T-Mobile rolls out 42 Mbps iPhone-compatible network in Las Vegas on Monday, more cities coming by Christmas

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T-Mobile announced Seattle as its first iPhone-compatible 3G/4G network today at the GigaOm Mobilize conference.  The 42MBps HSPA+ network will officially go live Monday and will roll out to other cities including Seattle, Washington, DC, and the New York metro area. It will also cover a ‘material’ part of T-Mobile’s U.S. coverage by the end of the year.

Why would you want to ride on T-Mobile’s network? As you can see above, the iPhone 5 uses 42Mb HSPA+ radios. So, you can get some pretty mean speeds (and even the older iPhones can still ride on the 14.4 networks). T-Mobile’s tests of unlocked iPhone 4S devices running over 4G (HSPA+) on its 1900 band have recorded 70 percent faster average download speeds than iPhone 4S on AT&T’s network.

Even on EDGE, the T-Mobile pre-paid plans are the best in the business. The $30 a month unlimited text/data plan with 100 minutes of talk is about the least-expensive plan you can find for an unlocked iPhone. Virgin offers the same.

Speaking of unlocking, we have a contest coming this weekend. Stay tuned!