By Anu Passary | Oct 29, 2012 12:22 PM EDT
Samsung officially released its Galaxy Note 2 phablet in the U.S. on Oct. 24 at a press event, and the device was made available on five major U.S. carriers including T-Mobile. Now, per reports, T-Mobile's version of the Galaxy Note 2 contains hardware support for 4G LTE.
T-Mobile launched the device for $369.99 (post $50 mail-in rebate) on a two-year contract, which was the most expensive tariff out of all the carriers. However, with reports and T-Mobile confirming that the carrier's variant of the Galaxy Note 2 has hidden built-in LTE radios, which will support T-Mobile's upcoming 4G LTE network, users have much to cheer about.
"As noted by AnandTech, T-Mobile's variant is essentially the same hardware as AT&T's, including support for LTE. Of course, T-Mobile doesn't yet have an LTE network launched for the NoteII to run on, but it does plan to have it by the end of 2013. The big question, then, is whether the Note II will support it - T-Mobile's answer is yes, but with caveats," reported The Verge.
Currently, the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 runs on the carrier's HSPA+ 42 network, which even though fast cannot compete with the 10 times faster speed offered by a 4G LTE network. When the carrier announced its Galaxy Note 2, experts opined that since T-Mobile's 4G LTE network support was not ready yet the carrier may opt to exclude the radios in order to save on manufacturing costs.
However, per The Verge report, T-Mobile says that though the Galaxy Note 2 will not automatically be able to access its 4G LTE network, the carrier will unlock the support sometime in end 2013, possibly via an over-the-air (OTA) software update.
"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," noted T-Mobile, per The Verge report.
Time will tell if T-Mobile eventually enables the LTE functionality by 2013 end. Given that T-Mobile is charging $70 more than its competitors, early adopters of the Galaxy Note 2 on the carrier would have something to look forward to, even if it means waiting till next year.
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