Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Samsung has introduced a veritable glut of variants of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone this summer, and that’s continued today with the announcement of dual-mode LTE versions of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Mini.
The updated devices will not be as eye-catching to consumers as the camera-tastic Galaxy S4 Zoom, or the ruggedized Galaxy S4 Active, but they are notable. Samsung says they are the world’s first commercial devices to support both the TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE standards — ZTE, which launched the dual-mode LTE Grand Era in Hong Kong last year, has cause to dispute that.
Dual-mode support essentially means the phones will work with different types of 4G networks, allowing owners to access mobile broadband across different parts of the world. FDD-LTE is seen as the standard bearer for LTE, but there are network deployments planned using the TDD-LTE standard, with Chinese carriers the standout examples. Dual-mode LTE networks also exist, such as in Hong Kong.
Samsung launched an LTE-Advanced version of the Galaxy S4 in Korea last month, and JK Shin, co-CEO and president of the IT and mobile division at Samsung Electronics, says today’s development is further proof of Samsung’s commitment to LTE:
With today’s TDD/FDD LTEseamless handover devices announcement, Samsung again demonstrates the company’s commitment to driving better, more convenient customer experiences. The first commercially available TDD/FDD seamless handover devices will allow customers to fully enjoy the benefits of fast mobile data communications no matter where they are.
The TL;DR is that Samsung wants to cover your LTE needs wherever you are in the world, as well it should. There’s no due date for the launch of the dual-mode phones, and the company will “continue to launch TDD-LTE devices in other markets throughout third quarter.”
Headline image via JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images
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