Las Vegas – Samsung became the
first handset vendor here at CTIA Wireless 2010 to unveil a U.S.-market 3G/4G
cellphone that uses LTE (Long Term Evolution) 4G technology.
The SCH-r900 handset will be one
of the first commercially available LTE-enabled, multi-mode CDMA 4G handsets in
the U.S. when prepaid carrier MetroPCS launches the handset to support the
commercial rollout of its LTE network, Samsung said. The network will be
commercially operating in select metropolitan markets, including Las Vegas, in
the second half of 2010.
The MetroPCS phone will operate in
3G CDMA mode for voice and data in the carrier’s 3G network and in 4G mode for
data in the carrier’s planned 4G LTE network. The carrier operates in the
1.9GHz and 1.7/2.1GHz AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) bands. Additional
handset details were unavailable.
Samsung’s announcement here at Wireless
2010 followed a demo at the show by Sprint of its planned 3G/4G smartphone, the
Android 2.1-based full-touch
, which accesses Sprint’s 4G WiMAX and 3G CDMA Rev. A networks for data
and Sprint’s 3G CDMA network for voice. Like the MetroPCS LTE phone, the Sprint
phone is due sometime in the summer.
Dallas-based MetroPCS offers
unlimited, flat-rate, no-contract services. It’s the fifth largest facilities-based
wireless carrier in the U.S. based on subscriber numbers of more than 6.6
million as of year-end 2009, the carrier said. Between its own network and
roaming agreements, MetroPCS offers coverage in areas with a population of
about 144 million people.