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One could easily turn this into a hate-filled rant at EE, but we'll remain calm with a cup of tea in one hand and the crumpet in the other. According to a press release sent out this morning (crossing over Nokia incidentally), EE announced its UK 4G plans, and what it will be charging consumers to make use of the extra speeds offered by the UK's first LTE network.

Now don't get us wrong, we expected a slight jump in pricing due to the exclusivity held by EE on the improved network speed, but what has been revealed by the company is almost mind boggling. 

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Should information which has been passed on to us be accurate, O2 UK will be sporting not three, but four Windows Phones. A Windows Phone Central reader was able to extract details from the carrier surrounding the potential stocking of a Lumia 920 with LTE capabilities. A support representative answered queries with some degree of affirmation.

The Lumia 920 has been picked up by EE (Everything Everywhere) as an exclusive launch handset for its new 4G LTE UK network. While the exclusivity will be limited in duration, and other operators (including O2) will subsequently be able to stock the Nokia flagship Windows Phone, it's positive to see a UK carrier planning to arrive at the Microsoft party with chocolate cake.

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The HTC 8X is well on its way to Verizon

We're aware that Verizon is most probably going to stock the HTC 8X - in fact, it's pretty much a certainty. Not only has the Windows Phone been confirmed to be heading to the US carrier by its own roadmap, but HTC also hinted in one of its press releases.

If that weren't enough, a HTC 8X video sports a Verizon 4G LTE logo on the rear panel of one of the featured models. Just to ensure there's little doubt left. Here's some more good news as today it has been reported that the FCC has cleared the HTC 8X for docking.

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The UK is going LTE

UK mobile operators, communications regulator Ofcom, and the government have agreed to start rolling out LTE in early 2013. The goal is for high speed data connectivity to launch by spring, approximately six months earlier than originally planned, providing consumers with quicker speed while using Internet services on smartphones.

EE (Everything Everywhere) has already been given the green light in 'switching on' its LTE network at multiple locations across the country ahead of the competition. To the dismay of the other carriers, EE aims to have 16 cities with LTE speeds by this Christmas, providing 20 million customers with a significant increase in speeds.

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A video of what appears to be HTC 8X marketing material has been leaked on YouTube, and it reveals an interesting feature of the Windows Phone - LTE support. Earlier last month we took a look at the HTC 8X sporting the Verizon 4G logo, which further confirmed -- alongside the leaked roadmap -- that the US carrier would indeed be taking the handset under its wing, and that it would be compatible with greater network speeds.

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We're at the Everything Everywhere (now 'EE') presentation for its announcement of the UK's first LTE network. The company, unveiling its new brand, will be putting EE alongside Orange and T-Mobile to offer consumers a choice of three established names to choose from for unique deals, extras and performance.

Using existing infrastructure, the LTE 4G rollout for the UK is expected to be complete by 2015 with 70% going live by the end of 2013 and 98% in 2014. The transition of both the brand and LTE network begins today, and four cities are having their LTE 'turned on' as we write - London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol. 

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The Lumia 920 to sport LTE speeds on Orange / T-Mobile UK?

Nokia is reportedly in talks with Everything Everywhere to launch an LTE Windows Phone in the UK, according to the Financial Times. Everything Everywhere is the parent company of both Orange and T-Mobile UK, and has authorisation from UK communications regulator Ofcom to begin using its 1800 MHz spectrum to offer LTE and WiMAX services.

This will bring increased network capabilities to customers of both UK carriers, though which Nokia Windows Phone will be featured to launch on upgraded networks is unknown. Other UK carriers who desire to build up LTE / 4G networks will have to wait until next year, including the likes of Vodafone, O2 and Three. We’re likely to see Apple take advantage of new network speeds with the next iPhone.

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It looks like Samsung may have inadvertently leaked their upcoming Windows Phone 8 device for peppy T-Mobile. And if accurate, fans will be very excited.

The data presented in the document, found by TmoNews, hints that this device is none other than the Samsung Odyssey, which was initially leaked in court documents at the end of July.

The info comes from Samsung's wap.samsungmobile.com site which notoriously shows upcoming devices before they are announced...

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Update: As pointed out in comments, these could be Nokia's Asha phones (305 and 306) which are just hitting the market. The smaller battery and dual-SIMs give credence to that notion, although Nokia often recycles a lot, including battery types to reduce costs.

