Am I excited, am I excited? You bet I am! Because I got to hold in my hands the device and watched a demo showing that the upcoming Smart LTE (Long Term Evolution) 4G technology can do all that. And all I can say is -- IT'S WICKED FAST!
|The LTE dongle - from the front...|
|...and from the back|
A few of us bloggers were invited to sit down with some of Smart's executives from their networking and marketing divisions and here is what we learned.
Info # 1 - The LTE infrastructure will be totally separate from all existing infrastructure.
Unlike all previous technologies at Smart that are built on top of each other, the LTE technology will sit on an infrastructure separately built from the ground up specifically to handle very large amounts of data from LTE subscribers.
Info # 2 - LTE can go up to 100 MBPS
At present, actual download speeds are up to 70 MBPS according to Smart. But theoretically, the technology can handle up to 100 MBPS. Just look at that chart. The current 3G standard is only 2 MBPS. That places LTE at 35x the current 3G standard! And it is so much faster than most DSL and cable services being offered at present.
Info # 3 - Field trial results show LTE leaving old technology behind by a wide margin
The low latency connection makes LTE ideal for viewing streaming videos and engaging in other media-rich online activities such as gaming and accessing web-based applications and programs. Gamers and those in data-intensive tasks will thoroughly enjoy this as they say goodbye to lag time.
Info # 4 - LTE will be introduced late 2011 in major cities
First introduced in Boracay last April, some of my blogger friends were able to test its speed onsite. Smart plans to roll this out and test it in major cities, Metro Manila included. But I think only select cities in Metro Manila will be pilot areas.
At the demo area of Dusit Thani Hotel, we were shown speed test results. Of course, there is nothing like a real stress test under more normal conditions (and I am looking forward to participating, if one like that is conducted) but even if you discount the fact that the setup was done under ideal conditions and the ping server was only in Cebu City and not in some server in the US, LTE was still incredibly fast! See the results we got...
|Speedtest results on Noemi's iPhone 4|
If you're asking me what the downside of going LTE is for now? You will need an LTE-enabled mobile phone to take advantage of the technology. Sorry folks. All our 3G mobile phones are not eligible. I am holding out hope that the soon-to-be-released iPhone 5 is LTE-enabled because that's the next phone I am considering.
I asked how much such a service would cost but Smart could not answer for now. But I believe they will make it price-competitive.
High-speed internet is on the horizon and it looks like the pioneer in the Philippines will be Smart as they plan to introduce this service in late 2011. Several companies in other parts of the world have already rolled their LTE services out such as NTT DoCoMo in Japan, Verizon in the USA, TeliaSonera in Europe and Telstra in Australia. In Asia, Smart is ahead of its peers.