T-Mobile USA announced yesterday it has deployed HSPA+ services in almost 50 major metropolitan areas and promised its first HSPA+ smartphone “later this summer” (believed to be an Android device from HTC). The country’s fourth-largest operator has trailed its rivals in offering high-speed mobile broadband services over recent years but was eager to talk up what it claimed is now the country’s “broadest reach of 4G speeds in the US” (although there is considerable debate over whether HSPA+ qualifies as a true 4G technology).  The rollout in nearly 50 markets gives HSPA+ coverage to a potential population of over 85 million Americans and plans are in place to expand this to 185 million people (in over 100 metropolitan areas) by the end of this year. T-Mobile also yesterday announced an updated version of its webConnect Rocket USB laptop stick.

Earlier this month, the blog TMoNews reported that the operator also plans to double the theoretical peak download speed of its HSPA+ network to 42 Mb/s in 2011. AT&T has announced plans to deploy a similar upgrade across its own 3G network, claiming a theoretical peak of 14.4Mb/s. However – unlike its major rivals – T-Mobile USA has not yet settled on a migration path to LTE.