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Richard Karpinski Rich Karpinski is Executive Editor-Features for Telephony, covering OSS/BSS and NGN technologies. He has worked for many high-tech trade magazines and Web sites and began his career...more

T-Mobile CEO: 3G to reach 207 million by year’s end

T-Mobile’s expanding 3G network, which today covers 130 cities, will cover 100 more, doubling its reach to 207 million consumers, by the year’s end, said Robert Dotson, CEO of T-Mobile USA. In his keynote presentation kicking off CTIA today, Dotson reiterated T-Mobile’s commitment to its 3G rollout, as well as advanced high-speed services, HSPA+ and long-term evolution.

“We are connecting people today in newer and richer ways than ever before,” Dotson said in his keynote. T-Mobile launched its first 3G network almost a year ago in New York built on the Advanced Wireless Services spectrum it acquired at auction in 2006. Dotson said that he hopes the government continues to open up spectrum to give all carriers, small and large, the opportunity to drive expansion further.

T-Mobile’s network expansion has been a boon to its G1 customers, who browse the Web more frequently than those on other handsets, Dotson said. G1, Google’s first Android phone exclusive to T-Mobile, customers use data services 50 times more than the average voice-centric phone user, and 80% of T-Mobile G1 customers browse the web daily. Half of G1 owners traded up from a basic handset and most new customers were attracted to the open platform, he added.

“With open platforms like Android, we have an opportunity to embrace new [developers] by not only making it possible, but making it easy to work with us,” Dotson said, adding that the industry is inspiring the single biggest period of innovation since the debut of the first Motorola cell phone. “We are just scratching the surface, but because we are all just getting started, it’s important to foster an environment for open innovation.”

Thus far, four out of five G1 customers have download apps at least once a week on T-Mobile’s open Android marketplace. In total, each G1 customer has downloaded more than 40 apps on the one million G1s on the market. The total 40 million downloads is still slight compared to Apple’s iPhone numbers, although the device is newer and with a smaller customer base.

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