Smart Launches 1st LTE Network in the Philippines with Plan 3500

Written by JC Pulido III. Posted in Accessories, Networking, News, Telcos

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Published on August 26, 2012 with No Comments

The day has finally arrived as Smart Communications launches its LTE (Long Term Evolution) service in Metro Manila.

Just as we posted earlier, you can get Smart’s LTE service with Plan 3500. With the plan, you get a free LTE USB dongle, up to 42Mbps download speeds. While you can download data for up to 42Mbps, there is a monthly cap of 10GB. Once you pass the 10GB limit, you will be billed PhP450 per GB.

For early adopters, those who sign up for Smart LTE, will be able to get 42Mbps speeds with unlimited data – no 10GB cap – until October 25, 2012.

Download speeds can reach up to 42Mbps. Although from our source in Smart, the download limit is only because of the capability of the dongle and not the service itself. As better dongles – and smartphones for that matter – become available locally, Smart LTE is capable of reaching 100Mbps.

But what if you are in an area that isn’t covered by Smart LTE? No worries, the USB dongle is compatible with 3G, HSPA, and HSPA+ so you’ll still be able to get data connection virtually anywhere in the Philippines.

Smart is not claiming upload speeds and ping times for the service. However, one of the demonstrations at the event at the Resorts World in Manila is a StarCraft II duel between South Korea’s StarCraft II champion and another player in Cebu using the LTE network. So we can assume that the ping times are good enough for online gaming.

In terms of coverage, Smart LTE is only available in areas in Metro Manila. Not sure if your favorite coffee shop is covered by LTE? Specially marked LTE signs will be posted in various establishments around Metro Manila.

As for smartphones? The only thing that was launched with the LTE service is the LTE USB dongle from Huawei. No smartphones were announced that will take advantage of the LTE service. But that shouldn’t be much of a worry. As long as the smartphone is compatible with Smart’s LTE service, there is no reason it wouldn’t use the LTE signal and achieve the 42Mbps speeds…or more.

L-R: Mon Tamayo – PLDT Group Technology Head; Napoleon Nazareno – PLDT/Smart President and CEO; Emmanuel Lorenzana – Head of Wireless Consumer Division; Rolando Peña – PLDT Group Network and IT Systems Head