Today, NVIDIA announced that their Icera 410 LTE modem has been approved for use in tablets and clamshell devices on AT&T’s network. While that does not mention smartphone use yet, this is a step towards LTE and Tegra 3 coming to the States in at least some form. As we have documented plenty of times, NVIDIA has been unable to pair its quad-core mobile processor with LTE because its biggest competitor (Qualcomm) is the only guy making LTE modems at this time and likely does not feel like sharing. With today’s approval, this should bring NVIDIA up to speed in no time (assuming they get the smartphone approval too).
Also of note, is the fact that this is a single multimode modem that houses LTE, HSPA+, 3G and 2G. So rather than the battery sucking powers of current dual-hardware LTE setups, this should help battery life immensely.
Lastly, you are probably wondering, “What about Verizon? When will we see Tegra 3 and LTE on Big Red?” That, my friends, is a question that may have a dark answer. According to all things Icera, it doesn’t appear as if NVIDIA’s modems will have CDMA2000 support (Verizon’s 3G network), so unless something changes drastically in the next few months, this may be an AT&T thing only for a while. I’ll dig for confirmation on this.
Update: NVIDIA has given us more details on how this could impact CDMA2000 networks (Verizon and Sprint). They made it clear that the Tegra 3 works with LTE modems from companies like Renenas, GCT, and ST Ericsson, so there is still a chance for LTE + Tegra 3 on Verizon. However, the Icera modem that gained AT&T approval today does not support CDMA2000.