Despite Windows Phone 7.x devices looking all but DOA for new launches, a few phones have popped up on the FCC that has caught our attention. At this point, we can’t really believe that (a) these are still WP7.x devices or (b) they will launch anytime soon. That means we may be looking at some Windows Phone 8 devices or these are formalities for other reasons (lots of phones get FCC certs without ever being picked up).

First up is of course Nokia (you can read about ZTE’s phone here). They have two devices, RM-844 and RM-852, which are making their way through the FCC. Both devices look to be the same model but RM-852 appears to be destined for Canada with dual-SIMs while RM-844 looks to be for, wait for it, T-Mobile. We're assuming they are Windows Phones due to Nokia's commitment to the platform but there's nothing conclusive in the documents.

The reason we’re looking at T-Mobile of course is due to the bands being tested: GSM 850 / WCDMA 850, GSM 1900 / WCDMA 1900,  WCDMA 1700 / LTE 1700.  Let’s step back a bit: AT&T uses the 700 MHz band for its LTE service while T-Mobile will be using 1700/2100 band for its 4G LTE network which is not due to until 2013.  T-Mobile also uses 850 and 1900 MHz bands. [Note: these still could be used by AT&T though, so it's a bit confusing with so little to worth with]

That’s not a slam dunk of a prediction but if T-Mobile wants to come out with a new Windows Phone 8 Nokia device in late 2012 (when WP8 is expected to launch), it makes sense to have it "LTE-ready" even if that network will still be in its infancy. Then again, we could be reading too deeply into things here but we think that’s a safe bet for now.

We shouldn’t be too surprised though if T-Mobile is going to aggressively push a Nokia 4G LTE Windows Phone, after all they have to compete against AT&T some way and with Verizon on board with WP8, it will be an interesting fall for new devices. Windows Phone 8 is expected to have HD displays (720x1280), dual-cores CPUs, NFC, expandable SD storage and other tidbits which should make them highly desirable for consumers.

Did we miss anything in the FCC docs? Let us know in comments…

Source: FCC (RM544, RM-852); via Engadget

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Although the Samsung Focus 2 coming on AT&T is not the most exciting phone out there for our more hardcore users, the device is certainly a looker with the glossy white and curved edges.

Microsoft's Ben Rudolph got his hands on the device about a week ago and gives it a thumbs up, noting that the 4G LTE and sharp 5MP camera make the device a good choice for many people. With a leaner design, typing is suppose to be nicer with no "hotspots" for hand-cramping and the 4" Super AMOLED screen should hold up nicely for most users these days, especially at a nicely priced $49.99.

In turn, he's thrown up a couple of photos of the new Focus 2 which shows off a nice design and we can even compare it to the original Focus.  Head to the Windows Phone Blog to see more pics.

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The Samsung SGH-i667 aka the 'Mandel' is one of the last Windows Phone that we have very little information about. It passed BT certification in January and then cleared the FCC in March but since it did not co-launch with the HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900, it is presumed that the Samsung LTE phone was canceled.

Now, two images have leaked out of the device, the first one you see above is the back of the phone and it shows a svelte, glossy white smooth rounded back.

The second image is a screen cap of the device connected up to Zune Desktop, showing the device name. The AT&T logo is prominent on the device and featured in that image which is pulled from Microsoft's servers.

The device also appears to be sporting only 8GB of storage (with 5.61 available) which tells us that this was probably not a high-end, flagship phone for AT&T but an offshoot of the Focus Flash, which also goes by the name i667.

Other than that we just don't have any more information. The images come by way of the site WPXAP and no other details were given.

Samsung has reportedly taken a break from Windows Phone to work on a high-end Windows Phone 8 device for the fall (rumored to be a Galaxy S3 knock off). Could the 'Mandel' have been skipped or passed over by AT&T or even Sammy? We may never know.

We'll keep an eye out though we know we'd like to add it to our collection. Samsung looks good in glossy white.

Source: WPXAP; Thanks, Talan1314, for the images!

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While Verizon Wireless does off the HTC Trophy as the company's one and only Windows Phone, customers have been wanting more selection out of the wireless provider for some time. Based on what Verizon's executive vice president and chief financial officer Fran Shammo said during a conference call, Verizon customers may finally see more Windows Phone becoming available.

