Currently, Philippines has been one of few countries in the world that offers the fifth generation wireless mobile network (5G). Smart Communications has flipped the switch of their LTE-Advanced system in selected areas in the country and the telco expected to have a roll-out in more key cities in the near future. Now what really is LTE-A? And how does it fair to the existing 4G LTE system that we have right now in terms of performance, coverage, stability and speed?
Of course, LTE-A is five times faster than the existing LTE system. In order for a mobile network to be categorized as LTE-A, It should have a peak rate of 1Gbps (gigabytes per second) and a regular download and upload speed of 100-300 mbps and 10-70 mbps respectively. This makes video streaming insanely fast.
The existing 4G that we have could only peak at 300 mbps with a 10-100 mbps download rate and 5-50 mbps upload speed.
Along the process, LTE-A allows you to fetch data in multiple sources that makes it offer high-speed data downloading. The system also uses MIMO (multiple in, multiple out) – an antenna technology which simply uses multiple receivers and transmitters to have access to more data at the same time.
With 5G LTE-A, coverage will also be improved. The system uses Relay Nodes, a base station (cell site) that uses low power that will generate wide coverage area and capacity. This gives a legit signal in remote areas and cell edges.
How to use LTE-A?
First and foremost, you’ll need a device that has an LTE-A enabled chipset. Currently, variants of Galaxy S4 has LTE-A chips but they are only exclusive to countries which already offer LTE-A service to the public like South Korea, United States, Hong Kong, etc.
Locally, Smart is still in the testing stage but they will make the service available commercially in the coming months. Globe is also expected to follow suit.