T-Mobile webConnect Rocket | Gets 10.5 Mbps HSPA+ Speeds

T-Mobile webConnect Rocket
T-Mobile AirCards & Broadband Cards 

The big difference between the webConnect Rocket and its predecessors the (webConnect & webConnect Jet) is sheer speed.

The Rocket can take advantage of the lastest HSPA & HSPA+ upgrades T-Mobile has been making to it’s network to give you up 7.2 Mbps & 21 Mbps theoretical download speeds respetively. Naturally, everyday speeds will fall below this.

 

jKOnTheRun.com tests out the webConnect Rocket. While it lives up to its name, its important to note that this test was done in Philadelphia, T-Mobile’s testing ground for their 21 Mbps HSPA+ network, which is different from their 7.2 Mbps upgrades that will be available in most other places. More on that in “Speed & Coverage” below.

 

 

Stuff You Should Know (Good & Bad)

Design & Aesthetics

The T-Mobile webConnect Rocket sizes up at 1.1 x 3.4 x 0.5 inches. In other words, it’s exactly the same size as the original webConnect pictured below:

T-Mobile webConnect USB sizes

The webConnect Rocket is identical in size to the original webConnect. The only difference in appearance is coloring.

While the webConnect Rocket doesn’t have the design aesthetics of Leonardo Da Vinci. It’s corporate grey matte isn’t so bad but the lack of a rotating ‘swivel’ USB connector is a serious bummer.

Not being able to point a broadband card vertically can be hazardous especially if you work in cramped spaces.

webConnect Rocket

webConnect Rocket

As I recommend to all MBR Buyer’s Guide readers, I always recommend inserting swivel USB cards vertically to avoid breaking your broadband card like I did.

While it won’t prevent the problem, it lessons the chance.However, this won’t really be a problem if you move around too much.

 

How I Broke My AirCard

My broadband card was just never the same…don’t forget you have it plugged in.

 

 

 

Features

webConnect Rocket

In addition to the microSD slot, the above picture reveals a little spoke about port for an external antenna (critical for users in fringe areas who need to improve coverage)

Summary:

  • microSD™ memory slot up to 16 GB
  • Automatically connects to broadband connections
  • Compatible with Windows 7, Vista & XP along with Mac OS X or higher
  • Dimensions: 1.1 x 3.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.1 ounces
  • Network Compatibility: GSM, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA
  • External Antenna Port

Besides the aforementioned microSD slot, the webConnect Rocket doesn’t have any other major features.

While it does allow you to connect to all T-Mobile hotspots for free, this is enabled through the connection manager software and not the device itself.

 

 

 

What’s Speed & Coverage Like?

T-Mobile 3G Speed

 

The webConnect Rocket can take advantage of T-Mobile’s HSPDA, HSPA & HSPA+ 3G network speeds. Here’s a synopsis of what to expect with speed and coverage depending on which network you’re on:

Mobile Broadband Provider

T-Mobile

Speed 4 Stars
Advertised Download Speed Up to 3.6 Mbps (HSPDA)
Up to 7.2 Mbps (HSPA)
Up to 21 Mbps (HSPA+)
Real (Tested) Download Speed 868 kbps (HSPDA)
Advertised Upload Speed N / A
Real (Tested) Upload Speed 311 kbps (HSPDA)
   
Coverage 3 Stars
Regional or National? National

Check Coverage

For full details on how the webConnect Rocket did in live testing, check out jKOnTheRun.com

QuoteT-Mobile is the only national U.S. carrier upgrading its existing 3G network to support HSPA+, which is capable of delivering download/upload speeds that are significantly faster than T-Mobile’s standard 3G network. With three times the speed capabilities of HSPA 7.2, HSPA+ offers theoretical peak throughput speeds of 21Mbps.

T-Mobile recently became the first U.S. carrier to launch HSPA+ with a deployment in Philadelphia and is integrating HSPA+ into its 3G network now with broad national deployment planned for the end of 2010. In the coming months, we’ll be lighting up HSPA+ in major cities on both coasts. Our network upgrade efforts are well underway and we’ll share more details as the service becomes available to more customers.

– T-Mobile Press Release via Engadget

 

Since T-Mobile’s 3G coverage isn’t as large as Sprint, Verizon & AT&T, be sure to check out the 3G coverage review to see if you’re covered.

If you’re concerned about data caps then take a look at “How Much is 5GB & Is It Enough” to avoid overage charges.

 

 

Should You Get It?

webConnect Rocket

The webConnect Rocket is T-Mobile’s most advanced broadband card. With a 16 GB microSD slot & support for 21 Mbps HSPA+ speeds, this will future proof you for years to come.

On the other hand, the aesthetics really bite the dust. With not swivel USB port it’ll jut out the side of your laptop.

If that doesn’t bother you any, the webConnect Rocket is available for $100 directly from T-Mobile. If you’re curious as to how it matches up, check out the 2010 Broadband Card Comparison.

Related:

T-Mobile webConnect Review

T-Mobile webConnect Jet Review

2010 T-Mobile AirCard & Broadband Card Review

2010 Broadband Card Comparison

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