Onslaught of LTE phones in the Philippines begins with Huawei’s Ascend lineup

Huawei Device Philippines country manager Johnson Ma announces the debut of the company's LTE phones in the country. InterAksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines — As Philippine telcos fire up their respective LTE networks, mobile device manufacturers have also begun preparing to release their respective take on LTE phones, with Chinese brand Huawei leading the charge as it announced the upcoming availability of two LTE phones recently.

In a press briefing, Huawei announced the upcoming local release of the Ascend P1 LTE and Ascend D1 LTE, two phones that will be compatible with the LTE networks of the country’s major telecom firms.

LTE, or Long-Term Evolution, is the next evolutionary step for mobile networks that promises speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Both Smart Communications and Globe Telecom have already announced their own LTE offerings, although the former is currently the only one to have a commercial LTE service.

The sleek Ascend P1 LTE takes from its vanilla variant, the Ascend P1, in terms of specifications: it has a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4460 Cortex-A9 processor, a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 960 x 540 resolution and covered by Gorrilla Glass; and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Meanwhile, the bigger and wider Ascend D1 LTE features a 4.5-inch IPS+ display, the same 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor, 8GB of internal storage, and a 13-megapixel rear camera.

While the 3G-capable Ascend P1 is already available locally for 19,890, executives said the timeframe for the launch of the LTE phones is still unknown, considering that telcos have yet to formally launch their LTE service for smartphones.

The company, however, said the Ascend D1 LTE would most likely be sold exclusively by Smart since it utilizes the 2100 MHz LTE band, while the Ascend P1 LTE will go to Globe, which operates at the 1800 MHz frequency.

Huawei said they have an edge over other device manufacturers since their smartphones are optimized to work with Huawei’s LTE network solutions, which are being utilized by both Globe and Smart in their respective next-generation rollouts.

Filipinos looking to get their fix of LTE mobile Internet on the go will soon have two options: the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE (left) and the Ascend D1 LTE. InterAksyon.com

“We are able to optimize the network search algorithm for Ascend and base station auto-search technology, allowing us to have faster signal detection and longer battery life,” said Johnson Ma, the country manager for Huawei Device Philippines.

By optimizing the device with the LTE network, Ma said users would avoid having unstable signal, a heated device, or quicker battery loss since the phone will not “track and compare a false signal.”

“LTE is the future of mobile communications,” Ma shared, “and faster data networks will become a key area of differentiation for consumers when choosing their mobile devices.”

Thus far, Huawei is the only brand that has made announcements about the local availability of LTE-capable phones. Aside from the Chinese brand, Apple’s new iPhone 5, which also comes with LTE technology, is expected to be released locally in the coming months.