T-Mobile Testing 3G for 2006/2007 Launch

T-Mobile, the 3G laggard in the US is currently testing 3G technologies in certain areas and plans to launch either a UMTS or a HSDPA network by end of 2006 or early 2007. T-Mobile’s senior vice president of Engineering Operations Neville Ray revealed 3G plans in a chat with BetaNews.

“We are very hopeful that by the end of 2006, and definitely in 2007, we’d be able to bring 3G services to the market. Some of this is auction dependent,” Ray said, alluding to a large cellular spectrum auction to take place next summer. “We’re hopefully looking at a 3G deployment in late 2006.”

These comments are hard to take seriously given the “to 3G or not 3G” flip-flop nature of T-Mobile’s plans. The company has been publicly touting WiFi as the way to go, but maybe the competition from Cingular, Sprint and Verizon is a bit too much to handle? Of course, one has to take these comments with a grain of salt, since the German parent of the company wants to (or not) get rid of the US operation.

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