T-Mobile Bound Galaxy S III With LTE Passes Through The FCC


The passing of the Galaxy S III (SGH-T999L) with LTE for T-Mobile through the FCC isn’t in itself news, but the FCC sign off does bring us one step closer to release. Of course, it’s hard to get excited about the S III LTE with the Galaxy S IV on the horizon which will undoubtedly bring LTE to the T-Mobile table. Still, choice is good and as soon as the S IV hits store shelves, the price of the S III is likely to drop making it an even more enticing offer.

There’s a full complement of HSPA+ connectivity on board, and LTE bands 4 and 17 making it versatile with both the T-Mobile and AT&T crowds. Hopefully T-Mobile will let this one hit store shelves soon before it’s forgotten underneath the tidal wave of Galaxy S IV news.


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  • ceegii63

    GALAXY NOTE 1 Part 2

  • Eric

    Great, another bandwidth hogger /s

  • UMA_Fan

    I wonder if this will have the quad core exynos plus LTE like the Note II. Setting it apart from all the other US GS3s

    • that’s what I’m wondering as well… hmmm

    • mdosu

      doubt it. S3 is at the end of the development cycle. Given it might share AWS band 17 and it likley will be almost identical in hardware to the AT&T S3. Again, 1 year too late, AT&T already beat you to it TMO

      • UMA_Fan

        There was a S3 variant already made that had exynos + lte

        • mdosu

          I see that. In Samsung’s prospective, why give TMO the best at this point, when now, the phone is essentially the same as the AT&T and other US model phones?

          I’m pulling for the exynos+ quad core too, don’t get me wrong, but I’m just saying, the cost of retooling for a Asian/International version of this phone doesn’t make sense from a cost of production perspective.

        • superg05

          your getting a dual core in the s4 with snapdragon processor which is one of the the things i have always bit@#ed about the us getting screwed over with lesser specs last time they said it was because they did not support LTE at the time why didn’t t-mobile get a quad-core answer because it did not support 42mbps net work only 21mbps which would have been fine since your going to get no where near that top speed but nope thats just the way it is pay more get less that the American way so foreign companies treat us like that except t-mobile

        • lovingmyGN2

          Your an idiot, as well as sparklingCyanide. That’s not gonna happen anymore. Did it happen with the note 2? No right? Damn some people ask and say the stupidest things.

        • UMA_Fan

          Because going with the snapdragon over the exynos in the US versions was never about cost. It was the only way to support LTE and Hspa+42 at the time.

          The at&t S3 only supports hspa21 I believe which wouldn’t fly with Tmobile anyway. Its also cheaper for Samsung to use its OWN in house exynos chips than to pay Qualcomm for snapdragon chips.

          I would argue your thinking is backwards, there would have to be a technical reason for Samsung to opt for a snapdragon processor. This was the only reason it was done last time. Right now the technology in the S3 is cheaper due to age so if Samsung has to revamp the phone anyway it just makes sense they would keep as much in common with the international version as possible.

          Actually all Samsung has to do is take the guts of the Tmobile Note 2 and put it into the Galaxy S3.

  • mdosu

    1 year too late. This phone will have to come severely discounted for me to even consider it given what’s currently out there (Note 2, Windows 8 Phone) or what will be coming out in 3-6 months: HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, or Iphone 5.

    • That’s what I’m hopping, it needs to be severely discounted. I don’t even want the SGSIV, the screen is wayyyy too big for me.

    • The iPhone 5 is OUT

      • superg05

        lol ………. oh where you serious?

      • mdosu

        not a opitmized version for T-Mobile’s LTE…

        Anyways, I just rolled the die and bought the Note 2, hoping to be the first to access the new LTE.

  • JBLmobileG1

    While I Love my Galaxy S3 and it not being the LTE model I don’t understand what the point of releasing it now with LTE when the S4 is just around the corner. Why even bother unless it is priced as low as the current S3 model that is just HSPA+.

