Sunday, December 9, 2012

No LTE for the Apple iPhone 5 in the Philippines?

The biggest new feature of the Apple iPhone 5 is LTE support. LTE or Long Term Evolution is the next step in high speed wireless internet connectivity. Smart Communications launched its LTE service in August 2012, and Globe Telecom followed the next month. Both carriers made the service available for data only devices, with no mobile phone LTE plans. 

When Globe and Smart announced their plans for the Apple iPhone 5, it looked like the local carriers were not yet rolling out LTE plans for phones. Eventually, when the carriers roll out LTE plans, the iPhone 5 would be made available on LTE plans. But with Smart announcing LTE plans for the Sony Xperia V and the ZTE T82, it looks like the iPhone 5 might not be compatible with Smarts LTE network. After all, why would Smart offer LTE plans and not include a plan for the iPhone 5.

Unfortunately, unlike HSPA where you have a universal standard, LTE technology implementation is fragmented. The iPhone 5 is built in three versions to try to provide support for most carriers. two GSM and one CDMA model. The Philippines uses GSM networks. The two iPhone 5 GSM models are model A1428 which supports LTE Bands 4 and 17 and model A1429 that supports LTE Bands 1, 3, and 5. So the first reason could be that the iPhone 5 does not support the LTE bands that Smart Communications is running on. There are 44, or so, LTE bands or which 7 commonly implemented. The iPhone 5 supports 5 bands.

There other possibility is that LTE technology is not being made available on the iPhone 5 for other reasons. 

Whatever the reason, the iPhone 5 will be launching in the Philippines without a LTE plan, and all of a sudden it is start to look like an older model than a cutting edge flagship phone.


  1. What the freashka? No LTE is just bullwagga!

  2. Okay I did some research, shows all the frequencies of the iPhone 5 LTE. So it looks like Smart has a better frequency range for LTE as of now, and both Globe and Smart can support the iPhone 5 LTE.

    Globe has confirmed they have LTE at 1800MHz (,-globe-launches-lte-for-mobile) and Smart has confirmed they have LTE for 1800MHz and 2100MHz ( will add 850MHz - all supported by the iPhone GSM model A1429.

    This article seems to be in favour to Globe when the fact of the matter is, Smart actually has better LTE frequency range. What's up with that Mr. Roberto Lim?

    1. I finally got the answer here:

  3. Both can't turn LTE on for iPhone 5 without Apple's approval. Apple need to actually test the system primarily thus it must be perfected before a go signal is given.


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