Ina Fried

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T-Mobile’s CES Plans: Lots of Android, Some Tablets and a Faster Network

While a lot of the talk has centered on what Verizon Wireless would be up to at the Consumer Electronics Show, the other carriers are also hoping to make a few headlines in Vegas, including the always spunky T-Mobile.

T-Mobile already has its ads that liken its network to a motorcycle as compared to AT&T’s scooter, but the carrier plans to rev its engine a bit faster at CES. Mobilized has learned the carrier will use the show to outline its plans for HSPA+42, a faster version of its current HSPA+ network.

In an interview, Senior Director of Engineering Mark McDiarmid said that it will unveil its plans for the faster network in Vegas and added that the technology will be integrated into smartphones next year.

“We think it’s a huge benefit,” he said. The new network offers theoretical maximum speeds that are twice as fast (42 megabits per second) as the current HSPA+ network, and T-Mobile said that devices built to take advantage of the new network should also see a comparable boost in average speeds. (Users typically get far less than a network’s maximum speed. For example, on the 21 Mbps network, T-Mobile says users of its MyTouch 4G have seen average speeds of 5 Mbps and peak speeds of 12 Mbps in some cities.)

While others have been talking about (and in many cases rolling out) all-new 4G networks, T-Mobile has been focused on speeding up its current network. In point of fact, it’s really its only option given it lacks the spectrum at this point to build an LTE or WiMax network as Sprint and Verizon are doing. However, T-Mobile maintains that focusing on faster versions of existing technology will provide similar speeds at a lower cost and with fewer headaches for users.

In an email to Mobilized, T-Mobile offered a few more hints at the directions we can expect it to take at CES.

“T-Mobile is big on Android, big on faster 4G speeds and big on 4G devices including tablets,” the carrier said. “We will continue to drive innovation on these fronts in 2011.”

T-Mobile is also expected to talk more about its tablet plans. The carrier had previously said it would have tablets that support HSPA+ in the new year.