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LTE is just around the corner?

SMART LTE dongle

Is commercial LTE just around the corner?

OK so there are two parts to this story. The first part is based on fact while the other is chismis, but when you put both together, it sort of makes sense. So the story is that the First Philippine LTE Forum happens tomorrow, August 8 2012. If you look at the lineup, we have the following speakers:

Mr. Dirk Wolter–Chief Technology Officer, Mobility, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Ms. Carol Wan–Director, Business Consulting, Huawei Technologies Company Ltd.
Mr. Yoshinori Yasui– Senior Technical Advisor (Smart), NTT Docomo
Mr. Albert Nombres– Head of Solutions, Nokia Siemens Networks
Mr. Lawrence Macalintal—Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson Telecommunications, Inc.

The LTE forum comes at an “ideal” time, having heard rumors of the imminent LTE launch by SMART. This is really no secret as the telco has been working on a number of beta tests (I have been part of some) across the past few months.

Now the chismis: What excites me is that the rumored iPhone 5 will need to have LTE connectivity in order to compete with the market of powerful smartphones released by HTC and Samsung in the past few months. Is this their way of launching LTE into the smartphone space? This seems like a very tempting argument to make in favor of both the new data network launching very soon in the PH and a potential LTE-enabled iPhone that fits Asian standards.