T-Mobile Unveils G2 Phone--Sort Of

What's the deal with T-Mobile's G2 launch? The fourth-place U.S. wireless carrier on Wednesday unveiled a promotional site for its upcoming G2 smartphone. The first device built specifically for T-Mobile's new HSPA+ network, it's a 3G-on-steroids upgrade designed to bring 4G-like speeds to the carrier's current 3G infrastructure.

But shortly after launching the G2 promo page, T-Mobile abruptly shuttered it. The site was back online as of 10:00 a.m. Pacific, but details are scant, with only a couple of vague paragraphs and a sign-up form to receive G2 information as it becomes available. T-Mobile says it will share more G2 details in the coming weeks.

"The T-Mobile G2 will deliver tight integration with Google services and break new ground as the first smartphone designed to run at 4G speeds on our new HSPA+ network. In the coming weeks, we'll share more details about the G2 and offer exclusive first access to current T-Mobile customers," the site says.

The G2 is the successor to T-Mobile's G1, the first Android-based smartphone that debuted nearly two years ago. Recent reports suggest the G2 will be a rebranded HTC Magic, a sleek, curvy phone that's far more elegant than the relatively bland G1. The Magic has a 3.2-inch, 320-by-480-resolution display, although it lacks the G1's physical keyboard.

HSPA+

The HSPA+ rollout may be a bigger deal than the G2 launch. T-Mobile in March announced that it would upgrade its 3G network to the speedier HSPA+ wireless technology in some 100 US cities by the end of the year.

In theory, HSPA+ delivers throughput of up to 21 megabits per second (mbps). PCWorld in January 2010 tested T-Mobile's HSPA+ network in New York City, and saw speeds as high as 3.5 mbps in some areas--performance similar to early implementations of 4G networks from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

Sprint has already launched its 4G WiMax network in some US locations. AT&T and Verizon are expected to debut 4G LTE service either late this year or in early 2011.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter http://twitter.com/jbertolucci or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

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