My HSPA+ 42 connection on my One S almost always has a ping/latency of over 1000ms, making real time apps unpleasant to use. Is the network substandard or does my One S just have a problem?

According to T-Mobile:

Latency, also known as delay, is the amount of time from when a data packet is sent to when it is received. For broadband Internet access services, latency is usually expressed as the round-trip time in milliseconds (ms) that it takes for a data packet to travel between two end points on the Internet (from point A to point B and then back to point A). Some applications, such as email, can tolerate a substantial amount of latency without any noticeable impact on the application's performance, while other applications, such as real-time video conferencing, require lower latency to function properly.

With respect to latency for use of real-time data applications, T-Mobile expects round trip network to device latency to be less than 60 180 ms on its 4G network, less than 100-450 ms on its 3G network, and approximately 60 to 180 ms for our Hot Spot Service. /