Smart LTE: What you probably don’t know

One afternoon last week, we sat down with LTE experts from Smart Communications so we can get a better understanding about their LTE network and what device specifications consumers should look for if they want to use LTE.

What we can’t give you right now are details about iPhone 5 and if it will work with their LTE. Smart is keeping a tight lip on that issue. What you also won’t see here are mobile data plans for LTE devices but they gave us a hint that there will be different pricing models you can choose from.

So what do you probably know so far? One is that Smart LTE operates on both 2100 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency. We were given a heads up that they will also be introducing LTE on the 850 MHz frequency real soon making Smart the only telco in the Asia-Pacific region to support three LTE bands. What this does is widen their LTE highway for more capacity, network resiliency, and more device compatibility.

According to PLDT-Smart Technology Group Head Rolando G. Pena, the 850MHz frequency which has a wider radial reach will provide the umbrella coverage layer to their LTE network. This frequency also provides better indoor signal to complement their 1800MHz and 2100MHz frequencies.

Another thing most people don’t know but should know about using LTE devices is that it should be compatible with the Band and Frequency of the network you’re subscribed to. There are a total of 36 LTE bands available and having a device that supports 2100 MHz on LTE is not enough.

For example, Smart uses Band 1 and AT&T uses Band 4 on the 2100 MHz spectrum. However, you can’t use your unlocked AT&T LTE phone (iPhone 5 perhaps?) when you bring it here in the Philippines to work with Smart’s LTE. Or you can simply forget about LTE devices from the US because their standard is not widely used in other countries. Device bands should match carrier bands.

Smart uses the following LTE Bands:

  • Band 12100 MHz
  • Band 31800 MHz
  • Band 5 - 850 MHz

If you’re wondering about other telcos that use the same bands, Japan’s NTT DoCoMo uses Band 1, CSL in Hong Kong, M1 in Singapore, Australia’s Telstra, and France’s Orange use Band 3. If you have LTE phones from those telcos, and they are unlocked, they will work with a Smart LTE-provisioned SIM card. Or check a device’s supported LTE bands to ensure that it will work with our local LTE networks.

To be on the safe side, Smart still recommends subscribers to get their LTE handsets straight from the telco to ensure total compatibility and expected LTE results. We were told that carriers typically install features or additional things to make sure that things work as expected when used within their network.

So that’s it. We’ll keep you posted about their new 850Mhz LTE band once they formally announce it.

Oh they also showed us their nano-SIM (above) which means that they will carry the iPhone 5 but doesn’t directly imply that it will be supported by their LTE network.


40 Comments

  1. You know what, Smart hit the jackpot. http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

  2. So LTE equates to better and wider signal coverage?

    • thejorlanb /

      Better coverage is another thing sir, since coverage and signal strength would depend on Smart’s implementation strategy.

  3. roncastry /

    it looks like you were hacked or something.

    See the page I get to when going to your page from Google Reader:

  4. Hi Calvin, any idea if LTE can be used with the iPhone’s personal hotspot ability? Because if it is, then I’ll definitely ditch my DSL in favor of LTE. Thanks!

    • although we haven’t tested it yet, im leaning towards yes. works like 3G din naman so you can share it. Of course, telcos can block wifi tethering on their service if they wish to.

    • The problem with ditching your DSL for an LTE service is that it is capped at 10gb. With that speed, you would probably have used that in less than a week

  5. i hope we don’t go on a telco lockdown like in the US where we have to buy phones directly from the telco and not enjoy the discounts (and benefits) of openline phones..

  6. Angeli /

    Hello Calvin! I’m thinking of buying of a galaxy note 2 lte in hongkong. will my phone work here (like have signal to make/receive calls and text messages) even though lte is not yet readily available in my area? I live in paranaque where globe hasn’t yet replace all their existing hardware and cellsites with newer, more technologically-advanced equipment. Or will my phone work if I use smart?

  7. Test

  8. Ayun gumana! Haha update lang… Kasi bumili ako ng note 2 lte, n7105 and i have lte plan smart 1500 :) tinry kong ilipat ang sim sa note 2 lte… And you know what? Walang LTE signal na lumabas kahit nasa makati ako… Samantalang ang xperia V ko malakas ang lte :) so baka di nga nagwowork tong note 2 lte sa pinas :) sad hehehe :) i also created LTE apn , same sa kung ano nakalagay sa xperia v, no go pa din :)

    • Hi I just want to know your Xperia v lte apn setting. Cos I can’t seem to make mine work. Tnx.

  9. As of today ayaw pa din mag appear ng LTE signal sa note2 N7105 mo? Hoping for your urgent reply im about to buy note2 with LTE kung di compatible sa glbe and smart then mag note2 without LTE model na lang ako which is cheaper pa.

  10. Potpot /

    I think they mean their LTE WILL RUN on Bands 3 and 5. Right now their LTE is only running on band 1.

  11. Dennis /

    Guys help… I have an openline pocket wifi that supports 2100/1900mhz. Do i need to purchase a new pocket wifi that also supports 850mhz and 1800mhz frequency for me to fully take advantage of smart’s network??

  12. Troy /

    Hi need help! I have a samsung shv-e120s and since its LTE ready, I bought a smart pre paid LTE micro sim to utilize its internet speed. The thing is, I do not get a 4G or LTE signal only 3G. Try to read the smart frequency band and it says it supports 2100, 1800 frequency band. how can it support LTE 1800 band frequency when it is being offered by Globe!

    • caitlin /

      Hi!

      Where did you buy it? Those ads in sulit or tipidpc are not accurate. Even the details in gsmarena.

