Mostly Everything

List of SMART LTE sites in the Philippines

EDIT: Here’s a visual map of the LTE sites as of Dec 29 2011:

High resolution version here

EDIT: Updated list of LTE sites from Smart Communications as of December 13 2011. Please click on the image for full size.

SMART is in the process of rolling out their LTE sites across the nation. I am one of the beta testers involved in this rollout alongside over 120 other civilians. The HUAWEI USB dongle that was provided gets speeds up to 46Mbps which is around half the speed of the proposed LTE Network of SMART Communications. LTE is hardware dependent so even if the network allows for above 70Mbps, the mobile phone or dongle you have will limit the speed. 46Mbps = 5.76MB / second.

This is a list of LTE sites for future reference. I will add to this based on the feedback of the beta test group and personal experiences. Note that this is only an initial list and does not reflect the commercial release of LTE in the Philippines.

List of confirmed LTE Sites in the Philippines

Jump Store, Megamall (Cyberzone) — LTE connection is shared via WiFi
Greenbelt 3 (CBTL area)
Greenbelt 2 (Mary Grace area)
Greenbelt 1 (Bon Chon, Starbucks / AIM area)
Promenade, Greenhills (Figaro area)
Festival Mall, Filinvest

List of LTE sites being turned online
** does not reflect the final list of LTE coverage

Quezon City
15th Ave Parc
UP Diliman

Manila P. Noval

San Juan
PLDT Greenhills

Meralco Ortigas

Pasay City
SM Mall of Asia

PLDT Wise Tower
RC Bldg Pico

Wack Wack
SM Megamall

Filinvest City

Mostly Everything

SMART Communications launches LTE Closed Beta Program. Sign up now.

Saw this tweet today from Mellissa Limcaoco who handles communications:

Predictions are spot on that SMART Communications is really unveiling public LTE by the end of 2011. Although I am a consultant for them I am not privy to everything so this is really great news for me and for everyone else who have been dying to try out the LTE service (aka SMART Evolution) which they previewed during the Holy Week in Boracay. You can follow the #SmartLTE hashtag for more details.

As such, they’ve launched an early closed beta program for Internet citizens who have the know how and aptitude to be able to give insightful feedback about the new service that is being unraveled. They have launched the closed beta LTE test. < ---- More details there if you want to know how you can participate in the program.

A bit related, but the use of the dots in the new SMART Communications logo is beginning to make sense now.

Mostly Everything

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.