For T-Mobile fans this is a big step forward and potentially a hint at what is to come in the UK and Europe. Leaked shots of internal documents have revealed that T-Mobile is planning to roll out a version of the Samsung Galaxy S III which supports 4G LTE high-speed phone data connections in the US. Furthermore, we now have a potential US release date of either March 27th or April 3rd – sooner than many had anticipated.
The choice of the Galaxy S III as the handset to revamp for this roll-out makes perfect sense. It’s a popular, high-end phone with an intelligent personal assistant (S Voice, Samsung’s answer to the iPhone’s Siri), eye-tracking functionality and the ability to incorporate wireless charging. At the cutting edge in 2012 it was voted “Phone of the Year” by T3 Magazine. Most importantly, however, it has sold over 60 million units around the world making it one of Samsung’s most popular phones as well as one of the most popular phones of 2012.
When T-Mobile releases the updated handset at some point this year it will likely replace the old version in the line-up. Early signs of the roll out of 4G suggest that it will begin to become active in a couple of US cities within February 2013 before eventually expanding to cover the whole country by the end of 2013 and possibly much of the UK, too.
The main benefit of the LTE is probably the improved download speed with peak download rates getting up to around 300 megabits per second and upload rates up to about 75 megabits per second. Moreover, they will allow support for faster mobility meaning that you can (in theory) be in a plane travelling at up to 310 miles per hour and still get flawless data transfers on an LTE handset. Most handsets will offer speeds of up to 25mbps compared to the current standard of 5mbps within the UK. Plus, LTE offers the prospect of vastly improved voice calls when the infrastructure is set up to support them.
In the US, the T-Mobile network plans to make LTE work by using the bands of the AWS spectrum carried by its HSPA+ towers with the 1900 MHz band that it gained from the failed AT&T merger. The HSPA+ towers will now use the 1900MHz whilst LTE is rolled out by the carrier.