Shammo said he was fully supportive of Microsoft and discussed the need for a third mobile ecosystem in the wireless industry. This is a bit of a change from late last year when Verizon had issues with the lack of LTE support coming from Microsoft. The feeling was that Verizon would continue to focus on Android devices as their center piece.

If Verizon was waiting for LTE support, the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II should prove that LTE support exists with Windows Phones. Another sign that Verizon may be coming around on Windows Phones is the recent announcement of the 8107 update for the HTC Trophy.

Based on Shammo's comments the chances of additional Windows Phones joining the Verizon line up seems promising.  Could we see a Verizon Lumia 900? Or maybe a Verizon Titan II?  

Source: CNET; Thanks, Anonymous, for the tip!

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In late 2011, one of the sticking points for Verizon Wireless in broadly adopting Windows Phone was the lack of 4G LTE support. AT&T also took issue with this missing feature as strategically they are looking to offload network congestion to their new high-speed spectrum.

There was just one problem: the Windows Phone OS was not set to get LTE support till Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo" in late in 2012.  That's a long wait as six to nine months in smartphones is an eternity these days, especially when you're in a distant third in the smartphone race.

So how are we on the cusp of not one but two LTE Windows Phones in early 2012? We're told AT&T approached and asked them if they could bump up that feature set earlier. Microsoft in turn was receptive to such a request, much like how Microsoft Corporate VP Joe Belfiore or Brandon Watson take great strides to carefully listen to you, the customer.

To get support into the OS, Microsoft reportedly took members off of Apollo and re-appointed them to work on LTE for Mango Refresh (RC2) in order to meet market demands. Throw in Qualcomm, who has worked hard with Microsoft on chipset compatibility and Nokia, HTC and Samsung who were all eager to get more high end devices in the US and you have AT&T's new 4G Windows Phone lineup launching earlier than planned.

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We last took a look at the mysterious Samsung SGH i667 "Mandel" back in January where it passed BT certification, but not much was known about the handset. Fast forward three months later and FCC certification paperwork has been spotted by PocketNow, which shows the SGH i667 passing with LTE connectivity listed and confirmed.

The "Mandel" is set to be one of three new 4G handsets heading to AT&T, the other two being the Lumia 900 and HTC TITAN II. Unfortunately, this does not provide any further details specifications wise, but we'll continue to speculate that it's going to be a more advanced brother of the Focus S.

Via: PocketNow

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Nokia has recently sold 450 patents to Sisvel, an italian Intellectual property manager. Of those, 350 patents spanning across 33 families encapsulate key wireless technologies like GSM, UMTS/WCDMA, and LTE. Although Nokia nor Sisvel are going into details of the deal, it's expected that Nokia will retain the rights to use these patents, and likely collect on some of the ongoing royalties, but Sisvel will likely get a cut of royalties in exchange for actively protecting the patents in the courtroom. 

It might seem natural that Nokia hold onto these patents with an iron fist and squeeze every penny-worth of royalties out of them, but legal costs can add up; by incentivizing an outside source to do the trolling while possibly still getting some of the royalties themselves, Nokia will be able to focus their resources (both legal and monetary) on Windows Phone. It will be interesting to see how aggressive Sisvel is in protecting the patents, and if they're able to lock down any big licensing deals that Nokia wasn't able to. The last big case Nokia won was against Apple, so I have a hard time imagining that Nokia has left any stone unturned. 

Source: IntoMobile

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WPCentral was lucky enough today to sit down with Nokia's senior vice president, Windows Phone program management Kevin Shields and Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone program management.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the focus was on Nokia, the Lumia 900, re-entering the US market and anything else would could think to ask. Having said that, sorry folks, no new feature announcements were revealed about the Windows Phone OS as both gentlemen outsmarted our attempts. (We're betting on Mobile World Congress next month for more info on "Tango").

The interview, all 25 minutes of it, can be seen above and we think it is quite interesting, especially as we ask about what are Microsoft's and Nokia's biggest challenges in the US, how did the Lumia 900 come to be (including the design process), what should we expect from the LTE experience and more.  Clearly Microsoft is expecting Windows 8 to add another "jolt" to Windows Phone in 2012 and we couldn't agree more.

