The next evolution of LTE is here
Despite the challenges faced by local telcos in improving the average speeds of their subscribers, the hunt to deliver the fastest possible speeds continues. Smart thinks it has the edge over its local rival via LTE-A or 4.5G, which it successfully demoed at an event in Boracay tonight.
For the uninitiated, LTE-A or LTE Advanced is a new type of technology that utilizes several LTE bands to deliver blazing internet speeds. Because the theoretical limit of a single carrier of LTE in a 20MHz block is only 150Mbps, telcos need to turn to carrier aggregation to deliver even faster speeds to their consumers.
Think of an LTE band as a lane on a highway. A single lane can only accomodate so much cars (in our case, data). What carrier aggregation does is add additional lanes in a highway, which delivers more bandwith than a single lane could.
The result? Blazing fast internet, even faster than traditional fiber internet lines. Just think: you can download a 690mb file in less than a minute. Our Speedtest results above certainly is very impressive.
Of course with new tech means new gear. Not all smartphones can support carrier aggregation – only a select few have the necessary modems that support the new tech, phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S7.
While Smart’s event in Boracay is a tech demonstrator, the company is working hard to make the technology available in more areas. The company said that they’re pushing hard to completely cover Boracay in LTE-A by the end of the second quarter. Manila is a dicier proposition, and Smart did not give us a firm timeline as of yet. On the upside, they say that they’re already building the backend necessary for LTE-A, which should also benefit the customers on regular LTE and 3G by way of faster speeds. Once everything is ready, Smart says turning on LTE-A is as easy as sending out a software patch to their towers.