With most carriers set to upgrade their LTE networks to LTE-Advanced at some point in the future, Samsung is thinking ahead and getting its Galaxy S4 units outfitted with radios to take advantage of the next evolution of LTE. Not many will care for now as no carrier has deployed their network upgrades yet, but with the likes of T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T expected to begin their rollouts of LTE-A as soon as this year it will become increasingly important for OEMs to keep up with the times.
The phone’s first market would look to be South Korea, natch, with beloved Samsung chief JK Shin confirming that talks with the nation’s carriers are ongoing. We could see it launch over in those parts of the world as early as this month.
We’re not sure how long it would take for Samsung to bring the improved device to western and European markets, but we imagine it won’t happen until carrier demand has ramped up (which likely won’t happen until the carriers actually begin their LTE-A rollouts). LTE-Advanced offers data throughput of up to two times faster than current deployments. For some carriers, this means a significant increase in speeds.
For others — like Verizon — it’s going to be more important for increasing volume, which would allow them to provide a more consistent level of service across their deployment map. We’re excited for the future, but for now we’re just going to continue to play the waiting game and hope other OEMs begin to follow suit with their latest handsets.