Following Apple’s announcement of The New iPad few days ago, Smart Communications had issued a press release saying it “welcomes the announcement of the New iPad which features high-speed connectivity on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology”.
And speaking of the Philippine launch of the tablet, SMART, through its Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B. Vea, “believes that the New iPad could be made available locally sooner than expected”, apparently because SMART has a working LTE network in the country. Well, yes; SMART has a working LTE network in some parts of the Philippines, but I’m personally not convinced The New iPad will be launched sooner because the country already has a working LTE network. Is LTE support really a main selling point of The New iPad?
Though SMART didn’t clearly state its network will support such LTE-capable tablet, I personally found the presser horribly deceptive ‘coz it could mislead an ordinary Joe to believe once he gets The New iPad, the LTE connectivity will work with SMART out of the box. With SMART lacking important information on its website about its LTE network, at this point, I’m inclined to believe LTE connectivity of The New iPad won’t work here in the Philippines. Read on for more why I said that…
From Apple’s specs page for The New iPad, it says the tablet will work on LTE networks with 700MHz and 2100MHz frequency bands. These bands are the ones currently used in the US, with Verizon Wireless using 700MHz band while AT&T using both 700MHz and 2100MHz. Assuming SMART is using different frequency band (not 700MHz or 2100MHz), then technically The New iPad still can’t leverage from SMART’s LTE. Period! As of this writing though, I’m trying to reach SMART to confirm which frequency bands its LTE network supports. My assumption maybe wrong though, but until the telco release an official statement that they are using a compatible frequency band (most likely 2100MHz), then I have to believe The New iPad’s LTE connectivity, indeed, won’t work. Anyways, I’ll keep you posted once I personally got a word from SMART so just stay tuned!