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lte

T-Mobile has finally closed a deal to acquire highly-valuable 700MHz spectrum from Verizon, enabling the next wave of network upgrades for the carrier. In the wireless world not all spectrum is created equal, with lower frequencies being more desirable because they travel further distances and better penetrate buildings. Both of these attributes are badly needed on T-Mobile's network as it traditionally operates on much higher frequencies between 1700 and 2100MHz, and T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray has a good idea of what they will do with it.

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UK mobile operator EE has announced new entry-level 4G plans for the market. These new contracted plans start from £13.99 per month, enabling consumers to take advantage of faster Internet speeds at a more affordable price point. The operator has been criticized in the past for its pricing of LTE in the UK.

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Our forums here at Windows Phone Central is the place to hit if you are seeking advice, support, or friendly chat for anything Microsoft related.

This week, within our Microsoft Surface 2 forum, reader, ThoughtHalo, wanted to know if he should keep his Nokia Lumia 2520 or trade it for one of Microsoft’s brand new Surface 2 units with LTE. Let us see if we can help him out.

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Surface 2 64 GB with LTE goes on sale for $679

Microsoft's Surface 2 with LTE has just gone on sale, as previously reported. The asking price is $679 and is locked to AT&T's 4G network, enabling owners to utilize the internet while out and about – there's nothing worse than enjoying the sun on a Wi-Fi-only tablet with no way to connect online.

You can pick one up from the Microsoft Store right now.

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Earlier this afternoon, we reported that Microsoft Stores were getting stock of the new Surface 2 with LTE, destined for AT&T. At the time, we were unable to post photos due to a confidentiality request. Since that time we have ascertained more information, which we can share with you now.

The 64 GB version of the LTE based Surface 2 will have an in-store price of $679. Compared to $549 for the 64 GB non-LTE Surface 2, consumers are looking at $130 price hike for having permanent internet connectivity. We do not yet know if AT&T will be offering any tie ins or contract deals to lower that amount, though it’s certainly feasible if you toss in a 2-year contract.

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Build 2014 is right around the corner, and we’re expecting a few big announcements from Microsoft during that three day event. While Windows Phone 8.1 is anticipated to be unveiled, we have also been hearing about a Surface 2 with LTE. Announced last year during a Reddit AMA, a recent FCC filing suggests that the device is close to being released.

Windows Phone Central has now learned that Surface 2’s with LTE for AT&T have now started shipping to select Microsoft Stores to build up inventory.

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The build-outs of the LTE networks of AT&T and Verizon in the United States have hit the point where they're covering smaller cities in 4G radio signals. In fact, just today Ma Bell announced that they're flipping the switch to turn on AT&T LTE coverage in 12 municipalities around the United States, though the largest in this batch is Bismark, North Dakota, population: 65,000. There used to be a time when a single new LTE network meant millions were covered — now it takes a dozen new markets to cover a mere 300,000. We're on the long tail of the LTE coverage build-out now. The full list of new AT&T LTE coverage follows.

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Late last year saw AT&T adding international LTE roaming in Canada and the UK, and today they're adding 13 more nations to the list. If the added services are treated in the same way as AT&T's deals with EE in the UK and Rogers in Canada, the rates charged for the "Data Global" add-ons won't change with the addition of LTE services, though AT&T did not say if that would be the case in their press release. AT&T put a full list of the countries where you'll be able to get LTE speeds while roaming starting today:

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Microsoft launched the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 this past October, but it was in September that they announced the two new tablets and their respective accessories. It was shortly after the official announcement that the Surface team did an AMA on Reddit and divulged some interesting information. There would be a Surface 2 with LTE and GPS launching early in 2014. That’s a very vague timeframe, but it looks to be coming fairly soon. A Surface 2 with LTE was just spotted in the FCC.

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