Research in Motion’s next, highly anticipated release BlackBerry 10will incorporate LTE capability for its smartphones (in addition to current tablet support) when released in January 2013.
LTE, which stands for Long Term Evolution, is the wireless service associated with the 4G classification, even though it doesn’t technically fit into that category. However, since Verizon Wireless introduced it to North America in 2010, it has become the standard for wireless networks.
In an interview with Larry Dignan from ZDNetRIM CEO Thorsten Heins said that he wished BlackBerry had included 4G LTE technology earlier than before.
Until now RIM has not discussed LTE with their mobile releases. The limitations of using LTE, according to senior vice president Sebastien Marineau, outweigh the potential benefits.
First, he says, LTE devices usually have very poor battery life. Marineau claims that BlackBerry 10 will buck this trend. RIM’s device network, he said, allows BlackBerry devices to work much more efficiently than their competitors. Using social networks like Facebook or Twitter usually drains a lot of battery, but on a network supported by RIM, this activity will be much lighter.
Also, most LTE devices only work in one country. LTE has been introduced on a country by country basis. As a result, users with 4G LTE phones will have to change their SIM cards or use a completely different device when traveling abroad. This limitation does not fit with RIM’s global strategy.
The new BlackBerry 10 phones will work internationally in addition to supporting longer battery life.
But first and foremost is RIM’s commitment to maintaining its reputation as the most secure wireless communications manufacturer on the market. With LTE comes a new set of security risks. Each must be neutralized so that RIM feels comfortable releasing BlackBerry 10.
RIM first combined LTE with the BlackBerry PlayBook LTE tablet in August 2012. The device, which enjoyed critical acclaim but fell short of market expectations, features dual cameras (one of which is a 5-megapixel rear camera), weighs less than a pound and has a battery that lasts nine O’clock.
BlackBerry 10 phones, which will capitalize on and leverage the success of the PlayBook LTE, will also use the Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset. In mid-2013, they will feature the Snapdragon S5.
What does this mean? In addition to LTE capabilities, BlackBerry 10 devices will have advanced graphics, enhanced multi-window browser capabilities, and faster operating speeds.
Heins said that international development of BlackBerry 10’s LTE capabilities was critical to RIM’s launch plans. For example, RIM will be holding launch parties in various international locations. Two of RIM’s six new BlackBerry 10-powered devices will be unveiled at this launch party.
BlackBerry Flow, Hub, and Balance, new elements of BlackBerry 10 aimed at better managing users’ everyday personal and professional lives, will be available worldwide on January 30 during the launch of BlackBerry 10.
By investing in innovation on a global scale, RIM believes BlackBerry 10 will bring its product lineup back to the top of the international telecommunications market.