Sunday, April 17, 2011

Smart to offer mobile LTE up to 6Mbps

The details are still sketchy but an insider has tipped us that Smart Communications will be launching mobile LTE (3GPP Long Term Evolution) this week with promised speeds of up to 6Mbps per subscriber.

Back in November 2010, Globe demonstrated their mobile LTE with maximum speeds of up to 60Mbps (see story here). Now, it’s Smart’s turn to offer LTE to the public (they also did field tests back in November, about two weeks after Globe did theirs).

3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE), is the latest standard in the mobile network technology tree that produced the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies. It is a project of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

The LTE specification provides downlink peak rates of at least 100 Mbps, an uplink of at least 50 Mbps and RAN round-trip times of less than 10 ms. (source: wikipedia)

Unlike the current 3G networks that all of the telcos provide, LTE has a much higher bandwidth capacity so this could help solve the congestion problem (read: slow 3G connections) a lot of the customers are experiencing right now. It’s not clear how their new LTE offering will position against the current 3G network.

LTE USB dongles will be provided (just like the Smart Plug-It dongles they currently offer) for customers to hook up to the service and corresponding monthly service fees have not yet been revealed.

While LTE can easily do between 50Mbps to 100Mbps, they’ll only offer retail subscriptions between 4Mbps to 6Mbps to customers. I’d expect competitive pricing of these subscription to range from Php1,200 to Php2,000.

More on this as we get the details.

They’re calling it Smart Evolution.

Public demo will be done in Boracay from April 21 – 24.

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