AAWP reports that Nokia is pushing out firmware to their handsets in UK as LTE slowly becomes available on carriers in the region.
Most Lumias heading for UK with LTE hardware had this deactivated to save battery life, as apart from EE most carriers did not support LTE. Even unbranded devices heading to UK were similarly configured.
Now as LTE starts rolling out on Vodafone, O2 and eventually 3 UK Nokia needs to push out firmware to reverse the switch, and has started with the Nokia Lumia 920 on Vodafone.
To see if your handset needs the software update check the Mobile Network page in your Settings Menu. If your highest connection speed is 4G you already have the update, otherwise you need to wait for the update notification.
Handsets which will benefit from the LTE switch include the Nokia 820, 920 and 925, with the Nokia Lumia 625 presumably already appropriately configured.
Verizon has announced that 7 devices will be supported on its AWS LTE network, which is expected to double LTE speeds on the carrier.
The first device expected to support the network is the Samsung Galaxy S4, but gforgames.com has found an FCC filling in which Nokia asks for a “Class II Permissive Change” in order to be allowed to release an update that will make the Nokia Lumia 928 compatible with Verizon’s AWS LTE band 4.
If Nokia’s application is approved before Samsung’s it may still beat the other device to the punch.
Of course even if it does not Nokia Lumia 928 owners can still look forward to much enhanced connectivity soon.
Thanks Vlad for the tip.
Contrary to rumours, it appears that the T-Mobile USA Nokia Lumia 810 will not in fact receive an upgrade to LTE support on the carrier.
A hint to this may have been when the handset was left out of T-Mobile’s un-carrier announcement, and the news has now been confirmed by was Randy Meyerson, Senior Director, Product Marketing at T-Mobile, who noted:
“I’m following up as per my note last night. Unfortunately, the Nokia Lumia 810 is not upgradable to LTE. While it is true that it has a chipset that is LTE-capable in certain circumstances, the variant that was used in this device can’t be enabled for LTE.”
The news will come as a disappointment to NL 810 owners, and demonstrates a lack of forward planning at T-Mobile, who could certainly have specified such support when they ordered the handset, but it serves as a warning to buyers never to purchase a handset for future features, even when supposedly confirmed, but rather for what it already present.
LTE is coming to T-Mobile USA in selected markets, and January T-Mobile told Engadget the Nokia Lumia 810 will be getting an firmware upgrade to support the technology at some point.
While the Nokia Lumia 810 is a nice enough handset, it is not the best specified Windows Phone on T-Mobile USA. That honour goes to the HTC 8X, but is seems buyers of that device will be left out of the LTE party.
WPDaily enquired from T-Mobile and received the following reply:
The Lumia 810 is the only other LTE-capable device on T-Mobile aside from the Note II, and we will share timing of that LTE MR at a later time. Please stay tuned.
The reason is likely related to Nokia’s radio expertise, which allows them to support a wide variety of frequencies with one chipset.
As WPDaily notes, the news is a nice boost for existing owners of the NL 810, but of course does leave new buyers in a bind - Buy an HTC 8X for its nice design, thin profile and very good HD screen, or buy a lower specced and frankly less attractively designed Nokia Lumia 810 for the coming high speed network support.
Which one would our readers chose? Let us know below.
WP7forum.ru reports that the latest Nokia Lumia 820 firmware, build 1232.5957.1308.0001, has re-enabled LTE support in Russia, which was disabled by the Portico update there earlier.
The firmware also of course brings Nokia’s Check Storage utility, which finally gives users control over their temporary files.
WPforum notes that the OS itself is not updated, and remains build number 8.0.10211.204.
The firmware should roll out soon to the Nokia Lumia 620, 820 and 920, and the 520 and 720 should ship with it pre-installed.
Read more at WP7forum.ru here.
We reported earlier than T-Mobile has said they would enable LTE on the Nokia Lumia 810.
Now the FCC has stepped in and approved the LTE for the RM-878X, presumably the Nokia Lumia 810 (RM-878) with LTE enabled, meaning when T-Mobile does throw the switch it will be all legal and ligit.
Interestingly Nokia asked for confidentiality till the 24th June, suggesting this act may still be long in the coming.
T-Mobile has told Engadget that the Nokia Lumia 810 is one of three handsets the network will add LTE support to via a software update.
Unfortunately the carrier did not say when this would occur, but it comes as a nice Easter egg to those who already decided to purchase the handset.
Hopefully the support for the technology will also boost sales of the handset which is not currently one of the best sellers on T-Mobile.
We have covered recently how the Nokia Lumia 920 coming to India will not support their local variant of LTE, TD-LTE, making the device de facto a 3G phone.
Now according to Nokia support it seems the issue will not be a permanent black mark on the handset in the Indian subcontinent, with support claiming the device will be updated to 4G compliance via a Firmware Over The Air update.
Now we would definitely not recommend buying the smartphone on the promise of an update, even if Nokia confirms it, but if true it would still be a welcome bonus for buyers in the rather small area covered by LTE in India.
Thanks Himadri for the tip.
We posted recently on the wide LTE frequency support of the Nokia Lumia 920 in India, but it turns out that supporting 9 LTE bands does not really matter of its not on the right protocol.
The Indian Nokia Lumia 920 supports LTE, but unfortunately India chose to use TD-LTE, similar to China Mobile, which renders the normal LTE on Nokia Lumia 920 moot. It seems due to this Nokia has removed references to the supported frequencies from the deviceâ€™s specs page.
