The popular Samsung Galaxy Note II is officially available here in the US from the folks at T-Mobile, with other carriers coming soon. We've already been enjoying their new "faux 4G" HSPA+ capable smartphone for a few days but now we're hearing of a little surprise under the hood of the Note II. It looks like the T-Mobile Galaxy Note II could in fact support their upcoming 4G LTE network.
Essentially T-Mobile currently does not have a 4G LTE (long term evolution) network. Verizon and AT&T are the two with an actual LTE network worth mentioning. Currently T-Mobile relies on their ultra-fast HSPA+ 42 network throughout the US for blazing fast data speeds. T-Mobile is set to launch and start testing their first official 4G LTE networks in early 2013.
While reviewing the T-Mobile Note II the folks from AnandTech noticed the device actually has support for 4G LTE, and is essentially the same as AT&T's model. In other words, once T-Mobile's 4G LTE network arrives they'll be able to push a software update to their Note II enabling those faster 4G LTE radios under the hood for use with their new network. T-Mobile has issued a statement on the matter, and here's what they had to say according to The Verge.
"The Galaxy Note II features a Qualcomm 9215M chipset which provides the hardware capability to support both HSPA+42 and LTE. T-Mobile plans to reach more than 200 million Americans with LTE by the end of 2013. The Galaxy Note II will not automatically access T-Mobile’s LTE network. We will share more information on how and when the Galaxy Note II will support T-Mobile’s upcoming LTE network when the network is available."
That basically tells us that yes, T-Mobile will indeed be allowing 4G LTE to operate on their Galaxy Note II which was released just yesterday, it just won't work "automatically" and will require a software update. T-Mobile is currently busy transitioning all their towers to allow support for 4G LTE and are set to launch initially early 2013. Reports indicate they expect to cover more than 200 million Americans by the end of 2013. Hopefully their purchase of MetroPCS helps the rollout, and we hear more on this LTE soon. My next question is: Does T-Mobile's Galaxy S III have the same fate? We'll look into that and report back.