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The new Rocket 3.0 data stick, T-Mobile USA's first 42 Mbps-capable device

T-Mobile USA says it has doubled the theoretical peak download speeds on its wireless network in Seattle and 50 other cities to 42 Mbps, following through on a promise to accelerate its 4G HSPA+ network around the country.

The Bellevue-based wireless carrier is making the announcement in conjunction with the launch this week of its new Rocket 3.0 data stick — which it describes as its “first 42 Mbps-capable product.”

Existing devices will also benefit, but the words “theoretical” and “peak” are important qualifiers. Actual averages in the real world will be considerably less on any network. But even with actual Mbps in the teens, for example, 4G mobile broadband is in some cases exceeding home Internet connections.

T-Mobile users may have already started to notice a boost as the network has been upgraded in recent weeks, said Eric Schlumpf, vice president for T-Mobile in the Pacific Northwest. The upgrade is made in part through improvements at cell sites to boost throughput.

“We’re looking for blazing speeds,” he said.

T-Mobile, which is in the process of being acquired by AT&T, is promising to come out with at least one 42 Mbps-capable smartphone by the end of the year.

The new Rocket 3.0 data stick will be available starting Wednesday for $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate, with a qualifying mobile broadband plan and a two-year service agreement.

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