T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 has dormant LTE radios

When T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was announced many assumed it would be coming with HSPA+ as the sole provider of 4G speeds. T-Mobile’s LTE network is not yet ready, after all, and we thought they might have wanted to save money in manufacturing by opting to exclude the radios necessary for the device to operate on the waves of the advanced network.

It looks like we were wrong, though — the device does, in fact, house LTE radios. With this move Samsung and T-Mobile have ensured a device that is future proof. It’s not unlike the launch of the EVO 4G LTE on Sprint ahead of a widespread LTE rollout, except T-Mobile’s network isn’t expected to get off the ground until next year.

T-Mobile and AT&T’s versions of the Galaxy Note 2 are nearly identical according to Anandtech. As such, the Qualcomm 9215M network chip inside provides the necessary hardware for T-Mobile’s future network.

The radios seem to be locked out for us common folks, and why wouldn’t they be? They’re of no use as is unless someone found a way to hack this thing onto AT&T’s LTE network.

LTE functionality could eventually be unlocked via an OTA update, but while T-Mobile was ready to confirm Anandtech’s suspicion they had no interest in confirming whether or not LTE capabilities would be unlocked once the network launches next year.

We would hope T-Mobile would eventually enable the functionality for its early adopters, but since they aren’t advertising the Note 2 to have LTE they are not obligated to do so. We can only cross our fingers and hope they’ll do the right thing once the time comes. [via 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.

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TAGS: 4G LTE , Samsung Galaxy Note 2

  • Jordan Caviness

    hell yeah! thats whats up!

  • godrilla

    awesome my upgrade is set on this phone but I have to wait until Nov 1

  • aeok18109

    and all my extra crap hits ebay to fund this thing NAO…..

  • Chimphappyhour

    Awesome! Just have to verify that the next Nexus phone will be full of meh and I’m all over this.

  • Eyad (formerly CTownOL)

    Hopefully the LG Nexus is the same way because I have not seen any proof it supports LTE either.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      For T-Mobile? That’s a tough call. But if it comes to LTE carriers I don’t see why it wouldn’t support those specific LTE networks.

    • jian9007

      We won’t know for sure until after Google announces it, but the Optimus G it’s based on has the MDM9615 chip which supports LTE FDD and TDD. Since Google sells the Nexus phones unlocked, I assume that the LTE will already be active (since it will have to support T-Mobile and AT&T) and not software locked.

  • abc

    Bet they will never unlock the LTE capability of the phone. They will probably come out with a mass marketing campaign for a different phone as their “First LTE” phone on the network and forget all about this. By that time Note 3 will be out, note 2 owners will scream and shout for LTE to be unlocked but tmo will have moved on by that point.

    • No_Nickname90

      Are you serious? You think they would really waste that money? LoL!! They’re trying to show that their phones are future proof, unlike Sprint and their WiMax phones. Curses!! *stuck with E4GT* =.S

      I mean imagine, HSPA+ and LTE!? Oh my gosh!! So lucky. You’re always guaranteed to have fast speeds.

      • Nick McCrory

        So you mean us At&t customers who get hspa+ and lte?

        • No_Nickname90

          LoL!! Typing from a mobile device? Its LTE. LoL!! And yes. But Tmo now has an unlimited plan. So you’d get more of a benefit, or have a chance at, more at least. Just to cover those that actually do use lyk 2GB a month.

    • C-Law

      You have tmobile confused with verizon

    • UMA_Fan

      The real reason this has LTE is that T-Mobile is smartly harmonizing their radio bands to what the majority of phones around the world use. So Samsung makes one phone for at&t and T-Mobile because they both will use AWS LTE. T-Mobile probably gets a better deal on phone pricing this way as well.

  • Ben Baranovsky

    I applaud their commitment to the consumer in this particular case. Good on you, Samsung and T-Mobile.

  • Caleb Loop

    How is this news? we knew about this awhile ago.

  • rustygh

    This is something good and should not be compared to sprints LTE evo
    Sprint didn’t do anything good they simply dropped the wimax radio for LTE and made you wait

  • Rinkesh621

    can anyone tell me if I have the international Note 2, will it work with LTE after T-mobile activates/turns on their LTE in the near future? Both of the variants have the same bands as far as I know, so I would like to get someone’s knowledgeable opinion.


    • Fuzzypaw

      I would love to know this as well! I’m considering importing the international version so I know I’ll get updates straight from Samsung. I have to check whether the bands are compatible with T-Mobile, though…

      • Rinkesh621

        As far as I have checked on GSMARENA.com and phonearena.com, the bands are all the same! so if they activate the band in the future, shouldn’t they start picking up on the network on the international version? I don’t know much and that’s why I wanted someone who has gone through this.


  • Oluseun Ogunlegan

    I just bought a Note2 today, and the Rep who sold me the phone told me about this. He said that in major markets it will be activated with an OTA in the first Qtr of next year, and that of course the “major” markets will get the LTE juice first.