Bitter rivals Globe Telecom and Smart Communications again issued separate press statements over the weekend, each claiming the first LTE (Long Term Evolution) handset offering in the country.
The first to issue a press release was Smart, which said that it has started offering “the country’s first LTE handsets — the Sony Xperia V and the ZTE T82”. Both units are available via pre-order online, according to Smart.
The operator said the Sony Xperia V or the ZTE T82 will come free at LTE Plan 1500 (only until Jan. 15, 2013), bundled with unlimited data, 120 SMS and 60 call minutes (unlimited until Jan. 31, 2013).
The Sony Xperia V is making its Southeast Asian debut in the Philippines and will be exclusively available to Smart subscribers. It is also considered the “cherry on top” of a series which marks Sony Mobile Communications’ return this year to the intensely competitive smartphone market.
Powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, loaded with Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich, and sporting a 4.3-inch HD display and a 13-megapixel camera, the Sony Xperia V is built for productivity, multi-tasking, and multimedia capture.
The ZTE T82 is just as full-featured, with its 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 4.3-inch HD display and capacitive screen, and 8-megapixel camera supporting more than 20 shooting modes.
“As two of the most advanced handsets today, the Sony Xperia V and the ZTE T82 add even more excitement to a lineup of power handsets exclusively available to Smart subscribers,” said Mellissa Limcaoco, head of Marketing for Smart brands.
Smart launched its LTE service on August 25, offering high-speed data services of up to 42Mbps on dongles or pocket WiFis.
A month later, the wireless firm made the “Philippines’ first LTE voice call and SMS” on its mobile network.
For its part, Globe said it is press statement that is now offering the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE in its Globe Stores, “making it the first Philippine telco to commercially launch the country’s first-ever LTE handset”.
Huawei Ascend P1 LTE is the telco’s first exclusive smartphone offering that runs on its LTE network, it added.
The Huawei Ascend P1 LTE is available for free at Globe Unli Surf 1799, bundled with unlimited data, P800 monthly consumable for calls and texts, and three call and text freebies that are changeable monthly.
Available in Globe Stores in Glorietta, Greenbelt, Rockwell, and Ayala Triangle, the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE is also offered at lower postpaid plans with minimum cash-outs.
For as low as P1499 monthly, the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE is available at Unli Surf 999 at P500 cashout for 24 months. Prepaid kit is also available at P21,000.
Huawei Ascend P1 LTE has a 1.5GH Dual Core, 1GB RAM, 4.3″ Super AMOLED Capacitive Multi-Touch Screen, Android ICS with 8 megapixel camera, WiFi, and BlueTooth.
To use the LTE-powered Huawei Ascend P1 LTE, Globe postpaid subscribers need a Globe LTE SIM, also available in Globe Stores in Glorietta, Greenbelt, Rockwell, and Ayala Triangle.
Replacement of regular Globe postpaid SIM to an LTE SIM is free of charge to all postpaid subscribers availing of the LTE device.
“Finally, the first LTE smartphone arrives in the Philippines, and it traverses through the Globe doorsteps via our Globe Stores. Subscribers can now purchase the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE under our unlimited data plans and experience mobile browsing speeds of up to 100 Mbps, on-time exchange of text messages, as well as clearer calls and faster call connections. Together with our device partners, we are excited to bring a world-class mobile experience that is LTE to our subscribers, truly empowering them their way,” said Martha Sazon, head of Globe Postpaid.
Globe said it will soon be offering its second batch of LTE exclusive smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE, ZTE T81, and a host of other LTE enabled smartphones with more Globe LTE sites fired up.
The Huawei Ascend P1 LTE runs on the Globe 4G LTE network, which has expanded in key commercial and residential areas in Makati since launching in September.
By yearend, the Globe 4G LTE network is expected to cover sites in NCR, Cebu, and Davao, and more areas nationwide by 2013.
Instead of “pocket activations” or “hotspots”, Globe said its 4G LTE network rollout will focus on large contiguous areas of coverage to ensure greater and more stable coverage for customers.