Introduction to 4G LTE
Recently, the terms "4G" and "LTE" are used frequently in the papers and on the Internet. What exactly is 4G LTE? What does it mean? How does it benefit you as a consumer?
Well, LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. To be precise, its full name is 3GPP Long Term Evolution for the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System, or 3GPP UMTS LTE for short. Well, to put it simply, LTE is the next evolution of mobile networks which is expected to offer higher speeds and lower latencies. Commonly referred as the fourth generation (4G) mobile network, the LTE network delivers theoretical download speeds of up to 75Mbps.
All three telcos have launched their 4G LTE networks respectively although they are at different stages of deployment. SingTel is currently working to extend its 4G coverage to 80% by December 2012 and complete its island-wide rollout in early 2013.
On the other hand, M1 is the first in South East Asia to roll out a nationwide 4G network. StarHub's 4G network is limited to the Central Business District, Changi Airport and Singapore Expo. It will expand its 4G coverage to more than half the island by end of the year and is scheduled to complete nationwide coverage in 2013.
4G Devices Available Now
If you are considering a 4G device, there is a growing number of products available now. For smartphones, you have the HTC One XL, LG Optimus True HD LTE, Samsung Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy Note LTE and Galaxy S III LTE to choose from. There's also the upcoming 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy Note II that's coming to Singapore.
For tablets, you have ASUS Transformer Pad TF300TL (an LTE edition of the Transformer Pad TF300) and Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE. In case you are wondering why the third generation Apple iPad is not included, it is because the device operates on frequency bands which are not supported by the local telcos.