The Galaxy Note II is finally coming to US carriers, and we just gave you a run-down on the T-Mobile variant of the phone. We mentioned at the time how, unlike the other Note II models, this one only operated over HSPA+, thanks to T-Mobile still being behind the rest the of the pack when it comes to getting on-board with LTE. As it turns out, though, the Note II could be a smart buy for users who are looking forward to the day when T-Mobile finally does start offering LTE service, as the phone already includes the necessary LTE radio.
This is apparently a consequence of the T-Mobile Note II essentially sharing the same hardware as the AT&T version. Rather than craft a fully separate T-Mobile version, Samsung elected to keep the LTE radio included, and just leave it inactive for now.
The Verge was able to get a comment from T-Mobile, which confirmed both the presence of the Note II’s LTE radio and the carrier’s plans to have LTE in wide deployment by the end of next year. It didn’t out and promise that it would enable the Note II to function on that LTE network once it’s available, only explaining that the phone wouldn’t automatically start supporting LTE once the network launched, and that T-Mobile would comment further once LTE was actually up-and-running.
The implication there is that there could be a software update released at the time to activate the 4G radio, but the carrier seemed hesitant to commit to that at this early date.