The USB dongle is in no way a representation of the final product. LTE will launch soon and will be deployed across the country. A bit of a technical info here: current SMART cell towers running 3G can easily be upgraded to accommodate LTE and later on, LTE Advanced. You will need “4G” enabled phones to access the higher data network so in the meantime, while the phones are not yet here, let’s be content with the dongle.
I will be doing a series of speed tests throughout my stay. This is the first.
From my hotel which is in a more remote location (and indoors) I am getting 15Mbps. This afternoon, the LTE booth was pushing 69Mbps (LTE promises 50Mbps) and while everyone was sharing over WiFi and stressing the network with HD video streaming, they did a decent ~ 30Mbps, which is still very fast.
Let me put into context what “fast” means. At my current speed I am downloading a 7GB game from the Steam Store at 290-400kbps, streaming the 720p HD version of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead without buffering (full screen) and uploading a couple of files (over 4GB) using my FTP to my server. Plus Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.
So funny! It says “faster than 99% of the Philippines!”
By the way guys, Mbps is not MEGABYTES PER SECOND but MEGABITS. Here’s an explanation. It is confusing so if you still can’t tell the difference I would really just use real world examples which everyone can understand (like the actions I just made above).
I’ll be doing more tests tomorrow as I would like the “real world” challenges such as being indoors / outdoors to affect the performance of speeds. So far I am very content.
LTE dongles will have a separate price compared to the 3G / HSPA ones currently available in the market. LTE is backwards compatible but not vice versa. The name of the LTE service is SMART Evolution.
Oh, just one more thing. The LTE dongle runs on Snow Leopard as well. Here’s a shot of my MenuMeters upload/download: