T-Mobile 3G Speed | 2010 Wireless Broadband Review

For the most recent see the 2011 T-Mobile 4G speed tests

T-Mobile 3G Speed
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Last year marked the launch of the T-Mobile 3G speed experience. While they were no where close to being the “nation’s fastest 3G network“, their offering was decent:

T-Mobile Wireless Internet Speeds

As you can see, T-Mobile’s 3G speed falls below WiFi but above EDGE and GPRS in speed.

Since that time, two tests were conducted by Gizmodo (in December 2009 covering 12 cities) and PC World (in March 2010 covering 13 cities) to see who had the fastest mobile broadband. However, it might help to make some sense of mobile broadband speed before we get knee-deep in numbers:

How To Make Sense Of The Mobile Broadband Speed


People who get the fastest speeds in the United States average about 3.9 Mbps. If you read the fastest mobile broadband review, average 3G speeds are about 1 – 1.4 Mbps.

While that may seem a lot slower than the cable internet speeds you might be used to, it helps to have a real way to put it in context.

Use this speedtest tool to see what speed you have right now. That way, these number will make a lot more sense to you. You’ll see if mobile broadband is half your current speed, about the same or even more.

Find Out Your Current Speed

After finding out your current speed, keep the number in mind so that you can compare it to the other numbers mentioned in this article. It’ll help put things in context.

3G Speed Test Results

Gizmodo.com PCWorld.com
Average Download Speed Average Upload Speed Average Download Speed Average Upload Speed
T-Mobile 950 kbps 300 kbps 868 kbps 311 kbps

For the full details on how they fared against other providers, reliability testing and 3G speeds in specific cities, check out Who’s Got The Fastest Mobile Broadband?

T-Mobile May End Up With The Fastest 3G Network in 2010

T-Mobile is testing its HSPA+ network in Philadelphia which gives speeds up to 21 Mbps (twice as the current maximum of Sprint’s 4G speeds).

T-Mobile’s Dave Mayo, VP of engineering, hinted that the first cities to get it (outside of Philly, which already has a test network) will be located on the coasts this year.

Major cities along the California Coast [and] major cities from Washington, D.C. to Boston will have it on the East Coast.

– via GigaOM

So What Does This Mean For You?

If speed is your thing, then T-Mobile 3G can get the job done. While it’s not the fastest right now, it’s got the potential to be quite soon.

Before you start searching Google for the best broadband card though, remember that mobile broadband speed is only one piece of the 4-part puzzle.

The last thing you need to plug in your shiny new AirCard only to find that you’ve got no signal. Sadly, this can happen in a lot of place with T-Mobile 3G Coverage.

Buyer beware…

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1 Comment

  1. anthony says:

    I have the HTC G2, and out of all of the speed test I have ran on 3g the fastest its ever downloaded was 96 kbps. I don’t know if this is a problem with the network in my area. I would like to see some improved performance in my area if possible.

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