The issue also affect other western imports such as the iPhone 5, leaving the devices on a level playing field, but of course Nokia already has TD-LTE support on the Nokia Lumia 920T, and I expect if there is real demand they can produce a special model for India.
LTE however remain a nascent technology in India, with only Airtel supporting it in some cities, so I suspect Indians will have to wait for the next generation of Nokia flagships for proper support for the 4G technology.
Thanks Shivansh for the tip.
Bloomberg reports that Appleâ€™s focus on US has left it at a disadvantage in Europe when it came to LTE support.
While the iPhone supports LTE in USA, it does not connect to as many European LTE networks as the penta-band Nokia Lumia 920.
Nokiaâ€™s Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 allow users to access the about two dozen LTE mobile networks in western Europe, according to Strategy Analytics. The iPhone 5 only works on the LTE network of two carriers — Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) in Germany and EE, a U.K. venture of Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom SA. (FTE)
â€œThe Lumiaâ€™s LTE connectability is going to help Nokia stand out to holiday shoppers,â€ said Johan Eidhagen, general manager of Nokia in Scandinavia.
â€œThereâ€™s more skepticism around Apple now since their new phone doesnâ€™t work with LTE,â€ said Filip Ljuboje, a salesman at a mobile-phone store in Stockholm. â€œThe 3G net is congested from so many users, so moving to LTE is a priority.â€
â€œA fast Internet connection is a must so I knew I wanted a 4G phone,â€ said Johansson, 41-year-old software developer in Stockholm. Nokiaâ€™s top-of-the-line Lumia 920 â€œwas the one.â€
â€œThere is clearly strong demand among European consumers for 4G phones,â€ said Neil Mawston, an analyst at Strategy Analytics in London. He predicts Nokia will sell 5 million Lumias in the fourth quarter, up from 2.9 million in the previous three months.
Unfortunately Nokia does not have the market all to themselves, with Samsung also strongly committed to supporting LTE in Europe.
â€œThere is definitely the possibility of a boost for us,â€ said Martin Cullberg, director of Samsungâ€™s telecom business for the Nordic region. â€œThe focus right now is to show the benefit you get by using LTE that supports all available frequencies.â€
Read more at Bloomberg here.
Telstra has officially announced that the HTC 8X will be available to purchase from the 4th December on their network.
The device will be initially available online, and hit stores by the 11th December. It will be available in Californian Blue and Graphite Black. The handset will also support Telstraâ€™s 4G LTE network.
â€œItâ€™s compatible with our national 4G service and features built-in â€˜Beats Audioâ€™ technology that gives great sound quality listening to music, playing games or watching video,â€ a Telstra spokesman noted. â€œIt runs Windows Phone 8 with rich features like Live Tiles that let you see at a glance everything thatâ€™s going on without even opening an app.â€
The handset is also expected to hit Optus in early December for $0 upfront on the $35 Optus Plan (minimum total cost over 24 months is $840) .
The only LTE carrier in UK has finally responded to consumer apathy related to theirÂ exorbitantÂ prices by increasing data caps and therefore value for money, and also by offering a very reasonable SIM-only plan which offers 5GB for onlyÂ Â£15.99.
The 2GB plan now becomes a 3GB allowance, with the 3GB plan increasing to 5GB, and the 5GB allowance now extending to 8GB. All existing 4GEE customers will be automatically upgraded to the new data allowances, with no increase in their monthly fee.
Do these plans make it more attractive to get a Nokia Lumia 920 from UK’s exclusive provider?
See the press release after the break and let us know below.
WPArea.de have explored the issue somewhat, and have found that setting the phone to only use 3G and not LTE stopped the phone from rebooting, suggesting the bug Â is in the radio stack.
Presumably Nokia is looking into a fix, but until then, if your phone is constantly rebooting, this may beÂ temporaryÂ fix until Nokia delivers a patch.
Read more at WPArea.de here.
Thanks Leng for the tip.
WindowsMania.pl is claiming to have documentation which shows that, even when the Nokia Lumia 920 is being sold on HSDPA networks, like it will in much of Europe, the hardware still remains LTE capable, with this functionality being enabled by a software update later.
LTE is expected to become widely available in Europe in 2013-2014, so it is good to know that the handset as an investment could get even better with time.
Read more at WindowsMania.pl.
A few days ago we wrote about the GSM HTC 8X passing through the FCC.Â Now Engadget reports that the CDMA version of the handset has also just been approved.
The PM23100 is a CDMA handset with Verizonâ€™s 700 Mhz LTE band and of course comes loaded with NFC, and is fortunately identified as an HTC Windows Phone, removing all doubt.
The FCC also delivered one pleasant surprise: The handset will also be able to roam on the GSM 850 and 1900 frequencies, meaning even Verizon CDMA users will not be stranded in Europe and elsewhere.
See the entry at the FCC here.
Everything Everywhere, now just EE, the UK joint venture between T-Mobile and Orange, has just announced that their 4G LTE roll-out will begin on the 30th October 2012 to 10 cities, with another 6 coming by the end of the year.
That is somewhat interesting, but they also confirmed a bunch of LTE handsets would be available at launch, according to Engadget, including the Nokia Lumia 920.
That may finally peg a launch date for the much anticipated Windows Phone 8 handset, which will hopefully also become available unlocked for buyers using other networks.
To temper the excitement somewhat, it is of note that the handset is not included in EEâ€™s press release. We have however contacted PR, who will hopefully deliver an answer soon.
Thanks James for the tip.