    • ok

      Because some people don’t want to shell out $700 every year for the latest phone.

    • mdous

      good point, but at this point, the phone is likely 98% the same as the AT&T version, it’ll cost TMO and Samsung very little to release this phone to squeeze out a profit on this device. This phone probably still has 1 solid year of service before being severely outdated.

    • srr79

      The point of re-releasing it with LTE is the same point in still having the GS2 and the Blaze in the stores! We sell a ton of them to budget conscious people that don’t want the higher up front or out of pocket costs. Some people, believe it or not, don’t care about LTE, as long as they have a cool device and service that works.

  • whishful_thinking

    Gee. Wonder if they’ll offer some kind of trade in for those that have the non-LTE version. If so, pick one up, get it unlocked and then sell it to fund an S4 purchase!

  • S. Ali

    for the non-existent LTE network

  • Joshua Austin

    Though, people at T-Mobile have said different, Current GS3’s on T-Mobile supposedly aren’t LTE-capable. Releasing an LTE-capable model seems like a waste of time and money for everyone involved. If the current GS3 isn’t LTE-capable, then, I wonder why T-Mobile wasn’t given the same model as other companies, if they knew that they would have their LTE network up and running eventually? I love the GS3 but, sure as hell won’t waste money on a new one…

    • mdosu

      cost of fitting an LTE radio likely was the reason the original TMO S4 was only HSPA+ phone. Nexus 4 is a good example. They also did a calculated cost estimate. They knew the Galaxy S4 was going to be released in about the same quarter LTE may come out. They figured, why pay up early during S3 launch, when you can make a decision later when LTE is ready? There’s a lot of moving parts involved when making a decision to have Samsung make you a unique HSPA+ only phone. T-Mobile & Samsung definitely made alot more money selling a HSPA+ only S3, then slightly retooling the assembly line to make this LTE S3, which is not much different than the AT&T phone at this point.

    • MatthewMurawski

      This phone isn’t meant for existing S3 customers. It’s meant for those who want to save money on a high end Samsung phone and want LTE as well but aren’t willing to buy the more expensive S4.

    • UMA_Fan

      Way back then, it was still too early to see how T-Mobile’s LTE network would pan out…

      Actually, I remember reading about the leaked T-999 number on this site way back in January of 2012 which ended up becoming the S3. During those early months of 2012 T-Mobile was still debating whether to launch HSPA+ 84 or go forward with LTE.

      • superg05

        i wish once lte is up they work on there outlying coverage areas it made me sad reading comments on not even having 3G and that article David wrote it broke my heart t-mobile got a grant to expand the 3g coverage to rural areas from the FCC i asked David to write about it so we could all discuss but i think i was ignored or it was deemed non important which is fine not mad i wish we could get some sort of progress report atleast on the things with tax payer money should i write them?

  • mreveryphone

    Shouldn’t these note 2’s that we’re wielding be upgraded already to take advantage of the lte network?

    • mdosu

      Yes, unofficially. there’s numerous articles out there that says Note 2’s will be a OTA update to turn on the LTE radio. What’s officially confirmed are that the T-Mobile Note 2 has the LTE radio, and has passed FCC tests. So it’s literally flipping the switch on TMo’s side for us Note 2 owners when LTE is ready.

  • Shnurf

    I miss TMobile :( I made the worst decision switching to verizon. I regret everyday that I’m on this God forsaken network with possibly in my opinion the worst handset selections. Fk you Verizon! Fk your data caps! And fk your disgusting bs “3G” wannabe EDGE.

    • kalel33

      First time I’ve ever heard anyone miss T-mobile’s handset selection over Verizon. Verizon has the HTC DNA, Droid Razr HD, and Droid Razr M, not to mention they are getting the Lumia 920. They have every good phone that T-mobile has, plus they have many more hero phones. Data caps would suck but their network is #1 for a reason.

