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Thurrott Reveals Microsoft’s Windows Phone LTE Plans–AT&T The Winner But VZ Gets Nokia 710 In April

There’s a lot of noise today about upcoming LTE Windows Phones and Paul Thurrott is now sharing some new information.

And as you might expect, Microsoft and its Windows Phone partners do indeed intend to release a number of LTE devices in the coming half-year, all on AT&T.

The information I have relates to the US market only. These plans will be officially revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month.

Three LTE-based Windows Phone handsets–the Nokia ACE, HTC Radiant, and Samsung Mendel–will ship on AT&T Wireless before the middle of 2012. The ACE is due March 18, 2012.

What’s unclear is whether these LTE based devices will be accompanied by a software update of some kind. You may recall that the rumored "Tango" release, supposedly due in early 2012, is about low-end phones. So it’s unclear how that jives with LTE, which is obviously a high-end feature. This explains my confusion over the supposed Windows Phone roadmap leak yesterday.

Also, the Nokia Lumia 710 will ship on Verizon Wireless in April 2012. This is not an LTE device, and it’s not clear when/if we’ll see one on Verizon. The Lumia 710 is codenamed "Sword" and will be available in April 2012. (The T-Mobile version of the Lumia 710 will be available for purchase on January 11, 2012, giving the company three months of exclusivity before the device hits Verizon.)

Interesting…exciting but I still have to say, if Microsoft’s plan continues to rely on AT&T only then nothing will change. They need to hit all carriers with new devices at the same time to have a marketing push. A device here and there and some low end and some high end simply won’t do it. Can’t get excited for a platform if your carrier isn’t selling any (or if they’re 18 month old devices). Hopefully this is the start and there’s more that we don’t know yet and I hope it includes a high end Nokia that hits across all US carriers with a real marketing blitz (think of the attention the original Droid ads had).