FCC approves very first 4G LTE phone, from Samsung

The Federal Communications Commission has just given its stamp of approval to the very first Long Term Evolution (LTE) device, which will run on a different kind of 4G technology than Sprint’s Evo phone.

Sprint launched the HTC Evo 4G phone earlier this summer, which runs on a mobile spectrum technology known as WiMax. Other carriers, though, are relying on the LTE standard to take their mobile data to the next level.

The first carrier to do so is surprisingly MetroPCS, not a major operator like Verizon. MetroPCS’s first LTE device will be the Samsung SCH-r900 phone, which is slated for release in the next couple months.

Details on the SCH-r900 are still relatively slim. It will feature streaming video on demand, music downloads, and of course Web browsing, according to Information Week.

The next carrier expected to launch its LTE network is Verizon, which has already committed to more than a couple dozen markets to be updated by the end of the year.

Sprint’s WiMax 4G network has gotten mixed reviews, with some saying that 4G speeds don’t live up to their promise, but others say mobile downloads run super fast. The Evo 4G has, among other things, introduced a mobile HD Youtube site and the ability to create a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. Such features have not yet been announced for Samsung’s LTE phone.