We were among the few people who got chosen to beta test Smart’s LTE network in Metro Manila. Last March, Smart’s LTE arrived in Boracay where they showcased the speed that you can get from it. Now with just a few LTE sites across Metro Manila, we get to try how it fares on a daily basis.
Smart’s LTE can theoretically go up to 100 Mbps, a far cry from their HSPA+ speed of up to 21Mbps. Of course these are just theoretical numbers, what’s important is the sustained and consistent speed it can give. Smart lent us a Huawei E392 LTE dongle for 3 months to try out. Unfortunately, the device can only give up to 42MBps download speed which kinda limits the LTE network’s capability. It’s not yet certain if this will be the same dongle that would be made available to the public in the undisclosed future but there are other LTE devices out there that can go past the 42MBps of this Huawei dongle.
They gave us a list of areas where we can get LTE connections. There’s not a lot right now. Only 23 on our list with a coverage of about 1.2 km so we need to be picky where we can test this one out. There’s supposed to be one at SM Mall of Asia North Parking but it doesn’t seem to reach here inside One E-Com building. Maybe at the Starbucks downstairs.
Anyway, we were told that when this Smart LTE becomes available, don’t expect it to be affordable as your ordinary SmartBro broadband. This is not for the average consumers who are most likely contented with HSPA+ or even 3G speeds. Smart also told us that they’re planning on having their LTE connection available as a postpaid plan so it’s clearly for those who really require LTE speeds.
We’ll keep you posted on further tests on how fast this LTE can take us as soon as we get hold of an LTE network.