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SMART LTE launch imminent – August 25, 2012

We were at the 1st Philippine LTE Forum earlier which was hosted by SMART Communications and the big news is, Smart’s LTE is coming soon, really soon. Smart’s Marketing Manager, Ron Molina, gave us a not-so-cryptic combination of numbers when asked when LTE will be available – 8, 25, 12 folks, mark your calendars.


Speakers from Cisco Systems, Huawei Technologies, NTT Docomo of Japan, Nokia Siemens Networks, and Ericsson Technologies were on hand to brief us the technology and implementation behind LTE, its advantages and applications.

For those who are still in the dark on what LTE is all about and what it can do for you, it’s a 4G mobile network technology which simply gives you super fast data connectivity. If you think of 3G as our South Super Highway, then LTE will be the Skyway which you would definitely want to enjoy HD video streaming, low-latency gaming, fast downloads without any hiccups.

We were part of Smart’s LTE beta test group that started last year and here’s a sampling of what you can expect with an LTE connection.


Results varied based on location but the highest recorded download speed was at 80.19 Mbps. On the downside, we were also getting 1Mbps speeds but you have to consider that Smart LTE sites were also limited at that time. Smart has completed its mobile network upgrade last month so it’s easy to switch on the LTE network on a base station when their LTE becomes live.

What about devices that supports LTE?

The only LTE-capable handset officially available right now in the market is the Sony Xperia Ion but unfortunately, it uses the 700Mhz frequency band which is not the same LTE frequency of Smart. That leaves us to the iPad 3 whose LTE runs on the same 2.1GHz frequency as that of Smart. There’s also the Huawei LTE dongle that we used during the beta test which was rather un-elegant.

UPDATE: We just learned that the iPad 3 being sold here cannot use Smart’s LTE as well. Even if it uses the 2100 MHz frequency, it’s not the same band used by Smart. We’ll just have to wait for Smart to announce devices and handsets that can take advantage of their LTE service.

As for pricing, we have no word yet but we’ll keep you posted once the service is launched. Don’t expect it to be on the same range as what we have with 3G right now though.

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  • Nick

    I wonder how long it’ll take for this to arrive here in my province.

    • Griswold

      dapat available sya kahit san pwede since mobile network ito eh. lugi magsusubscribe kung constrained sila sa areas na pwede nilang magamit LTE.

      • crackinthewall

        Yung cellphones, internet sticks, mifis at tablet na LTE-capable lang naman ang mobile. Yung mismong network, may tore yan! Ano yan, susundan ka ng LTE tower nila pag nagbibiyahe ka? Give it two more years and for sure they would have expanded to most major provinces by that time.

        • Griswold

          alam kong tore mga yan. parang 2G and 3G, alam naman ng lahat na hindi ka susundan habang nagbiyabiyahe. nagswiswitch ang connection mo sa pinakamalapit na network kung bimibiyahe ka.

          since sinabi sa post na upgraded na mga mobile network, dapat capable na lahat maging LTE site.

          “Smart has completed its mobile network upgrade last month so it’s easy to switch on the LTE network on a base station when their LTE becomes live.”

          • FelixTheMatt

            nag conflict to sa unang mong reply ah.. muntanga lang

  • Griswold

    hmm… siguro per MB/GB ang plan neto. malulugi smart pag per minute unless sobrang mahal ang gagawin nilang pricing.

  • R2

    wag sanang doble ang charge nila per hour compare sa ngayon.

  • OMG! What am I going to do with such speed? 🙁

    • FelixTheMatt

      hindi ganun kabilis yan sir.. sanay lang talaga tayo sa Pilipinas na mabagal ang internet..

  • simplynice93

    sana mag-upgrade na rin ang Sun cellular…

  • apoka torre

    how about the Nokia Lumia 900… isn’t that suppose to have LTE and it works on AT&T’s band.

  • art

    Sana available sa pampanga..

  • iyotka

    -Its like a ferrari with 1 liter of gasoline…useless!

    -pareho lang sila ng sister company nyang SUN CELLULAR! 3.6mbps daw pero di
    nila nilalagay sa ad nila na 2AM-6AM mo lang marereach ang speed na to! KALOKOHAN!!!

    -10gig a month nowadays is crazy.

    -Even if they double the cap to 20gb, it still seems too low. I don’t see the point of having that
    much speed if you’re limited in terms of the bandwith. Browsing speed wouldn’t have a lot of
    difference between a 3mbps connection and a 41mbps connection.

    -42Mbps can eat up 10GB in roughly 30 minutes of continuous, contiguous data transfer.
    Spread that out over 30 days, and you might as well just be on 1Mbps.

    -42 Mbps capped at 10 GB per month? That’s not SMART.

    -precisely, what would you do with the speed and have a cap?

    -10 GB/month? No way.

    -i can use that 10gb within 2hours. 3500 for a 2 fast movie streaming. id rather buy dvd copies!

    -10GB a month at P3500/month? Too rich for my blood.
    What’s the point of having phenomenal speeds like that when you cap it at 10GB a month?
    either way its a bad move for smart having limited for 10gb.
    Like other muggers said, its not practical. The reason why people even need faster speed,
    is to consume more / download more.
    You don’t need a 50mbps speed just to do internet surfing and twitter.Doesn’t make sense

    -target market would probably be those who wanna show off LTE tech to friends.
    for the next 3 hours at least. then he gets to show it off again next month
    for another 3 hours haha

    -This plan is favorable to Smart.
    This is a trap for consumers, especially for those who are not well verse about data cap, GB and mbps
    I will not be surprise if many consumers will later complain of Bill Shocks

    -10gb for 3.5k php? This is a trap

    • FelixTheMatt

      Tanga mo naman! pag nag stream ka ng isang Film na yung file size niya ay around 600MB, pareho lang ang mababawas sa Plan 10GB while using 1Mb/s or 41Mb/s, mas mabilis lang mag loload yung file.