T-Mobile doubles its US 3G network for Android launch

T-Mobile double its 3G network in expectation of an Android boost
T-Mobile double its 3G network in expectation of an Android boost

Here's another sign that T-Mobile thinks Android is going to go big guns – it's doubling the size of its 3G network over the next month, coinciding exactly with the launch of Google's HTC Dream/G1 handset.

The network is adding Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Francisco and Seattle to its line-up of UMTS/HSDPA-served regions by mid-October.

The network currently include Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis and, of course, New York, the venue for Tuesday's launch of the first Android phone.

More 3G cities still by Christmas

The roll-out doesn't stop there, with Denver, Detroit, Kansas City and Memphis helping to bring T-Mobile's 3G service to a total of 27 metropolitan regions by the end of the year.

Strangely, the only handset name-checked in today's release was the Sony Ericsson TM506, with the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 only alluded to as one of the "new and compelling data-centric, all-in-one devices that will help make the most of T-Mobile's HSDPA network." The Wall Street Journal today predicted a price for the Android-powered handset of $199 with a 2-year contract.

T-Mobile's press release has one eye on the future, boasting about its Department of Defense-partnered AWS spectrum availability, and one on the past, reminding us that it still has a nationwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots that it is still charging for. How very 2002.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.