer monopolies to ISPs and cable cos just so that they can get them in the area. My own town has the same silliness, and they have stalled getting FiOS in the area for some time now. I also wonder if other countries had the same evil phone monopoly that we had in the US, and if we have simply not recovered from the effects of that yet.
          • Most developed countries in Europe and Asia had a single, state owned and state run telco monopoly before the advent of cheap cell phones. Landlines were expensive and metered in these places. When I was traveling in England in the nineteen eighties I was cautioned about this. I was told I could net expect a phone in my hotel room, for example. This was the case. I think most landlines in the UK were metered back then. Telephony was cheaper and access too it was easier in the US. Again, this was long before
    • Re:Canada (Score:4, Funny)

      by alen (225700) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:11PM (#31444362)

      aren't there only 2 or 3 urban areas in canada?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by gv250 (897841)

        aren't there only 2 or 3 urban areas in canada?

        Yep -- Detroit and Buffalo.

    • Actually you guys get tons of tech before we do. I remember being in a McDonalds in Toronto 10 years ago and being asked "Cash or Card eh?" I was like "what? Er... Cash." I was amazed... Turns out Canada had this amazing system called interact that would let you swipe your credit card just like you were at an atm. It was everywhere. Meanwhile for the next 4 years or so in the US of A we all still had to carry around cash. Hats off to you folks for embracing technology! :)
      • I have a friend who went to Canada to have laser corrective surgery done on her eyes back in the early 90's, because there were no reasonable choices for this procedure available here in the US (well at least within a reasonable distance in Pennsylvania).

        I was completely baffled by her story, because I was brainwashed to believe that socialized medicine necessarily lags behind when it comes to new medical technology and procedures.
        • People cross the border in both directions for medical care all the time, both those pro- and con socialized medicine. I would like to know how many people do this sort of thing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by atamido (1020905)

        Turns out Canada had this amazing system called interact that would let you swipe your credit card just like you were at an atm. It was everywhere.

        I got my first Visa check card in late 1997, in the USA, and I knew many people that had one way before me. After that, I don't recall ever using cash outside of fast food places. Perhaps where you lived was just behind the times?

    • HSPA+ rollout in Canada was hurried along by Bell and Telus, who wanted to have GSM-compatible networks in place when the world showed up to Vancouver for a few weeks, not long ago. Could you imagine the stink if Van got the hot new toys while Montreal and Toronto and Calgary had to suffer with the old tech?

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        HSPA+ rollout in Canada was hurried along by Bell and Telus, who wanted to have GSM-compatible networks in place when the world showed up to Vancouver for a few weeks, not long ago. Could you imagine the stink if Van got the hot new toys while Montreal and Toronto and Calgary had to suffer with the old tech?

        Because otherwise, Rogers would get all the heavily sought-after roaming minutes. CDMA just isn't used that widely outside of North America. And with Bell being an Olympic sponsor, that would mean the va

  • How long before we get these in the UK? They sound good.
    • by amorsen (7485)

      You don't have them? 21Mbps is already old news here, although by law it can't be advertised as 21Mbps (because you'll never get anywhere near that, even theoretically). I think most companies have decided to call it 10Mbps.

      It's advertised as a replacement for ADSL, but it just isn't. It beats trying to get on wireless in cafes or trains though -- especially when the train wireless is simply one of those shared by everyone on the train.

      WiMAX is worlds better if you have line of sight because of its lower la

    • by bsa3 (200)

      Outside the M25? Could be ages.

      Then again, T-Mobile's US UMTS network is practically nonexistent. Take Boston as an example: they've got 3G inside 495, except for a large number of inexplicable nulls and EDGE-only areas. Then you go from Worcester to Springfield and it's EDGE only. 2G coverage for a 4G world.

  • Is that a rocket in your pocket? Or are you just happy to see me?

  • with a 5GB cap and 60c/mb after that makes it a so what.

