Word in the blogosphere is that T-Mobile USA will include a Google Android phone as part of its nationwide 3G wireless network launch later this year.
Several blogs reported Monday that T-Mobile is set to offer service in some 20-plus cities starting October 1. And the carrier plans to include the HTC Dream smartphone as one of its first 3G phones to launch with the network, according to reports.
T-Mobile started offering 3G service in New York City in May. And the company said at the launch it would roll out the service in other top markets by the end of the year. Separately, T-Mobile has said it will be offering an Android handset in the fourth quarter, which many believe will be the HTC Dream. But until now, the 3G network launch and the availability of the Android handset were not linked.
Now the rumor mill is churning that T-Mobile will offer the new Android phone along with three others including, the Sony Ericsson Z780, a high-end Samsung camera phone, and possibly the Motorola ZINE ZN5.
A T-Mobile spokeswoman reiterated that T-Mobile expects to launch the 3G service in 20 to 25 markets by the end of 2008, but she wouldn't specify when these cities would go live. As for the talk of the HTC Android phone launching with the 3G network, she said that T-Mobile doesn't comment on rumors.
T-Mobile, which is a distant fourth place in the U.S. wireless market with about 29 million customers at the end of December, spent more than $4 billion to buy spectrum in the 2006 Advanced Wireless Service auction held by the Federal Communications Commission. The new spectrum more than doubled the company's spectrum offering and finally gave it the necessary bandwidth to build a high-speed wireless network.
The nationwide roll-out should help the company compete more directly with other major carriers such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel.
Some of the other cities where T-Mobile is expected to offer its 3G service by the end of the year, include: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Birmingham, Ala.; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Memphis,Tenn.; Miami; Minneapolis; Long Island, N.Y.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Tampa, Fla.; and Washington, D.C.
Android is a new mobile operating system that's being developed by Google. Recently, a report in The Wall Street Journal indicated that the new software had hit some snags and phones using the operating system wouldn't be ready until the fourth quarter instead of being available in the third quarter.