Switching to LTE (SIM Card and Device) for faster speeds

Switching to LTE (SIM Card and Device) for faster speeds

It has been some time since Philippine telco’s introduced Long Term Evolution (LTE) to the country. A few years ago phones that support it was either expensive or hard to find. Fast-forward to 2017, buying an LTE-enabled phone is now cheaper and easier. LTE provides faster speeds and better connection than previous systems like GSM (2G) and HSPA/HSPA+ (3G). So how can you take advantage of this? Read on.

4G and LTE

We often confuse 4G and LTE as the same but we shouldn’t. 4G is a generation and LTE is a system.

4G is the fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology. A system must meet the standards set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to be named 4G.

LTE, on the other hand, is a candidate for a 4G system. But since it doesn’t meet the standards set by the International Telecommunications Union-Radio communications sector (ITU-R) it is not truly a 4G system. Although the ITU-R still considered LTE as “4G” since it offered substantial improvements over 3G systems and provided that future iterations of the technology meet the standard. It’s newer versions are called LTE-A (Long Term Evolution Advanced) and LTE-A Pro (Long Term Evolution Advanced Pro).

Using LTE

To be able to enjoy the speeds provided by an LTE system you would need a SIM and a capable device.

Buying an LTE SIM Card

Yes, sadly, you would have to say goodbye to your old SIM card if it isn’t LTE capable. Luckily most prepaid SIM cards sold today are LTE capable and are relatively cheap. Both Smart and Globe also offer LTE postpaid plans. These plans could be SIM only or bundled with a device.


While you would need to change your SIM Card, Globe has an option for their users to maintain their phone number. For more details on how to do this click here.

Buying an LTE Capable Device

If you already have an LTE SIM or if you’ve recently bought one then the next step would be to get a device that supports LTE. But before that let’s dive into which frequencies our Telco’s use.


  • 700mhz
  • 850mhz
  • 1800mhz
  • 2100mhz
  • 2300mhz
  • 2500mhz
  • 2600mhz


  • 700mhz
  • 1800mhz
  • 2500mhz
  • 2600mhz

Now your device should support these frequencies to be able to use the LTE services in the Philippines. You can check out our list of devices that support 700mhz here. After that, you’re all set to enjoy the speeds that LTE provides.

Do take note that even if you have an LTE capable device and SIM, some areas in the Philippines are not yet serviceable.

Zen Estacio is a Multimedia Producer for YugaTech. He is the team's laptop guru and one of their resident gamers. He has a monthly column compiling the latest and greatest the Nintendo Switch has to offer. Aside from that, he regularly writes gaming news, reviews, and impressions. You can hit him up at @papanZEN

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11 Responses

  1. ethel says:

    Could you help me out? Is there really such a thing as “lte sim”? SIM is subscriber identity module, which boils down to what’s my number? As I understand it, the sim card does not add radios to your phone.

  2. Jerwin Dela Luna says:

    Hi Yugatech, hindi na po ba available ang sim upgrade via https://www.globe.com.ph/sim-upgrade ?

    Sabi nyo kasi dito sa article, “Yes, sadly, you would have to say goodbye to your old SIM if it isn’t LTE capable”

    • Zen Estacio says:

      If we understood correctly you would only keep your “phone number” and not the SIM Card itself.:), So technically you’re still changing SIM Cards, although thank you for pointing this out we forgot to include this option.;)

    • DKMB says:

      porting the soul to keep the number and leaving the physical body behind.

  3. Kelot says:

    Tagal ng China Telecom

  4. K L says:

    Meron free sim upgrade and retain your number… Sa Globe and Sun AFAIK ewan ko lng sa smart… 2014 wala dati 4G na cellphone pero 3G parin sim ko. 2017 lang yung nag karoon for prepaid.. ang bagal ang aksyon nila.

    Dapat ang mobile number is naka dikit na sa pangalan mo parang TIN number mawala na physical pero pwede parin recreate at pwede kang lumipat ng network with same number.

  5. KamoteMan says:

    Libre lang din mag papalit ng sim sa Smart at maintain mo rin yung old number mo.

  6. Matty1963 says:

    Telecoms are still rubbish even with 4G LTE speeds are so slow here in Philippines hope China telecom inproves the services here

    • Kayatakobai says:

      Wireline and not wireless ang ipapasok ng China Telecom. But unless they will build their own infrastructure, walang magbabago sa speed. Kasi mag le lease lang din sila ng current infra natin provided by Globe and PLDT.

  7. Donmarc says:

    I still got an old smart sim (3g) unlimited plan 999 until i lost it last week. Luckily smart replaced it with same account, same plan and number. Still unlimited and whats great is its now an lte sim. Got faster unlimited internet connection now. Wohooo… So for those who still have a 3g plan sim. You may visit any smart store and ask for a replacement. Just need a valid i.d. It’s free.

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