Wednesday, January 09, 2013

T-Mobile USA's Galaxy S III to be refreshed, add LTE support

T-Mobile USA CTO Neville Ray said on Wednesday at CES that the carrier will launch a refreshed Samsung Galaxy S III with LTE support, to support the LTE network of the nation's no. 4 wireless carrier, which will reportedly launch in Las Vegas imminently.

The report goes on to state it is unclear whether or not the new Galaxy S III will be marketed as a new, distinct model or simply quietly take the place of the prior model on T-Mobile's shelves and on its website. If a naming change needs to be made, we wouldn't expect much more than perhaps Samsung Galaxy S III LTE.

We're sure that current owners of the T-Mobile USA Galaxy S III may not be happy with being shortchanged, but we hope they knew that the carrier's network only supported faux 4G HSPA+ and not LTE when they bought the Galaxy S III.

On the other hand, the slightly newer Samsung Galaxy Note II has LTE support built-in. According to Ray, the phone will require a small software update to enable LTE when T-Mobile rolls it out.

It's unclear if that's a ROM change or what's known as a carrier settings update, which is separate from a ROM update.

At this point, T-Mobile USA hasn't announced any other LTE-capable phones or tablets, but we expect that -- just as with other carriers -- we'll start seeing those, and eventually we'll see nothing but LTE devices come from T-Mobile.

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