With the new iPhone 5 expected to be launched in just a few hours, the rumor mill has kicked into its highest gear as expectant fans and industry pundits await the unveiling of Apple’s latest smartphone.
But for Filipino spectators, possibly the biggest questions that hound their mind is the local availability of the new iPhone, as well as local support for LTE connectivity.
If you’ll recall, Wall Street Journal earlier reported that the iPhone 5 will support “Global LTE,” and with local telecom players battling it out with their respective LTE offers, we got to asking: will the iPhone 5′s LTE work in the Philippines?
According to a telco executive interviewed by InterAksyon.com, it will. The executive said the iPhone 5 will work on the 1800 MHz frequency, which both Smart Communications and Globe Telecom support on their respective LTE services.
Unlike earlier mobile network technologies, early-stage LTE works only on specified network spectrums — in Smart’s case it’s the 2100 MHz & 1800 MHz, and in Globe’s case it’s also on the 1800 MHz.
Launched in late August, Smart announced that its LTE network will be operating on the 2100 MHz band, a frequency that did not support earlier Apple devices, specifically the new iPad with LTE connectivity.
A few weeks later, Smart decided to launch another frequency for its LTE network, on 1800 MHz, making it the first multi-band LTE service provider in the Philippines.
Smart presumably made the move to support the upcoming iPhone launch, since it’s working hard to support Apple devices since being allowed to carry them last year, with the iPhone 4S.
Globe’s LTE service, meanwhile, has yet to be commercially launched, but early marketing materials said the service will cost P1,799 for 28 Mbps, and P2,499 for 42 Mbps.
Smart’s LTE offer, on the other hand, is available for P3,500 with a 10GB data cap.
Smart executives also said they are “working” to have the Philippines as one of the debut countries for the next iPhone. Apple will unveil its latest smartphone on September 13, 2:00 am (Manila time).