By Alexandra Burlacu | Feb 20, 2014 09:33 AM EST
Microsoft seems to be getting ready to launch an AT&T LTE-enabled Surface 2, judging by a recent FCC approval.
Last fall, Microsoft promised that it would launch an LTE-enabled version of its Surface 2 tablet in the future, but the only timeframe it offered was "early 2014." It now looks like this model may be getting closer to becoming reality, as an FCC document indicates an imminent launch.
According to a recent FCC listing, Microsoft has filed for approval for a "portable computing device" that would support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GSM, WCDMA, and LTE. This would be Microsoft's first tablet with built-in cellular support for 3G and 4G mobile broadband.
The "portable computing device" mentioned in the FCC listing looks very similar to a 10-inch Surface with AT&T LTE and HSPA data support, and it has just received approval from the commission, which means that it may soon become available.
When Microsoft officials announced last fall that the company would launch an LTE-enabled Surface 2 on AT&T and Vodafone, it pointed out that the tablet would be ARM-based, not Intel-powered. The device's presence in the FCC's database means that it has met the commission's standards and is ready for consumers, but it remains to be seen just when a Surface 2 LTE will make its official debut with an ARM processor, and whether it will launch on other U.S. carriers as well. Nokia's 2520 tablet, for instance, is also ARM-based and it already has LTE support, and is available on both AT&T and Verizon.
Microsoft has yet to offer any official details regarding when the promised LTE-enabled Surface 2 would actually hit the market, but this FCC listing suggests that it's getting closer to launch.
At the same time, Microsoft is also rumored to be working on a Surface Mini tablet with a 7- to 8-inch display, which may officially launch sometime during the spring. Details are still hazy regarding this purported Surface Mini, and nothing is confirmed at this point. The Surface 2 LTE will most likely make its debut first, and we'll tell you all about it as soon as we hear more.