We just came from a press briefing of sorts with Smart and spent a solid hour grilling the company’s execs about LTE on the iPhone 5 and their plans with LTE in general. There’s a lot to talk about, but let us break it down for you.
LTE on the iPhone 5 is still free of charge. That’s set to change in April 30, 2013, but for now you won’t have to pay a cent to enjoy LTE.
All postpaid unli-data iPhone 5 users will be able to get LTE right on their devices without exchanging nano-SIMS or doing anything else. Someone pointed out that Smart somehow did not include Infinity Plan users in the original LTE rollout, though the telco said that that slight oversight will be addressed soon.
Theoretically, other unlimited postpaid users of Smart will be able to get LTE down the line. The reason why Smart’s unlimited data iPhone 5 postpaid subscribers got LTE first is simple: their handsets already had LTE chips in them. Smart said that the LTE rollout for iPhone 5 users is just the first phase, and that they will allow other post-paid users into the LTE party sooner rather than later.
As far using Smart’s LTE with an iPhone 5 bought overseas is concerned, it’s a mixed bag. If you buy an iPhone 5 from a country that has at least one LTE band that Smart also uses, it should work. Emphasis there on should – there’s a reason why both Smart and Globe went through the entire LTE certification process with Apple in the first place and that’s to ensure that the LTE experience on the iPhone goes off without a hitch. Best thing for you to do is to take your device to Smart and have them look at it. Same goes for Android devices that have LTE capability.
There will still be data caps implemented when LTE goes full blast after April 30, though it’s still not clear how much is too much when it comes to data. There was suppsoed to be 1.5GB data cap on mobile devices after Jan. 31, fortunately for early adopters, Smart decided to extend the unlimited data promo until the end of March, 2013.
We know that everything is bit confusing now as far as LTE is concerned, and it certainly seems like Smart is still trying to find the right balance for the new standard. We also heard from the company that they’ll also be rolling out LTE for prepaid subscribers as soon as possible, and that they will be also implementing LTE data sachets (similar to their unli-promos) soon.