It took quite a while for Smart Inc to finally make Long Term Evolution (LTE) available to the masses when it was launched a month ago with a Plan 3500 which includes a dongle. No doubt Smart LTE is indeed fast as I’ve tried a year ago when we tested the Smart LTE in Boracay. With a whopping 40mps speed, it’s like speed heaven for anyone whose work or play depends on internet speed. But having a single dongle plugged in on a device can be limiting especially for me who carries several devices like smartphones and tablet. I guess its inevitable for Smart to introduce their Smart LTE Pocket WiFi which allows users to distribute their LTE connection to several devices.
Smart LTE Pocket WiFi
The Smart LTE Pocket WiFi uses a slick looking Huawei device that has an lcd screen to show the network status, usage and currently connected device amongst other info. At most the device is able to serve up to 10 connected devices but speed may vary then depending on each usage. We were able to try out the range of the devices by streaming a 1 hour youtube movie (without pre-buffering) on a tablet and walking away from the device up to 25-30meters away up to which it lost connection. Still it’s pretty impressive the streaming was uninterrupted until the range limit.
Currently Smart LTE is only available at key cities in the country like Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao but on a limited basis. In Metro Manila, Smart placed LTE stickers in locations where the service is available like Hard Rock Cafe at Glorietta 3, The Old Spaghetti House along Valero St., Makati, Barcino restobar at Fort Bonifacio Taguig, TGI Fridays at Robinsons Galleria Ortigas and Orchard Road restaurant at SM Megamall Mandaluyong.
The price and availibility for the Smart LTE Pocket WiFi will be announced on October 2012. Interested parties may sign up at www.smart.com.ph/bro/lte. Currently Smart offers a Plan 3500 package which includes a free LTE dongle which can be used on an unlimited basis until October 25, 2012.