Ina Fried

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T-Mobile Wants You to Know It Is Speeding Up Its Network, Too

As Mobilized told you last month, T-Mobile is indeed using the Consumer Electronics Show to announce its plans for a faster version of its existing HSPA+ network.

The company demonstrated the network during a press event on Thursday and said that it expects 140 million Americans in 25 metro areas to have access to its HSPA+42 network by mid-2011. The demo included downloading of individual songs from Amazon in as few as five seconds.

“Our network will continue to keep pace with the growing demand,” said T-Mobile CEO Phillip Humm, who said the company is embracing its status as a challenger brand (marketing speak for “the little guy”).

T-Mobile used a press conference on Thursday to announce the network and show off the LG-built G-Slate tablet that it plans to introduce in the first half of the year. T-Mobile also said it expects to offer a 7-inch Dell Streak tablet in the coming weeks.The Streak has a dual-core Nvidia Tegra processor along with support for Adobe Flash and a Gorilla Glass screen. T-Mobile said it will be sold at a “consumer-friendly price,” but didn’t share details.

Humm told reporters that the company has now sold 900,000 devices that run on its HSPA+ network, which it bills as America’s largest 4G network.

“This proves the rapid adoption,“ Humm said, adding that the carrier expects to be offering more than 25 4G devices by the end of the year, ranging from smartphones to mobile broadband.

T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray showed a slide that he says shows that HSPA+ has a strong road map to get faster in the coming years, though he said that T-Mobile does believe in moving to LTE in the future when the time is right. (T-Mobile currently lacks the spectrum to build such a network, among other issues.)

Ray said that T-Mobile has been testing T-Mobile’s new HSPA+42 network in Las Vegas and said its average speeds are on par with those provided by Verizon’s LTE network, even before that network has much load on it.