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MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Apple rolled out a new version of its mobile operating system iOS bringing LTE support to iPhone 5, iPad mini, and iPad 4 users in 36 countries including the Philippines. The iOS 6.1 update was released January 29 Manila time.
Previously, despite hardware support for LTE, iPhone 5 users in the Philippines could only get EDGE, 3G or HSPA+ speeds on their devices.
According to Apple's LTE support page, iPhone 5 users on both Globe and Smart will get LTE support as long their device model number is A1429. The update also brings LTE support to the iPad with Retina display (4th gen iPad) and the iPad mini.
Early Tuesday morning Smart announced that iPhone 5 users on iPhone Plans 999 and 2499 and Unlidata Plans 1500, 2000, and 3000 can automatically use Smart LTE for free until April 30, 2013, "without the need to subscribe to a separate data package." Smart iPhone 5 users do not need new SIM cards.
Representatives from Globe tell Rappler that LTE nano SIMS are needed to get LTE on their iPhone 5s. The service is only available to Globe postpaid subscribers. Peter Bithos, Senior Advisor for Consumer Business at Globe says, "Globe is making LTE available to everyone on LTE-enabled devices regardless of their plan subscription.”
Existing Globe subscribers who are enrolled in unlisurf plans get unlimited LTE surfing. Postpaid Globe subscribers can also subscribe to mobile internet promotions such as Supersurf and Powersurf to get LTE connectivity. No word on how long unlimited LTE surfing will be provided for free.
Both telcos were scheduled to end unlimited LTE offerings on January 31, 2013. Smart says it has extended the promo till the end of March.
While both networks offer LTE plans for mobile broadband dongles and their current lineup of LTE-enabled phones (Smart offers the Sony Xperia V & ZTE T82 while Globe offers the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE), as of this writing Globe and Smart have yet to announce LTE plans for the iPhone 5. It remains unclear if LTE plans for iPhones will have bandwidth caps for LTE usage.
Smart says LTE services are available in about 200 points across Metro Manila while Globe in a press release today said it has expended LTE services to several areas outside Makati City to include select areas in Manila, Pasig City, Quezon City, Taguig City, Muntinlupa, Mandaluyong, Cebu City, and Boracay.
Also included in the update is the ability to use Siri to purchase movie tickets through Fandango (USA only), the ability to download individual songs from iCloud using the iTunes match service, and a new button to reset the Advertising Identifier.
iOS 6.1 is a free update and is compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad (3rd and 4th gen), iPad mini, iPad 2, and iPod touch (4th and 5th gen). The update is available via iTunes and via an over the air update on supported devices, just navigate to Settings > General > Software update. - Rappler.com
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