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T-Mobile's Galaxy Note II Has LTE Surprise

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - There's no doubt that Samsung's new Galaxy Note II Android superphone/tablet is an amazing device. (You can watch our reviews here and here.)

But now we're learning that the version from T-Mobile has an unadvertised, special surprise circuit - with an eye toward the near future.

It turns out that T-Mobile's Galaxy Note II has extra two-way radio circuitry inside which will allow the phone to operate on the LTE/4G network they'll begin rolling out next year. And that's in addition to the circuitry which allows the phone to operates on the telecom firm's current 4G network using HSPA+ technology. The dormant circuit is essentially the same as what's inside AT&T's (T - Get Report) Galaxy Note II model.

As the thinking goes, T-Mobile could automatically switch on the new circuits by means of a software update that it will "push" to the phones when it formally introduces its LTE data services.

Citing information from T-Mobile, TheVerge technology Web site reports that the Galaxy Note II features a Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) 9215M chipset which provides the hardware capability to support both HSPA+42 and LTE.

T-Mobile plans to reach more than 200 million Americans with LTE by the end of 2013, according to the statement sent to TheVerge, which added that the Galaxy Note II will not automatically access T-Mobile's LTE network.

"We will share more information on how and when the Galaxy Note II will support T-Mobile's upcoming LTE network when the network is available," added T-Mobile.

In the past, T-Mobile's denied similar hidden LTE support rumors concerning the Note II's little brother - Samsung's Galaxy S III.

Roll-out of a new LTE network may also be dependent on obtaining additional spectrum from T-Mobile's proposed merger with MetroPCS (PCS) - currently awaiting government approval.

T-Mobile's offering Samsung's Galaxy Note II at a whopping $369.99 with a two-year contract.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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