LAS VEGAS--T-Mobile USA on Tuesday announced its first Netbook for its 3G wireless network here at the CTIA trade show.
Starting Wednesday in select markets, T-Mobile will begin selling the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Netbook with access to the company's newly upgraded HSPA 7.2 network. The device, which comes with Windows 7 installed as well as an Intel Atom processor for fast Web surfing, will be $199.99 with a two-year contract. Customers can buy the device without a contract for $499.
T-Mobile charges $60 per month for its data card service, which gives users 5GB of usage per month. It also offers a $30 monthly plan that offers you 200MB per month. Both plans charge 20 cents per megabyte over the respective caps.
Customers signing up for the 3G wireless service will also get free access to T-Mobile's hotspots around the country.
The new Netbook will be available in four markets to start: Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami. Other markets will follow soon, the company said.
T-Mobile is a latecomer to the 3G wireless market in the U.S., and it's also late to the Netbook market. AT&T and Verizon Wireless have had their networks rolled out for years, and they've been selling subsidized Netbooks for more than a year.
"Even though we came late to the 3G, we are fueling the market with new products," Cole Brodman, chief technology and innovation officer said during a press event here Tuesday. He went on to say that the company was late to the Netbook market because it wanted to make sure the network was ready and the company wasn't certain that the earlier Netbook products were powerful enough.
Even though T-Mobile has been late to the 3G party, the company says that it's leapfrogging its competitors with the latest generation of 3G technology, which T-Mobile claims is three times faster than current 3G networks. This latest generation of 3G called HSPA+ was officially launched in Philadelphia last fall. T-Mobile has also upgraded its 3G network to HSPA+ in markets including New York City, New Jersey, Long Island and suburban Washington, D.C. The service will be deployed very soon in Los Angeles, the company.
Currently, the company only supports one device that can use the HSPA+ network, a data stick called the WebConnect Rocket. This USB device slots into a laptop to provide Internet access at HSPA+ speeds. It was announced at Mobile World Congress last month in Barcelona, and it went on sale last week.
The company said it will continue to aggressively expand the availability of HSPA+ in additional 3G markets. And even though it's still limited in the number of devices that are supported, executives claim that the upgrades to its backhaul and to HSPA+ is making its older generation HPSA networks faster because more capacity is available.
T-Mobile also announced three new 3G handsets, the HTC HD2, the Motorola CLIQ XT, and the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G. These devices are all HSPA 7.2 capable. They do not have HSPA Plus technology embedded. New HSPA+ device are expected to be announced later this year.