3G, 4G and the Lumia 900's Carriers

Apple and Samsung sell millions of phones in the United States, but Nokia is an international titan. However, the company's main business is in lower-end phones; as smartphones take over more of the mobile market, Nokia struggles to retain its juggernaut position. Enter the deal with Microsoft, the jump to Windows Phone 7 and a trio of international smartphones: the budget Lumia 710, the mid-level Lumia 800 and the big shot Lumia 900. Because Nokia designs phones for the international market, the Lumia 900 will be available on several different carriers. And it won't quite be the same phone on all of them.

In the United States, the Lumia 900 will be available exclusively on AT&T's cellular network. The phone will support AT&T's 3G data network and will also feature a 4G LTE modem to tap into the high speed network. AT&T continues to expand its LTE coverage to more markets in the United States, but the Lumia 900 is one of the first phones on the carrier to support the LTE network. LTE can provide faster data, but often at a price of battery life. Smartphones released in late 2012 and beyond will be able to take advantage of integrated LTE radios in chipsets from mobile hardware makers like Qualcomm [source: Anandtech].

The Canadian version of the Lumia 900, offered on carrier Rogers, will also support LTE. European countries will see a 3G-only variant that supports HSPA+ data. Nokia is expected to launch the Lumia 900 in April 2012 on AT&T's network in the United States [source: TheVerge]. And it could be as cheap as $99 with a two-year contract, which would be an incredible price -- smartphones typically launch at a $200 price-point on-contract [source: BGR].