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iPhone 5 to be the first LTE-compatible smartphone in the PH?

iPhone 5 mock-up side-by-side with the iPhone 4S. Photo from BGR

iPhone 5 LTE compatible here in the PH? Keeping our fingers crossed!

Despite Smart’s rollout of LTE here in the Philippines and their successful demonstrations that it works as advertised, they’re only offering it via a dongle. There are not LTE-capable handsets yet in their line-up. This is despite the availability of LTE phones in other countries. We looked into this and found out that LTE bands are much more fragmented than what people think. Apparently there are 36 LTE bands all over the world. This means that LTE phones that work in the US might not necessarily work locally. However it looks like there’s an upcoming LTE capable handset headed our way and if news reports are to be believed, that will be the iPhone 5.

The Wall Street Journal reports that they have sources saying that the iPhone 5 will be LTE-capable and that it will be compatible in a lot of countries not just in the United States and Europe, but also in Asia. The Philippines stands to be included in the list because Smart has the same band as Japan’s NTT DoCoMo. Japan is one of the biggest markets of Apple in Asia and they have a strong LTE network.

Unfortunately there’s no way to confirm this 100%. All we can do is wait for Apple to release the official specs. If the LTE band is 2100 or 1800 then we’re in luck! Excited for September 12! Wooot!

Update: As pointed out in the comment section below, NTT DoCoMo has the biggest LTE network but they don’t carry the iPhone.

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  1. If that’s the case then, will one be able to experience LTE speeds at the selected spots only?

    • Yup LTE in selected areas. If you’re in an area not coverage by LTE you can get HSPA+ or regular 3G.

      Getting LTE means you’ll subscribe to an LTE plan though so I don’t know how the pricing will be for that one.

  2. It should be noted though that NTT DoCoMo is the biggest in LTE and Japan is one of the biggest iPhone markets in Asia, but NTT doesn’t offer iPhone in their portfolio. :) Conclusion can’t be driven just because Smart runs on the same network as NTT.

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