Rumor Mill: T-Mobile preps LTE hotspot, Galaxy S III and Z10 for late March release

T-Mobile USA will launch a handful of LTE devices in March, according to the blog TMoNews. The device introductions will coincide with the launch of the operator's LTE network.

Citing a screenshot of T-Mobile's internal device plans, the blog said T-Mobile will release the "Sonic 2.0 Mobile HotSpot LTE," the Samsung Galaxy S III with LTE and the Blackberry Z10. Both of those smartphones are expected to have LTE support. The blog said T-Mobile will also launch the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit "Codina," but it is unclear if that device will also have LTE.

A T-Mobile spokesman declined to comment.

T-Mobile has confirmed that the Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 810 and Samsung Galaxy Note II will be upgraded to LTE via a software update. It also appears as though the LG-made Nexus 4 smartphone may get LTE support.

The report comes shortly after another one from TMoNews, which claimed that T-Mobile is letting residents of Seattle and Las Vegas test is LTE network there. 

All of these moves indicate that the end of March and early April will be a busy time of transition for T-Mobile. T-Mobile's CEO John Legere said in January that the carrier expects to begin offering Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone "in three or four months." The carrier will also discontinue its plans with phone subsidies when it launches the iPhone. 

T-Mobile plans to cover 100 million people with its LTE network by the middle of this year, and expects to cover 200 million POPs by the end of 2013. The carrier is using its 1700 MHz AWS spectrum for LTE and has been busy refarming its 1900 MHz PCS spectrum so it can run HSPA+ service on it. The carrier now has more than 100 million POPs covered with HSPA+ on 1900 MHz, 170 million are expected be covered by mid-2013 and 200 million will be covered by the end of 2013. The bold network restructuring will be T-Mobile's attempt to catch up lost ground on larger rivals Verizon Wireless  (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), all of which have a jump on LTE coverage.

For more:
- see this TMoNews article
- see this Engadget article

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