A new FCC filing suggests that Microsoft Surface fans might finally be getting their LTE. The filing, which was first spotted by the site myce, details a new device from Microsoft that has all the hallmarks of a long-promised Surface tablet with built-in LTE broadband connectivity.
It would be the first cellular modem for the Microsoft tablet, and a key step in the company’s ongoing attempt to make it big in the tablet space.
While the publicly available diagrams in the filing are fairly vague, the filing references a type keyboard and a touch keyboard, which are accessories specific to the Surface line. Like the old saying goes: if it looks like a Surface and quacks like a Surface, it’s probably a Surface.
Releasing an LTE-enabled tablet is in line with past public statements from Microsoft. Panos Panay, a Microsoft Corporate Vice President on the Surface team said in a Reddit AMA last year that the company planned to release a LTE Surface 2 early in 2014.
During an appearance the Microsoft Store in Seattle last fall, Panay said he expected the devices to be available initially on AT&T in the U.S. and Vodafone in Europe. However, he was clear that there wouldn’t be a version of the (Intel-based) Surface Pro 2 with LTE.
While the company will be inheriting an LTE-capable Windows tablet in the form of the Nokia Lumia 2520, a cellular Surface would be a major step for Microsoft’s tablet line. Apple offers consumers cellular options on the iPad, and there’s no shortage of cellular-capable Android tablets.
Microsoft declined to comment on this report.