Tuesday, June 21, 2011

High-Speed Smart LTE 4G Technology is Coming!

Download movies in minutes. Download songs in seconds. Watch an HD YouTube video without buffering. Seriously.

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.

Test Results

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.

Read more about Smart LTE in Smart's press release HERE.


Anonymous said...


in what form are bloggers compensated? I am assuming this is a paid post given that only select bloggers were invited and the super duper positive review? Was it organized by gmaclang? hope you will not moderate this in the spirit of transparency or you may opt not to publish but do give full disclosure.


Jane said...

Hello Anonymous. I normally disclose paid posts so since I was not paid, there is nothing to disclose. Unless you mean I need to disclose that I was fed merienda, yes I was. This presentation was done during the investors' meeting for Smart and we were simply invited to their demo area. I would appreciate knowing who you are as well, if that is okay.

Chris Jav said...

Noemi's iphne showed 1.44mbps download, tho upload is still ongoing, but don't you think that's slow for a 102mbps speed of LTE?

I'm afraid they'll say LTE technology is available but the speed is actually not what it's supposed to be.

Or is it because iPhone4 is not LTE phone? then why is that image there?

I'm just confused.

Jane said...

Hi Chris. Thanks for your comment.

I'm not a mobile expert on this one but I'll answer based on what I know. The others can jump in with their thoughts.

As my post said, LTE technology requires LTE-enabled devices to take advantage of the speed. The iPhone 4 is NOT yet LTE-enabled, thus it could not take advantage of the full LTE speed. But Noemi did the experiment to see how much faster her internet speed was using LTE vs using her 3G connection. Too bad I failed to take a picture with the upload results.

Smart people told us that when they introduce it, the LTE technology can go up to 70 MBPS initially (as I stated on the post) but this will be eventually upgraded. The 102 MBPS is the maximum speed of the LTE technology, fully upgraded.

shades said...

come on... do you people really expect smart or their LTE technology would really provide incredible speed up to 70MBPS to consumers just like that.... The fastest LTE in USA did gave only up to 18 MBPS something which was the maximum speed a user could experience, and now we are expecting in the philippines would even be faster!!!!
It is just the same advertisement as they did when the 3g went out... how many of you experienced wimax with those low bandwidth at day high at night, right? that's because it's a shared connection between consumers and i guess smart's LTE wouldn't be any different.... LTE consumer in the future will still be connected to the same cell towers so nothing new in here just some upgrade with technology, frequency or something...
for the same amount of money i would still prefer dsl which is more stable and consistent than wireless internet, not unless you are a mobile kind of person...
anyway.... LTE in the philippines will never reach 70 mbps as advertised,, you would be lucky to 10 MBPS at most... and besides there is no such real 4g in the world, only 1 country had it, i think it's either south korea or japan had a speed of some 80mbps (i'm not sure of the source)...
LTE is just merely upgrade of our current 3g and better, simple as that without the wow effects...

Anonymous said...

i agree with shades...better use dsl line guys...

Anonymous said...


I am working for telecom in the past 10 years. 4G is faster in theory but in Phil am sure if will not go that high. 3G-HSPA can go as high as 21Mbps if you open the pipe.

Anonymous said...

Why introduce LTE or 4g or other technologies when 3G/3.5G hasn't even reached full potential. Smart, at the moment, can only offer 2mbps MAX of a potential 14.4mbps which 3.5G technology is capable of. As for the change in standard, yes, future devices will have LTE compatibilty, but people won't want to constantly by new phones or new operator locked dongles or usb modems or what have you...
Develope the existing network first and make sure that there is enough capacity for the amount of subscribers.

mahkie/ said...

LOL...seriously. 70mbps? keep hopeful. very highly unlikely. these telco's need more comptetition. the market is still too lousy. very slow progress all the time. yes they are very good as it is, but not good enough to cope our growing demands.

i mean, how fast are you guys' mobile internet in 3g there in manila? where i am, it can only go upto 1.8mbps..and thats not good enough for me! specially, given what i know as the possible potential of the 3g network. plus, add in the poor coverage. but then maybe they can only expand to how much collective demand(and hence, revenue) there is. i mean, it may not even be 10% of us here in the philippines who uses 3g's or mobile internet..let alone 3g capable smartphones...there is too big a hindrance towards 4G..lets face it..we darned in this country..LOL..that was exaggeration. but still i pray at night on my bed, that somehow, when i wake up, there's 4G..

Noel Delfin said...

2 years of unlimited data with Smart says this 4G thing is all marketing. the only good side in this one is you finally see a different network indicator in your LTE able phone.