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What is the difference between LTE, LTE-A and 5G – Check Freqency and Bands

Difference LTE VS 5G

An LTE speed test is just a test to see the maximum speed that the device is capable of, but what about LTA? Or, Low-Latency Internet Access. This is the real question. How fast is the Internet your device is capable of? And how do you know?

What is the difference between LTE-A and LTE?

Theoretically, every network technology has a theoretical maximum speed it can achieve. But in reality, each carrier has to make these numbers up based on what works for them. Theoretically, the fastest connection technology available is LTE-A, which has theoretical download speeds of up to 1 Gbps. But realistically, carriers consider their LTE-A networks to be limited to around 100 Mbps

There are two major categories of 4G networks around the world. One is known as LTE-Advanced (and is more common in the US, UK and also available in the Philippines) , and the other as LTE-Advanced Pro. In countries where LTE-A is more prevalent, it offers a significantly faster experience than standard LTE networks, and is said to have a theoretical speed limit of around 1 Gbps.

What is LTE UE category?


LTE UE (User Equipment) Category & Class Definitions. LTE utilizes the LTE UE Category or User Equipment categories to define the performance specifications of LTE devices and enables LTE base stations to be able to communicate effectively with them knowing their performance levels.

How to buy your next mobile wifi router

So use this as a guide to buying your next wifi modem or mobile router, not all modems are created equal. Some of the cheaper mobile routers have a slower speed which is usually sold by the network providers. When buying modems, it is best to get the faster your budget can afford (you will thank me later) The faster the speed the more things you can do and accomplish online.

LTE Category - maximum data rate DL/UL in MBPS
lte user equipment classes

What is difference between LTE-A and 5G

The distinction between 4G and 5G is one of the most hotly debated topics in the mobile industry. Simply put, both technologies are different in terms of speed. Both the 5G and the LTE-A protocols are expected to offer speeds of up to 1Gbps. However, the 5G spectrum will operate on millimeter waves (mmW), which are shorter wavelengths than the LTE-A spectrum. This makes the mmW spectrum more susceptible to interference, which is why the 5G speeds will be limited to shorter distances, like over 5 meters. The mmW spectrum also has a shorter range than the LTE-A spectrum, which means that both can be used to transmit data over larger distances.

Future of LTE-A in the Philippines

With 4G LTE gaining popularity, it’s not long before we see carriers rolling out Advanced LTE-A (or LTE-A for short), the next generation of 4G. It’s designed to deliver up to 40% faster speeds versus LTE-A, which means that it’s faster than current generations of 4G. If you’re not already aware, that’s “Faster than 4G”, not just faster than 4G LTE.

Why would people buy LTE-A if there is already 5G?

Simple.. the answer lies in the costs of item and availability. Since 5G is new, phone manufacturers will try to role out fancy phones using LTE-A to get people’s attention.. but this game isn’t that simple, The networks also have a role to play in the development of the technology. Since LTE and LTE-A are readily available it is best to market the phones that can utilize the existing network capabilities of the the Telcos.

5G for faster internet

Is 5G a better purchase?

That depends on factors beyond your control. Best option is to check which mobile network and frequencies are available in your area. This is important, not all phones are the same and can function the same way using different frequencies. The more expensive ones are able to handle more frequencies, that is why it is more expensive.

Globe Telecom Frequencies and band numbers

Ok.. this seems to be such a geeky thing to do but if you want fast internet, you need to know how things work and make utilize your gadgets to their full potential.

Globe telecom frequency and band list

Smart Telecom Frequencies and band number

So now that your brain cells are exploding from all this data.. take a moment and consider your next phone purchase. To maximize the use of the phone, it is best to match the network and frequencies availalble to you and your area of residence or work. Why? simply put that if your area doesn’t match your frequency or protocol then it would fall back to the generally available frequency which is 3G in which Globe (band 8,1) and SMART Telecom (5,8,1) and if your phone still won’t pick up those frequencies, you fall further back to GPRS on Globe (band 8,3) and Smart telecom (5,8,3)

Smart telecom frequency and band list

Simple solution

Check the phone specs and match them with your phone frequencies available in your location.

  1. To check network frequency dominant in your location, you can use network cell info

2. check phone specs, look at the box or user manual to confirm. Using your brand or model to search online also works but you will need to check which version is released in the Philippines. Models vary per country.

I hope this has helped you.. We have other posts that you may want to read. If you have any questions or requests, drop us a line.

What is the difference between LTE, LTE-A  and 5G – Check Freqency and Bands