Never one to rest on their laurels, it looks like Samsung are working on yet another variation of their flagship Samsung Galaxy S4 handset. This time it’s the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Advanced, which would support LTE Advanced (or LTE-A) - a technology which is up to 20 times faster than standard 3G and is going to be the next evolution of mobile data following the roll out of normal 4G. LTE Advanced is theoretically capable of real-world download speeds of up to 160MBps, which is roughly equivalent to a 20MB home broadband connection. In other words, it’s so fast that for most things there’ll be little noticeable difference between LTE Advanced and even high speed broadband.
That Samsung are working on a handset capable of 20 times faster mobile data than the 4G technology that is still only just available in the UK makes us feel a bit like we’re stuck in the past. But the reality is that worldwide there is only one network that currently supports LTE Advanced - and it’s in Russia, so for the time being the full potential of the handset won’t be made use of either here or pretty much anywhere else.
As such it’s likely that the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Advanced won’t hit the UK anytime soon, given that only EE offer 4G here currently and even they can’t support LTE Advanced - though they’ve confirmed that they plan to support it at some point in the future.
Initially it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Advanced may only be available in Samsung’s home country of South Korea, where at least one carrier is said to be working on upgrading their infrastructure to support LTE Advanced.
An American launch at some point this year is likely too, as many US carriers plan to be able to support LTE -A by the end of the year. There’s absolutely no timeline for when LTE Advanced will be an option in the UK, but given that most of our networks are still scrambling to even launch a basic 4G network it could be a long wait.
Aside from its LTE Advanced credentials little is known about the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Advanced. The fact that it’s a variant on the Samsung Galaxy S4 could suggest that the rest of the specs will stay the same, but given how many of the company’s phones include S4 in their name and how wide ranging their specs actually are we can’t be at all sure of that.
We’ll be sure to keep an eye on any developments regarding the handset, though to be honest given how long it’s likely to be before LTE Advanced is available here we actually may not see the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Advanced on these shores at all, since by the time we’re able to make use of it a successor will probably be available.