    (Like having a fast car with a half gallon tank.. you can beat anyone in a race for half a block, after that a geo metro is faster)

  • IIRC, Sprint's 4G is being advertised as "unlimited" (usual caveats apply) where this isn't. Now that the majority of Joe Consumers are actually consuming more than email (i.e. mobile video, etc.), it'll be interesting to see how the networks respond with their marketing.

    From the gearlog link:
    The webConnect Rocket USB Laptop Stick retails for $99.99 with a two-year contract and an Even More webConnect data plan. $60 per month gets you 5GB, while $30 gets you just 200MB; both charge 20 cents per megabyte ov

  • by natehoy (1608657)

    Yay! Now I can burn through my monthly allotment in 33 minutes and 20 seconds, and incur overage charges at 50 cents a minute for the remaining 43,167.67 minutes of the month!

    Does speed really matter if your monthly allotment is that low?

    • by GenP (686381)
      I usually just divide the transfer cap by 30 days to get the effective throughput.
    • It's actually going to be 15 cents a second, more or less.

      Let's assume you want that high speed for... something. Hi-res remote doctor consultations, watching Avatar in HD over the air, using onLive.... you get the idea. Let's say you burned through your allotment already. Let's also assume that you get 3Mbit/sec instead of the full 6Mbit/sec. A 15 minute consultation then will cost you $80, a 5 GB movie $200, and an all-night onLive session will run you a whopping $2500. Somehow, I don't think that whoever

  • most of this technology's advantages will be used to improve life for the Telcos (by squeezing more subscribers per cell) than for improving life for the user.
  • These tests are useless without latency measurements. For nearly all practical purposes, a 21Mb transfer rate is not significantly better than a 1Mb rate if the round-trip time is 500ms.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by afidel (530433)
      That really depends on what you are doing now doesn't it? If you are streaming an HD video then the greater speed matters, if you are trying to load the 1,000 elements in a complex webpage or doing XMLHTTP requests then the 1Mbps connection with the lower latency may be preferred.
      • by Otterley (29945)

        Streaming HD video is not what 99% of people use these connections for. If you do, the service provider hates you and is likely to cancel your service.

      • If you're trying to load 1,000 elements of a complex webpage in series, yes. In parallel, not so much.
        • by Otterley (29945)

          Browsers don't load every page element in parallel. Usually the concurrency is limited to 4 connections per server, per the HTTP spec.

          • I think the user can choose to change that. I'm not inclined to view this as a moral issue, after all someone blessed with lower latency can make more requests per second. And I'm not inclined to view it as a technical problem because I think it's likely that that most servers are more limited by network capacity than by ability to service connections because memory appears to have gotten cheaper more quickly than internet speed has become cheaper.
  • Sorry, 5GB.

    5 measly little gigs?

    I fart hard and I'm over that cap.

  • HSPA+ is not HSDPA (Score:3, Informative)

    by Erich (151) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @06:23PM (#31445484) Homepage Journal
    The GSM side of 3G standards has many different upgrades to the basic WCDMA air interface:
    • HSDPA: 7.2 MBit/sec downlink
    • HSUPA: 5MBit/sec uplink
    • HSPA+: 21 MBit/sec - 48 MBit/sec downlink

    The most interesting thing is that HSPA+ is getting close to the same efficiency (bits/Hz) as LTE; 21MBit/sec in a 5MHz channel vs. 100MBit/sec in a 20MHz channel.

  • Guess I will stick with my unlimited EDGE for $20/month then, TMO. It may only be a pathetic 20kbyte/sec or so but I can do that speed all month long for $20, no caps.

  • lame (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sixsixtysix (1110135)
    really? this is the next big wireless thing to come? it doesn't sound too impressive, especially with the caps. this is not what consumers want. they want ONE connection that can go anywhere with similar speeds wherever they go. can we get rid of home/mobile barrier once and for all? maybe get that network working and leave the other stuff alone until it gets made? it's the same bullshit that doesn't allow for a simple $30/month unlimited voice/text/data(which should just be sold as one fucking thing, as it

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