      • fixxmyhead

        droid razr and razr m are automatically garbage because there motorola and the dna is also crap because its another stupid garbage “droid” phone. anything droid or motorola is pure garbage

      • T-Mobile is getting a 920 variant this summer made of aluminum. It also has the HTC One on the way (not going to VZW).

    • daniel212

      @shnurf wow this is probably the most retarded post I read on here im a HUUGE T-MOBILE FAN. But cmon u gotta be kidding me Verizon has a better phone selection than t-mobile like kalel33 said verizon has droid dna, razr maxx hd and soon getting lumia 920. NOT TO mention better network I dont know were u live but everywhere my dad has gone he had LTE on Verizon everywhere in California he gone up n dwn cali and vegas, Arizona, Oregon and MANY more states since hes a truck driver. I let him borrow my galaxy note 2 from t-mobile once he gave it back to me it had a shattered screen :( when I told him why he did that he said he couldnt take it of being on gprs 95% of the time and having NO SERVICE 95% Of the time when traveling between states so he went back to his Verizon razr which he tolds me he rarely sees 3G When traveling between states that he usually has 4G lte all the way he was all like heck not even at&t was that bad that at&t at least had 3G and MUCH more coverage when traveling between states . He was all like no wonder the other guys i work with have at&t or Verizon because they have coverage all the way everywhere even in the middle of nowhere.

      • thetown

        i am truck driver too i live in miami and my experience with t-mobile iPhone 4s and 5 is disaster never signal 3g only in big downtown but samsung galaxy s3 is good but i used 2 cell all time i swicht to verizon i have motorola droid razr hd and iPhone 5 is #1 carrier and quality

    • blondielocks

      well then come back to T-Mo, silly! :)

  • Donald

    This is no different than releasing the Galaxy S 4G or Blaze when the the Galaxy S II was on the horizon.

    This is what manufacturers want to do in all industries. It’s very little incremental cost for them to extend the life cycle out of an established product. Samsung has made their money on the GS3, so they aren’t “wasting” anything. Factories tooled to make the GS3 get one more production run before they invest in retooling for other products. All the fixed costs to established production were probably posted in previous fiscal years, so each one of these will have a good “margin” even if they sell them at a lower price.

    Obviously Samsung’s focus is on their new products, but trust me, every one of these that they make will sell. HTC is trying to reinvent itself, and by doing this Samsung is using a positional marketing technique to protect their overall market share just by having this phone on the market.

    And obviously, they aren’t trying to attract early adapters. I’ve been getting along ok with a Vibrant waiting for them to release an LTE phone and get the LTE network well established. If the pricing point is correct, I’ll probably end up getting one of these.

  • tammy

    Tmobile’s data speed is mostly edge to 1mbps in many cities. so not good

  • MatthewMurawski

    Wait, so will HSPA+ 42 be the backhaul underneath LTE, or will it just be 21?

    • qpinto

      42 in many markets, but 21 is no slouch either. most people cant tell the difference as 12mb is plenty fast as is.

  • GinaDee

    I want to say this will be cheaper, but knowing T-Moble they will sell this on their new Value plans for $549 after $100 MIR and $99 down payment

  • Sucks for the people who already have it, because they will not upgrade just to get a bump in speeds. Even if I didn’t have this already, I wouldn’t buy it. Nexus 4, Note 2, S4, Z10, HTC One…and so on.

  • nerdlust

    Smart move T-Mobile at this point the manufacturing cost has to be pretty low. If the price is right this could be a great low cost option. Why buy a mid range phone when you can get gs3 for similar price? I’m personally waiting to see what the moto xphone looks like but for the right price I could grab this as it would be a Hugh upgrade to my sensation4g

  • blondielocks

    So i’m guessing all the areas being refarmed are the first to get LTE! I’ve even heard people getting LTE signals in Philly!

  • qpinto

    as much as we complain on here, this is a smart move for tmobile. do you have any idea how many sgs 2s are still sold brand new today? this phone will be a staple to replace those sgs 2s that people like to get for almost free.