AT&T and Nokia are collaborating on a variant of the Lumia 800 Windows Phone with LTE support, insiders suggest, with the Finns planning to storm the US with 4G in their sails. The US launch for Nokia Windows Phones is already pencilled in for early 2012, with the first models likely to debut at CES 2012 in January, and according to The Verge‘s sources AT&T will have a customized Lumia 800 for its LTE network as the flagship device.
Microsoft has not hidden the fact that LTE is in the pipeline for Windows Phone. Division chief Andy Lees confirmed last month that LTE would be supported in a future version of the platform, but argued that existing implementations of 4G had led to oversized and under-performing devices. “The first LTE phones were big and big [users] of the battery,” the exec highlighted, “and I think it’s possible to do it in a way that is far more efficient, and that’s what we will be doing.”
Support for LTE is expected to be added as an incremental update to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, the current version of the platform, PCMag reports, rather than demanding a full-scale upgrade to Tango, believed to be Microsoft’s next major iteration. However, the sources behind this AT&T LTE Lumia did not specify whether it would be Mango or Tango doing OS duty.
Of course, AT&T isn’t the only US carrier with an LTE network: Verizon started rolling out its 4G LTE before its rival, though devices are not inter-compatible. Still, it seems likely that Nokia will try to use LTE as its selling-point on more than one carrier.