About 2 or 3 years ago, LTE connectivity became a reality in the country. Very few countries in Asia had it and the Philippines was among the few who got in first. It was heaven-sent especially to the ones how had LTE-capable smartphones.
Those who want to invest in LTE dongles or pocket WiFi had to spend close to 10k apiece and still have to get that elusive LTE-enabled SIM card.
And once you get into that exclusive LTE network, you’d be overwhelmed with the boost in speed. I remember getting connections as fast as 1.8MB/s downloads. The problem then though was looking for a spot where LTE was available (I used to park at the Greenbelt 3 multi-level parking beside McDo just to get the best speeds from Smart).
Today, LTE is almost every where in the city (and some key spots like Boracay is almost 100% LTE-covered). Around half of the smartphones being released each month had LTE-capability. LTE plans are much more affordable (Smart’s LTE Plan started out at Php3,500 per month for 10GB).
However, gone are the days when we get 25Mbps or better LTE speeds. Sometimes, even if our signal says we’re on 4G, it feels like we’re still on 3G, or worse, EDGE.
But that’s the reality. That 42Mbps theoretical speed only applies if there are few people connected to the network. Once everyone else is on LTE, the network would slow down. It’s the same big old pipe, just far more subscribers tapping into the towers.
The term LTE used to be a magical word full of bufferless 1080p video streaming on YouTube. Now, the effect of the word has fizzled.