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SMART Communications launches LTE

By the time you read this post, I’m still in the middle of the ocean, finishing our last day of diving Tubbataha Reef. When I get back, I fly, almost immediately to Boracay. I’m there with my partner-in-crime Andi9 so we’ll be streaming live soon!

SMART is launching LTE technology and doing the entire demo in Boracay.

LTE is a modulation technique that is designed to deliver 100Mbps (DL) per channel and give individual users performance comparable to today’s wired broadband. It was bound to happen. The question was when. To put things into simpler terms let’s have a look at a short history of how mobile phones work:

2G GSM Technology
Remember your Nokia 5110 and 3210? There. Calls and SMS. That was 2G connectivity.

2.5G Technology
This was the first shot into surfing the Internet with your phone but we were using WAP sites. Remember WAP? Yung parang pangit na website designed for mobile phones using GPRS? That was it. Add your ringtones and picture messages. It got a little better when phones started using EDGE connectivity (popular with BlackBerry then) but that was still not …

3G and 3.5G Technology
This is Internet today. It’s workable but not comparable to the wired connections we have at home. You could surf, email, chat, do your social networking, but it was honestly a bit hard to do things like online gaming and downloading huge files.

4G Technology
This is the next generation of connectivity. 100MBPS. On your phone. Built on top of existing technology. No, you cannot use your current phones or USB dongles to access these speeds. The only phone I know that’s capable of accessing this network is the HTC Thunderbolt. Yeah I think SMART is deploying LTE at the same time as Verizon in the USA. Not sure if the Thunderbolt is launching here though because there’s a slight difference in setup with the LTE here and the one in the USA. I heard they’re shipping in dongles.

So yes if you’re planning on buying a new USB dongle for mobile Internet, I suggest you wait a few. That’s because you can practically achieve faster speeds with costs similar to your current plans.

I’m not sure when exactly SMART is making the commercial announcement (i.e. data plans and rates) but if you leave a comment here they will probably get back to you as a number of them read this cute site.

Oh and just one more thing. In case you’re wondering what the difference between LTE and WiMax is, well the former is GSM-based technology: phones. While WiMax involves a completely new set of hardware and is designed for WiMax-enabled devices.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

19 replies on “SMART Communications launches LTE”

The Verizon Thunderbolt by HTC is not the only REAL 4G phone… Verizon just advertised it a lot due to the upcoming Marvel Movie: Thor.

There are others.Both Motorola Atrix 4G and HTC Inspire 4G are also 4G ( although it’s exclusive to AT&T at this time and AT&T screwed up big time but promised to have actual 4gspeed capability by April 2011) not only they are 4G phones ( ignoring AT&T screw ups ) They can also be used as a mini laptop.

But those are not the only 4G phones… There are others as well.

can i use my current phone to access this LTE technology? As far as I know, there are no existing devices that can run on LTE. what’s the device you used?

and based on my research, LTE is not 4G per se. it is just one of the candidates for 4G along with HSPA+ and WiMax. This is based on the ITU standards. are you aware of this?

It is 4G as it succeeded hspa which we already have here. Wimax is different as it isn’t compatible with current cell towers. 4G builds on current tech using HSPA infrastructure.

There! So you still have to use dongles. So again, there are no current devices that can benefit from this technology.

Also, I think we cannot say that LTE is the real 4G because again, it is just one of the candidates along with HSPA+ and WiMax.

“The ITU loosened the definition of 4G to include LTE, WiMax, and HSPA+”

– ITU, Dec 2010

Since this statement, there were no other added definitions made.

I think we need to be very clear on that because as a consumer, I’d love to think that we are there already but in reality, we are not. Even big telcos in the US cannot strictly claim this.

you forgot about CSD – those are the WAP sites, where you have to use your 7110/6210 to dial the 4 digit no. to be able to connect.

currently we are in between edge and “3g” (0kbps to 1mbps) and 80% of the time, below 100kbps

they shld be truthful in advertising.

and we have to go to Boracay to test?

btw, the speed will be very high, since only 2 of you will be using that so call LTE.

The infra is deployed there. Look, if were to test the fastest internet hands down its sky cable but the catch is their 100mbps connection is only available to Rockwell residents at 20k per month. As for bora let’s try sharing the dongles via WiFi and see how slow it gets.

I agree with Max. LTE IS NOT 4G. It’s far from passing the requirements specified by the ITU. It is pre-4G, but definitely NOT 4G.

US Telecoms have exploited this to trick consumers to think it IS 4G.

Why follow suit?

then let us call it “LTE as a 4G candidate.” IMHO this still counts as something in the 4G roadmap (i dunno 3.9G? Gee.)

also, if people are chiming in only now, why didn’t anyone say anything when Wi-Tribe launched their “4G branded service?”

also i have changed the title of the post.

‘Di ba ang max ng HSPA e 7 mbps? Pero bakit hanggang 2 mbps lang ang SmartBRO, at hindi pa nga yun yung average speed.

Para ka lang nagupgrade ng kotse na F1 race car pero mabagal din kasi sa parehong masikip na eskinita ka pa rin dadaan.

Sino ba ang target users nito?

that’s the speeds as dictated in the specs but in reality you won’t always get that speed. it also depends on where you’re accessing it from. for me i use sky broadband at home kasi OK ang speeds nya and not too many users in the paranaque area. for mobile naman i use smart data via tethering. here in palawan, im getting 67kbps =) it’s all relative!

I guess it doesn’t matter if it’s 4G or not, as long as it will deliver what it claims to be, ALL THE TIME. Heck, I loved my 56Kbps prepaid dial-up way back in time because it delivers all the time!

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