Surface 2 with LTE passes through the FCC

Way back in September, Microsoft stated that they would eventually release a Surface 2 with LTE built in. While the company did say that it would arrive in early 2014, we have yet to hear anything about the device, until now.

It looks like the device has now passed through the FCC which brings it one giant step closer to hitting retail shelves. The documents were submitted on February 17th and 18th and were made public on February 19th. We should note that there is a confidentiality request on these documents so there is not a lot of detail, other than the test results.

What’s important to note is that this device is running Windows RT. As noted in the testing report, it states that the “EUT driver software installed during testing was Windows RT8.1 Preview Build 943”.

While we would love to see some sort of design revision with this device, it’s likely best not to get your hopes up as the documents state that the device is nearly identical to a previously tested (and FCC approved device) that was model 1572 which should be the Surface 2.

In a nutshell, this is the Surface 2 with WWAN connectivity and nothing more. We should point out that we did do a bit of digging around and did not find a Surface Pro 2 with WWAN connectivity in the database. It could be that the device is still in testing and the docs are not live or that our search skills suck and we missed it.

One other theory, if Microsoft doesn’t make a Pro 2 with WWAN, is that USB modems are quite easy to use with the Pro thanks to its proper Windows OS. With the RT model, using USB modems is not as clear cut and a built in solution is likely a better option on the RT than dealing with third-party solutions on the closed OS.

We reached out to Microsoft for comment but the response was about as useful as an umbrella in a hurricane: “We have nothing to share at this time.”

For now, it looks like the Surface 2 with WWAN radios inside is now approved for use by the FCC. While we do not know when Microsoft will announce the devices (BUILD?), we hopefully won't have to wait that much longer to find out when these devices will make their retail debut.

Source: FCC | Thanks for the tip JW

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I wonder if it uses the same SIM as the iPad and if it is unlocked. That way I can use my unlimited data plan from my original ipad which I am still using in my current iPad Mini.

MS is just moving into the high-end toy market. When will FAO Schwartz be retailing this? This shouldn't be just a Microsoft Store item.

Brian Miller said,
You don't!
The rest os us that don't live in rural areas do.

No one uses LET for anything because its not a thing that actually exists

The Lumia 2520 has an LTE chip on board already for $499. I doubt Microsoft would want to compete with itself here, and so will just market the Surface 2 with LTE at the same price. Many people would likely opt for the Surface 2 since it will already be compatible with the existing keyboards, unlike the Nokia 2520 which has its own custom one.

dbam987 said,
Many people would likely opt for the Surface 2 since it will already be compatible with the existing keyboards, unlike the Nokia 2520 which has its own custom one.

Only reason im opting for the Surface 2 vs the Nokia one, however not sure if I should for a colourful device however...
I do only have the 1 keyboard after all

I wonder if they'll replace the WiFi only models out now with this new LTE version at the same price or will the LTE version start at $499?

j2006 said,
I don't see why they would do that?

The easy choice would be to introduce the LTE version for more, $499 vs $449, but with all the supply issues, why not just replace the WiFi only model with the new LTE for $449? Put the WiFi only ones that you have left on sale for $399.

Probably depends on their plans/schedule for Surface 3. If it is a October launch then I agree with you, they'll just focus on maintaining Surface 2 LTE inventory.

They need to add it to the pro version as well.. sure you can use the usb method but these days of a connected tablet it is nice to have it always connected and who would really want a usb dongle sticking out all the time on their tablet/pc?

Especially with people like tmobile giving 200 megs free data I would love to get a surface pro with lte and use lte as a backup when wifi is not available (or down) but unless its always there I would not use it much because I won't want to plug a usb dongle in every time and set it up just to use as a backup but if it was integrated I would.

Antoine Prince said,
my phone can do internet sharing. lte is a waste of money.

Glade you just spoke for all of mankind there, thanks for that insightful bit of input.

Antoine Prince said,
my phone can do internet sharing. lte is a waste of money.

So can mine, but it chugs the battery when I use the feature. Built-in LTE would let me use my Surface anywhere without killing my phone battery.

That's a good point about the Surface Pro 2 and the ease of USB LTE. It would be great having it built in (saves you a USB port). It may also be that they wait for a Surface Pro 3 revision. But like everyone else, who knows? There are some outstanding updates people are waiting on when it comes to the Pro, like the Power Cover. "Coming Early 2014" and there hasn't been a shred of updates on it really since the announcement.

This would be reason enough to keep the 2nd line I use for my tablet when the contract is up in December. I currently have a 2nd line with an Android tablet, but would love to switch to a Surface. Much more stable and responsive.

Or I could just cancel the line when the contract is done. I'd added my ex-fiance to my plan and only got the tablet to put the line to use after I dumped her. Being able to use the tablet anywhere is nice, but not something I desperately need.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Agreed. I'm curious to see if they can steal away some corporate market share from Apple, or if it's a little too late.

In this rapid changing tech world, it's never too late Please seem to change devices more often these days, so it'll definitely dent their marketshare.

Agreed 100%. It was a very stupid decision not to have an LTE version from the beginning so it could properly compete with Apple and Android tablets. Lots of people couldn't be bothered to tether to their phone.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Agreed. I'm curious to see if they can steal away some corporate market share from Apple, or if it's a little too late.

My iPad Air will go on the Craigslist almost imediately upon the release of the Surface Pro 2 LTE's release..