BlackBerry PlayBook Going 4G on Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint

T-Mobile and Verizon may soon join Sprint in having the option of offering the tablets over their next-generation networks.

February 14, 2011

2 Min Read
BlackBerry PlayBook Going 4G on Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint

By Josh Long

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless may soon have the opportunity to support Research in Motions BlackBerry 4G PlayBook tablets. 

RIM on Monday announced plans to introduce two additional tablets in the second half of the year that support LTE and HSPA+ networks, potentially adding to the growing number of computing devices that T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless offer.

As the first U.S. mobile operator to announce plans to sell the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, Sprint Nextel anticipates offering the device this summer over its 4G WiMAX network.

Among other capabilities, the tablet features Web-based media, gaming and applications, Wi-Fi connectivity, a seven-inch LCD display, video conferencing, and forward-facing and rear-facing cameras.

U.S. mobile operators have begun to ramp up the availability of the number of sophisticated computing products like the iPad that are smaller than a full-fledged computer but larger than a smartphone.

Sprint began selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab in November.

Meanwhile, Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile recently introduced its first tablet, the Dell Streak 7, based on Googles Android 2.2 operating system. The device is available for $199.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year service agreement.

In January the same month T-Mobile announced the nationwide availability of its HSPA+-based 4G network the company revealed plans to introduce a second tablet made by LG Electronics and powered by Android 3.0. T-Mobile, the fourth largest U.S. mobile provider, said it plans to release the tablet in coming months.”

Verizon Wireless also offers two tablets today, the 3G-compatible Samsung Galaxy Tab and Apples Wi-Fi compatible iPad.

A joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group PLC, Verizon Wireless is making the transition from 3G CDMA to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology that supports 4G voice and data services. The company recently introduced 4G services over its LTE network in 39 markets and roughly 60 commercial airports, but the services are only available today on laptops with specific USB modems.

Verizon Wireless will make available a select number of 4G-compatible handsets later this year, including the LG Revolution. The company plans to expand its LTE network to cover its entire 3G CDMA-based territory over the next three years. Verizon Wireless serves 94.1 million subscribers and is the second largest U.S. mobile provider behind AT&T (95.5 million customers).

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