Well the cat is out of the bag and the embargo has been lifted, hallelujah! We are ready to report on the roll out of the first LTE mobile broadband network in the Philippines, straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth. The stakes in the mobile internet race in the Philippines have just cranked up a notch.
According to our sources, SMART will be doing the first public demos of its mobile LTE network as early as Holy Week with a live public demonstration in Boracay. This is, as far as we know, the first LIVE LTE network in the country. LTE has finally arrived in the mobile broadband space.
The network, which will be known as SMART Evolution, will be using LTE to pump out mobile broadband at speeds of up to 50 Megabits Per Second. (actually, the theoretical maximum is 100 Mbps, assuming that the service will get there sometime in the future).
The live demo will be set up in Boracay from April 21 to 24. SMART will be setting up demo booths where people on the beach can try out LTE for themselves, on laptops especially equipped with LTE modems for the demo.
What the heck is LTE anyway and what does it mean for internet users? LTE – Long Term Evolution – represents the next step in the mobile internet evolutionary ladder after the 3G (and 3.5G) HSPA speeds supported by the current crop of smartphones and broadband modems, which are capable of supporting rates of as much as 7.2 Mbps.
LTE is supported by the next generation of smartphones such as the HTC Thunderbolt (offered in the US through Verizon). Access to the SMART Evolution network will be offered through USB modems accessed via laptops and other LTE devices (such as LTE smartphones) as soon as these are available.
What can you do with LTE’s 50 Mbps speed? Are you kidding? This can mean downloading a movie in a few minutes instead of an hour, downloading a podcast in seconds, or watching 1080p HD streaming video without buffering.
That’s SMART Evolution. We have a strong feeling Charles Darwin would approve.