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    T-Mobile turns on 3G coverage across Detroit area | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press

    T-Mobile, energized with booming sales for its hot new G1 phone running the Android operating system from Google, has switched on its superfast 3G data network for most of southeastern Michigan.

    The new smartphone, which went on sale last week, sold a reported 1.5 million units in early, prerelease nationwide ordering and is on track to sell another 600,000 by year's end, according to HTC, the manufacturer.

    Wal-Mart, meanwhile, is selling the G1 starting today at a discounted price -- $148.88 with a two-year contract instead of the $179 charged at T-Mobile stores.The G1 has been getting rave reviews as the closest rival to the iPhone. It has many of the same touchscreen features and downloadable applications as the iPhone but with the addition of a slide-out keyboard and a little navigation button that seems borrowed from the Blackberry.

    T-Mobile has been rushing to boost its data network to the 3G standard across the country to coincide with the G1 release. Detroit area users saw sporadic 3G coverage late last week and now are reporting on fan sites like androidcommunity.com that they're consistently getting 3G connections across the metropolitan area.

    Outside of Detroit and other T-Mobile 3G coverage areas, the phone works on the slower EDGE data network. The 3G connection is at near broadband speed and the same network type used by the latest model iPhones.

    T-Mobile has invested nearly $180 million in infrastructure and spectrum to bring its 3G service to the Detroit market, according to Neville Ray, senior vice president of engineering operations, T-Mobile USA.

    To view T-Mobile�s current 3G coverage including a complete list of major cities where 3G coverage is available, please go to the company�s Personal Coverage Check online at http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage.

    Meanwhile, we're waiting the next big phone release in the smartphone wars.

    It is expected any day now from Verizon Wireless when it releases the new BlackBerry Storm.

    Verizon has a big invitation-only show-and-tell even planned for Detroit area business leaders Nov. 6 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel's Amnesia Night Club in which the Storm will be passed around for demonstrations.
    It's not clear when the Storm will go on sale.
    11-18-08 05:02 PM