T-Mobile USA Typically Only Has 6Mbps Bandwidth to Each Cell Site

If you’ve ever wondered why T-Mobile USA is taking to long to roll out 3G wireless data in the US, look no further than this interesting interview by Om Malik of T-Mobile USA’s CTO (Cole Brodman)…

The GigaOM Interview: Cole Brodman, CTO, T-Mobile USA

In it, Brodman says:

Today our bandwidth is typically multiple DS-1s or T-1s to a cell site. We probably average between 3 and 4 T-1s per cell site today for our general 2G-3G business…We’re at 6 Mbps per second per site.

One T1 provides 1.544Mbps. So, as Brodman correctly says, 4 T1 lines provides 6Mbps (6.176) of data to each cell site. So, you can imagine what would happen if a couple of people decided to download or stream medium length videos.

T-Mobile is supposed to be on track to provide 3G data services to 230 cities by the end of 2009. Let’s hope they can get a bit more than 6Mbps bandwidth to each cell site by then.

On a personal note: As a long time T-Mobile customer, I’m looking forward to seeing 3G in my home town one of these days (soon I hope).