Rumor has it that the one thing that is notoriously missing (well, one of the things) from any Windows Phone smartphone on the market is true 4G network support. Specifically, we talking about support for LTE networks. Microsoft and its partners have promised that will change in 2012, and if today’s rumors have any weight, we could see LTE-equipped Windows Phone smartphones from HTC, Samsung, and Nokia at the CES trade show in early January.
According to Paul Thurrott, Microsoft will announce three new Windows Phone devices at CES that will support 4G LTE service from AT&T. A model from HTC called the Radiant is due to join a Samsung model named the Mendel, which is supposed to have a very large display. Nokia is expected to reveal its first LTE smartphone, called the ACE, that is thought to hit shelves on March 18, 2012. The HTC and Samsung models are expected to be available in the first half of the year. We expect that all three models will have different names when they hit the market (especially the Nokia, since ACE was already used by Samsung and Nokia will likely incorporate Lumia into the name) and that these are just code-names for the time being.
It is not yet known what version of Windows Phone these new LTE-equipped models will sport, as the next version due, code-named Tango, is expected tobe for low-end models, which these rumored devices are most certainly not. Even if they all run Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, the new LTE models will have to have some sort of custom LTE compatibility baked in, as Mango does not support 4G service in its current state.
Thurrott also says that the Nokia Lumia 710 will be headed to Verizon Wireless in April, but that it will not feature LTE support. T-Mobile will have an exclusive on the Lumia 710 for about three months, as it is releasing its version to customers on January 11. [via The Verge]