updated 04:30 am EST, Mon February 14, 2011
Tablet to take advantage of faster network speeds
Research In Motion has announced that it is working on two new PlayBook variants that will support LTE and HSPA+ networks. The company has yet to name which carriers will receive the device, however the choice of cellular standards is the latest confirmation of availability from carriers aside from Sprint. Verizon is set to deploy its LTE network, while T-Mobile and AT&T support HSPA+.
Users will have a choice between several high-speed standards, with WiMAX advertised as having peak speeds above 10Mbps. Verizon suggests its LTE network will sustain speeds of 5-12 Mbps in real-world scenarios, while T-Mobile's HSPA+ network is tied to a 42Mbps theoretical maximum that is likely limited to lab tests.
Pricing, launch dates, and specific carriers for the 4G-capable PlayBooks remains unclear. For customers who do not want 3G/4G connectivity, the PlayBook will also be available as a Wi-Fi variant.