In addition, we had some more hands-on time with the Lumia 900 and folks, we're really excited about this beauty as it is quite the Windows Phone. More on that later this week in our podcast.

A big thanks to Microsoft and Nokia for extending the opportunity for this interview and iMore's Rene Ritchie for assistance.

Edit: The last few minutes got cut off, so we have a new version coming up in a little bit.

Edit 2: New version uploaded with last 5 minutes.

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Howdy folks, we're still rocking it here at CES and we figured we would catch up on a few things. First off, is LTE and Windows Phones--how's it work?

More specifically, is there a "toggle" to turn it on or off? Short answer is 'no', there is not. At least when we searched up and down the HTC TITAN II (see hands on) there was certainly no switch outside of the generic "data" toggle under the Phone settings. When we asked HTC about it, they said a few things:

  • You'll need a "LTE SIM card", meaning you'll have to have your account set up for this. (This is also the beginning of GSM carriers locking in people to their networks, by the way)
  • The phone will use LTE when it can and switch to 3G/HSPA+ when it can't. In keeping with the "simple" motif of Windows Phone, the user will not have to manage this
  • What about battery life? The TITAN II certainly has ample battery and since this is the 2nd generation of LTE chipsets, battery life should be significantly better than our current Android counterparts. Plus, Microsoft looks to have aggressively attacked this issue. Still, proof is in the pudding, so we'll see in a few weeks.
  • Is it fast? Hard to say at CES as all the networks are congested here today. We easily hit between 3-6Mbps which sounds not very impressive but when you consider how taxed the network is here, it's actually pretty good. In fact browsing the web was quite enjoyable. But we'll know more up on release, when we can test on a "normal" day
  • Oh and our initial impression of the TITAN II: we liked it, a lot. The new curvy, unibody design is really top notch. It actually feels nicer in the hand and that chin helps when typing in landscape. Plus the that 16MP camera.

Anyways, hope that answers some of your questions...

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As expected, Nokia appears to have some newer versions of the Windows Phone OS--specifically interim builds between "Mango" and "Tango" that adds LTE support and presumably other fixes not yet detailed.

Now we have confirmation that this is the case and even the version numbers. Reader Lukas E. has sent us a photo of his new Lumia 800 which he won directly from Nokia. Where it gets interesting, however, is his OS build which is pegged at  7.10.8107 (pictured above), a significant bump from 7.10.7740 which is found on a lot of devices today.

More interestingly, we found that the Nokia 900 which is expected to be announced next Monday at CES, is running a similar build: 7.10.8104. This info was gleaned from Lynx Interactive who makes various games for Windows Phone and collects device/OS information for their statistics.

The 810x branch of the OS seems to be an official interim build that many OEMS are using, including the unannounced Samsung Monument, the Samsung Focus, some HTC devices and the Lumia 710. What is not clear, of course, is if this will be released as an OS update or is just for upcoming 4G/LTE enabled phones but it does appear that this branch is getting ready to go public. The fact that a Lumia 800 is running the updated OS is a positive sign that this may be an official update. (There is an even later build, 8714, which may be Tango-proper.)

Perhaps we'll find out more at CES next week. Until then, we'll continue to see if we can find any other changes to the OS--so far, there is no Internet Sharing on Lukas's Lumia 800 and no other discenrable changes that he has noted, meaning this could new hardware preperation.

Thanks, Lukas E., for the photo and info!

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File this under both excited and under-whelming.

We heard about HTC launching the Radiant a few days ago with the idea that it was essentially the HTC Titan but with a 4G LTE radio on board and destined for everyone's favorite, AT&T. Pocketnow have posted what is purportedly the first picture of what this device will look like.

As it turns out, it looks just like your Titan but allegedly thicker for a larger battery. larger front-facing camera lens (which is sorely needed) and the right side buttons are skewed towards the bottom more. Not exactly huge changes but those little types of refinements can go a long ways in making the Titan even better (and HTC's button placements do lack behind Samsung's, in our opinion). Finally, the Radiant is suppose to go to Australia's Telstra too--so that's some positive new for those outside the US.

The Radiant is rumored to be shown off at CES next week and we have a few events scheduled with HTC, so we're sure to get the full skinny on this one folks. The question for you though is this: Is a Titan with LTE on board going to make you trade up?

Source: Pocketnow

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