The Zune Phone That Might Be

Last month MobileCrunch and TechCrunch reported on Steve Jobs very public release of the iPhone. Steve Balmer scoffed at the new phone calling it overpriced, but Microsoft may be offering its own mobile version.

CrunchGear has been following the leads closely and it has turned into a fairly solid story. Crunchgear reports that on Monday, Microsoft filed an application with the FCC for a wireless device that could be used to talk over the Internet. They go on to say the device is described as being used for “consumer broadband access and networking”. The device would use OFDM as its communications protocol, not WiFi or Bluetooth.

The standard OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) is a modulation scheme that is used widely in upcoming 4G standards of the future. In short, OFDM will enable more simultaneous data transfers across mobile towers. 4G itself is not a specific technology itself, but rather a collection of technologies and protocols that will provide even greater mobile bandwidth (100 Mbps (in cell-phone networks) to 1 Gbps (in local Wi-Fi networks). CrunchGear then connected the dots, noting that Sprint/Nextel announced its plans to build out a 4G network based on the IEEE 802.16e mobile WiMax standard, the same modulation protocol as the Microsoft device in the FCC filing. The Zune phone is suspected to run on the Sprint/Nextel network and could come out as soon as May, beating the iPhone’s release date.

Read more at CrunchGear.