BlackBerry PlayBooks spied in the FCC with HSPA+, LTE connectivityAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Remember last year when RIM said that it planned to release versions of the BlackBerry PlayBook with HSPA+ and LTE connectivity? The company hasn't said much about those devices since, but it seems that they've been spotted in the FCC. A trio of BlackBerry devices have be discovered floating through the FCC with HSPA+ and LTE (two devices with different bands), and although the filings don't mention exactly which products we're looking at, the size and shape of the outlines provided by the FCC suggest that they're all 7-inch PlayBooks.
So what kind of HSPA+ and LTE support do these PlayBooks pack? Well, the HSPA+ model includes support for the 850MHz, AWS (1700MHz), and 1900MHz bands. The first LTE model features LTE support on the 700MHz and 1700MHz bands as well as HSPA+ connectivity on the 850MHz and 190-MHz bands, suggesting that it could be bound for AT&T here in the U.S. Meanwhile, the second LTE variant is actually a CDMA model that includes support for LTE band 13, the latter of which happens to be Verizon's preferred flavor of LTE.
As far as when we might actually see these things launch, that much is still up in the air. Just because a device has made its way through the FCC doesn't mean that it's close to seeing the light of day, if it ever does at all. However, a RIM roadmap that leaked back in January suggested that we could be seeing a 1.5GHz PlayBook with HSPA+ support in May or June, so it's possible that at least one of these new slates could be cropping up in the next couple of months. RIM's PlayBook hasn't exactly taken the tablet world by storm so far, but do any of you think the combination of HSPA+/LTE connectivity and the new PlayBook OS 2.0 would be enough to convince you to check one of these slates out?