Today’s 4G too slow for you? Samsung plans to release a variant of is Galaxy S4 phone with 4G LTE Advanced technology, promising up to double the speed. U.S. carriers have yet to roll out LTE Advanced, but when they do Samsung says users will be able to download videos that usually take 3 minutes in a little over a minute.
This new handset is one of many devices joining the ever-growing Galaxy S4 family. AT&T is taking pre-orders for the rugged Galaxy S4 Active. Then there’s the S4 Zoom (camera with optical zoom) and S4 Mini models (made for smaller hands), not to mention the Developer Edition being sold by Google for Android purists.
According to a report by Reuters, the Galaxy S4 with LTE Advanced could hit South Korea as early as this month before launching elsewhere. The phone is the first to use a new chip from Qualcomm that will tap into these networks.
AT&T claims that it will upgrade its network to LTE Advanced in the second half of 2013. Verizon already has 7 devices in its stable that supports its Advanced Wireless Services upgrade, including the current Galaxy S4, but AWS is more about capacity than it is speed. The carrier hasn’t yet provided a timetable for LTE Advanced.
Neither T-Mobile or Sprint have unveiled their plans for LTE Advanced either, though both claim that they have the equipment in place to flip the switch. Samsung plans to help with that part of the equation, too, by stepping up its efforts to sell 4G networking gear to carriers. In fact, Sprint is already a customer.