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Broadband and Mobile Internet

LTE broadband internet is one category of broadband connections which gives you access to highspeed internet. You are provided with a router which you connect to with your terminal devices, like phones, tablets or laptop PCs. These are the devices you use for your online activities. Usually you will be able to connect between 5 and 10 devices at any given time. The name LTE refers to how the router itself, connects to and receives data from the internet. Line broadband connections like DSL or Fiber, access the internet through copper (DSL) or glassfiber (Fiber) cables. LTE broadband on the other hand accesses the mobile internet network, just like your cell phone will. This brings its own advantages and disadvantages, as you may know from your smartphone.
Relying on the LTE mobile network to access the internet brings three main advantages:

  1. First, it gives you a larger mobility with your connection. As a line connection will most likely be linked to a certain access point (your home, apartment or other), with LTE broadband the internet is accessible as long as you can establish a connection to a network with mobile data. That is why many LTE broadband hubs are portable and have their own battery. For example, you can access the internet while going from one place to another or while you are outside, away from WiFi networks.
  2. Secondly, this allows you to access the internet in your home if it does not yet have a line connection. In such a case, a plug-in LTE router can be used which does not rely on a battery and is optimized for indoor use. This makes LTE broadband an ideal opportunity for everybody waiting for line access to roll out to their homes.
  3. Finally, the download speeds are potentially much higher than what you might get via DSL or even fiber. LTE promises speeds of up to 42 Mbps while most line connections are around 5-20 Mbps, with only the fastest passing 50Mbps. However, the possible download speeds are not a given and should not be the main reason to acquire as will be explained in the disadvantages section.
Using mobile networks as an access to the internet will bring the same disadvantages you may already face with mobile data on your cell phone.

  1. First, the availability and strength of an LTE network connection will depend on the current state of expansion of the LTE networks. To find out whether your home should have an LTE connection you can check with websites like OpenSignal or Sensorly. While LTE should be available in your building, sometimes the structure itself can hinder the quality of the connection. LTE broadband, however, promises to provide better indoor signal quality by using a different frequency.
  2. Secondly, outside interference can impair the signal quality and your download speeds. Weather systems like thunderstorms or even high demand by too many people trying to access the network, for example during morning and evening hours, are a challenge for mobile networks.
  3. Third, most postpaid plans and prepaid promos offer a fairly low amount of data compared to line connections. Whether this will suffice or not depends on your own usage habits. Our broadband guide can help you learn more about your spending habits and teach you how to estimate you data usage.
You must have mobile internet access for your router to go online. If mobile networks are available then, yes. As mobile data is widely available throughout the Philippines you will have access in most densely inhabited places. Whether an LTE connection can be established, giving you the fastest download speeds, will depend on the state of LTE expansion in your area.
LTE broadband promises speeds up to 42Mbps. However, because of the before mentioned challenges networks can face, most providers promise minimum speeds of up to 256 kbps with 80% reliability. The constant expansion and improvement of mobile networks gives hope that the availability of highspeed networks will grow and the consistency of download speeds will get better over the next years.
Not all plans require lock-in periods. All providers that currently offer LTE broadband have prepaid kits to choose from, which only require an upfront payment. If you choose a plan with a lock-in period, you can choose between 6 and 24 months, depending on the provider and plan you choose.
LTE broadband can advantageous for different groups as its offers are diverse, from plug-in home to portable solutions. As a general requirement: You must be looking to get internet access for multiple devices, beyond just your cell phone. Also, where you wish to go online with these devices, line broadband or WiFi networks are not available. How does this apply to you?

  1. This could mean you wish to have internet access in your home but there is no line broadband (DSL/Fiber) available, yet. Then a home LTE solution could help.
  2. Maybe your job or studies require you to go online with your laptop while out in the field or driving from one place to another, without a WiFi network. Then a portable solution could prove helpful.
The first choice you must make when you decide to go for a plan is whether you are looking for a WiFi option only for your home, only as a portable option or possibly both. This will help narrow your focus on specific plans which meet your needs the best. You should keep in mind that while portable options give you greater flexibility, home routers will give you a stronger signal in your home. Once you know what kind of router to look for, you have to decide whether to choose a postpaid plan or a prepaid plan. This should depend on how regularly you require the included data. If you will have strong fluctuations, for example because you spend time abroad for months at a time, prepaid makes more sense. If you will constantly be using the supplied volume you should go for a postpaid plan. To find out how much data you will need you can use our broadband guide to help develop an estimate.
The providers offer special promos for LTE broadband customers you can choose from to top-up your LTE plan (postpaid and prepaid). Globe has its HomeSURF promos, Smart allows you to use their Giga Surf promos and also has Home Boost for LTE home WiFi and with Sun you can choose between their iSurf, Surf Net Mega and Non-Stop Surf promos.
If you wish to acquire a prepaid LTE broadband plan, you may not be required to provide any information. Upon ordering online your device can be delivered to you and you can simply pay with cash upon arrival. Postpaid plans on the other hand you will have to apply by providing a set of information. Providers will demand the same information, however, the exact form in which they wish to receive this information may vary. You must provide:

  1. at least one form of proof of identification (e.g. driver’s license, company ID, passport);
  2. a proof of billing address (e.g. valid ID with address, public utility bill, notarized contract of lease);
  3. proof of sufficient income (e.g. computerized 1-month payslip, credit card, Certificate of Employment and Compensation).
Foreigners may also be required to provide additional information (e.g. I-Card, DOLE Employment Permit, Immigration Certificate of Registration). All information provided must be the latest copy and valid. Proof of identification must contain a photo of the ID holder.