Nokia's Lumia 920: Will It Support US LTE?

3:20 PM Nokia says the Lumia will support LTE in the US, but the phone's official specs indicate it won't run on any new networks from the major carriers

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

September 5, 2012

2 Min Read
Nokia's Lumia 920: Will It Support US LTE?

3:20 PM -- The new Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) Lumia 920 smartphone won't support Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the U.S., according to the official specifications from the device maker, although a spokesperson insists it will.

Nokia lists quad-band "LTE 800/900/1800/2100/2600" as well as 3G GSM among the wireless connectivity specifications for the new smartphone. Technically, this reads as if the phone will run on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s high-speed packet access-plus (HSPA+) network -- currently marketed as "4G" -- but not its 700MHz LTE network. (See What We Mean When We Say '4G'.)

Nokia, however, is adamant that the devices will run on LTE in the U.S. "The devices are operable in the LTE bands in the US," a Nokia spokesperson says in an email reply to questions about the 4G band. "But I cannot give you any further information related to the operators in the US."

Thing is, unless the spec sheet, which was revealed Wednesday, is wrong and already needs to be updated, it is not clear which U.S. operators could use the phone as currently outfitted.

AT&T, as mentioned, is operating LTE in the 700MHz band. Verizon Wireless is in the C-Block of the 700MHz spectrum for LTE but runs CDMA for 3G, so the phone would need to be updated to run on that network. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has 19 LTE markets operational in the 1900MHz band, which the Lumia doesn't appear to support, and the same 3G CDMA caveats as Verizon apply anyway.

MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) has deployed (and T-Mobile US Inc. is deploying) 4G in the AWS band at 1700MHz and 2100MHz. On paper, the Lumia supports one of the bands required (2100MHz) but not the other, so that's not too helpful.

See what I mean? On paper at the moment, the Lumia 920 can't get on any of the major operator's LTE networks in the U.S. So what does Nokia mean when it says the 920 will be operable on the LTE bands stateside?

The phone is due to launch later this year, so maybe we can expect more spec changes before then? I can't think of how else we can square away this particular 4G riddle.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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