T-Mobile 4G Coverage Map Obscures HSPA & HSPA+

T-Mobile Coverage | HSPA or HSPA+?

According to DSLReports, users are reporting that T-Mobile’s 4G coverage map can no longer be accessed.

The old map allowed users to see HSPA+ coverage down to a very granular level. The company’s more generalized coverage map…”only lets you see HSPA when you zoom in to a street level detail”

Upon clicking on T-Mobile’s more general coverage map for “data” (not 4G/HSPA), you’ll find the above graphic. Upon clicking “detailed descriptions” the following non-detailed explanations are provided:

4G Very Good

Signal in most homes and many buildings, in cars as well as outdoors.

4G Good

Connect in some homes, in cars, and outside.

4G Available

Able to connect outdoors; some access in cars, and possibly in buildings.

3G

Send and receive email, access the internet, pictures and large files.Experience enhanced data speeds on 3G and 4G devices.

2G

Send and receive text messages pictures and large files load slowly, access basic information on any data capable device.

 Roaming Partner

Phones access data at varying speeds. See rate plan for applicable data roaming allotment. Mobile broadband products such as laptop sticks, tablets, and netbooks do not have access to these networks.

No Coverage

No Data Coverage.

Where one might expect differentiation between HSPA and HSPA+, users will find the above description that vaguely describes 4G connectivity but makes no mention of 4G speeds.

Peak download/upload rates for HSPA and HSPA+ are 14/5.8 Mbps and 56/22 Mbps. In other words, HSPA+ is about 4 times as fast on down and uplink. Given that users could previously make the distinction easily with the previous map, it’s hard not to notice it’s absence given the significant difference in speed.

As noted by DSLReports:

 T-Mobile, who like every other carrier has been busily trying to conflate HSPA with “4G” while claiming they have the “largest 4G network,” quite possibly didn’t like consumers having actual facts that could run contrary to marketing claims.

It appears that the 2011 State of Mobile Broadband still rings true:

As it currently stands 4G is just a marketing term.

 

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