Given differences in 4G technology support, carriers across the U.S. are adopting a gradual roll-out of their 4G technologies. T-Mobile, for one, has promised network-wide LTE support for 200 million U.S. customers by end of 2013. While T-Mobile currently doesn’t support LTE, it seems the Galaxy Note 2 only has LTE deactivated through the firmware.
The Verge reports that the T-Mobile variant of the Galaxy Note 2 is essentially identical to the one offered by AT&T, including hardware support for LTE. It seems activating LTE is only a matter of switching it on through the firmware. T-Mobile was sought out for an answer, and gave this response:
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.
As such, the Note 2 will not automatically support LTE once T-Mobile rolls out its higher-speed network implementation. Support will likely come along with a software update. But given that carriers are usually bottlenecks when it comes to Android patches and updates, will it be easy for T-Mobile to simply flip the “on” switch for its Galaxy Note 2 LTE support?