      LTE850MHz is only supported by shv-e120s according to samsung korea. please see this link :
      http://www.samsung.com/sec/consumer/mobile-phone/mobile-phone/skt/SHV-E120SLKSO-spec

      so better check with manufacturer before buying coz even sellers are not aware of the LTE Bands supported. They thought if its LTE it would work everywhere.

      • Hi caitlin. You said that Smart LTE is band 5 which is 850mhz, so we use it on our Samsung Galaxy S2 shv-e120s coz the link that you just gave is saying that the korea s2 supports LTE 850. :3

    • Franz /

      Hi need help. Is Samsung galaxy note 2 n7105 still not able to pick 4G signal up to this time (July 2013) from Smart telco? Tnx

      • dont think the LTE Note 2 is compatible with our local telco’s LTEs. different bands. oh and make sure that your microSIM is provisioned for LTE.

  13. Sharon /

    How about for SHV-E160K? no specified LTE mhz sa samsung korea site eh.. are there any required settings sa phone?

  14. do you have smart lte configuration on xperia ion? nka lte sim kc ako kaso hnd ko mgamit un lte capabilities ng phone, h+ lan lumalabas na connection khit nka lte plan me. tnx

  15. manilabeans /

    Hi,

    I have a few questions re: LTE. I have recently purchased a prepaid LTE sim to use for my Lumia 925. I get the 4G indicator when I am in LTE covered areas but I get really bad ping rates as well as speedtest results of no more than 2mbps. I am doing something wrong? Do I need to manually set the LTE settings on this thing?

    Do you have any idea regarding the manual LTE settings for Smart’s LTE network? Their support team is really bad.

  16. gerald /

    Why i cant access my lte on my samsung galaxy s4.thanks.

  17. smart does not support 1800 mhz, my htc one is provisioned for lte 1800 mhz but does not work

  18. are you sure that smart’s 1800Mhz band is working?? I also have a htc one unit but smart lte is not working.. non of the smart stuff was able to answer my problem tsk

  19. SMART LTE only support Band 1 – 2100 MHz as of the moment. I think they should activate Band 3 – 1800 MHz coz most LTE units for other countries support that frequency which means a lot of happy subscribers.

  20. I would like to know if my iPhone5s from the USA model A1533 GSM WILL work in the Philippines with carriers Smart and Globe and TM? The bands are correct but unsure of the frequencies? Thanks for your time.

  21. how about Samsung Galaxy Note SHV-160k original from korea. The frequency of my phone is 1800mhz. I would like to know if anyone has the same phone at kung napagana nyo yung LTE nyo na SG Note here in the philippines. Ano po ba yung band na ginagamit sa smart lte nano sim na tag 100 pesos? 1800 mhz po ba yung frequency nun?

    i’m not a techie so pls answer my question. thanks:)

    • hi . .we have the same phone which is SG note 1(shv e160k) supports LTE 2100mhz/1800mhz. Since its LTE, I bought smart sim LTE, but I can’t get that signal here, even at my house is on LTE coverage area. So I decided to go to the phone’s store. The technician said that “we had tried or tested that phone(shv e160k) but none of them will receiving the LTE signal on smart here in the philippines . I also try opened the secret code of KT admin (just type these numbers on dial pad “319712358″ then the KT admin will require password: “774632″ . . .None of that settings will work.. pls help .

  22. how about Samsung Galaxy Note SHV-160k original from korea. The frequency of my phone is 1800mhz. I would like to know if anyone has the same phone at kung napagana nyo yung LTE nyo na SG Note here in the philippines. Ano po ba yung band na ginagamit sa smart lte nano sim na tag 100 pesos? 1800 mhz po ba yung frequency nun?
    i’m not a techie so pls answer my question. thanks:)

  23. androidfreak /

    dami nagkalat na SG Note 2 lte na korea…hindi naman pala gumagana ang lte nito dito sa atin.

  24. keithphilippines /

    Ganito po yan mga sir and mam. Korea phone supported lte po. Depende sa unit na gmit nyu.
    Sa atin po. Smart using 21000 band as of now.
    globe using 1800 band as of now. Kaya mostly korea phone gumagana sa globe. Yun eh kung meron po kayung lte sim or 4g sim ng globe. Pero sa ngayun
    wala pang binebenta ang globe na 4g sim. Hintay hintay lang kau. Sa postpaid lang and lte sim nila.
    pero sakin meron po ako 4g sim prepaid ng globe using my 4g lte shv-e120s. When i test my phone
    for speed. Its reach 7.2mbps. Lalo na crugo kung
    nasa lte location ako. Salamat po sa inyung time
    for reading this…

  25. Hi. Need help here. I just bought this samsung galaxy core lte. Said to support 2600, 1800 mhz. I tried smart lte but even in a coverage area i can’t get lte signal. And also i read one article saying smart lte supports 1800 mhz so what seems to be the problem?

  26. Mr. Dee parehas tayo sir, at first ay ngtataka aq kung bakit d mkasagap ng 4G signal bar d2 sa Dagupan at nung bumyahe aq ng Manila ay H+ at 3G lang ang signal.. kc meron aq Huawei b593s-22 na modem at nagagamitan q nmn ng smart lte at malakas ang signal kesa sa globe postpaid na lte kaya alam q n may lte coverage ng globe at smart d2 sa area namin.. Minsan ay tried q ininsert yung globe lte postpaid sim at nakakuha aq ng signal n 4G n signal bar.. Kaya totoo ngang 2100 Mhz LTE frequency ang supported ng Smart kaya H+ at 3G lng signal bar kahit na sa lte coverage area tayo.. Ang Samsung Galaxy Core LTE supports the LTE bands 800/900/1800/2600 Mhz kaya pwede lang sa Globe LTE. Kaya ngayon, im looking for a Globe Tattoo Prepaid Sim dahil compatible ang Galxy Core LTE.

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