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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Buying a phone guide - What is LTE and which one to buy?

Thinking of buying a new smart phone but don't know which one to choose? Its even harder now with multiple phone brands and type flooding the market. New phone are marketed with technical specification as the selling point, a daunting task for someone who don't understand the words used. We understand your frustration and we at Mytechgarbage will try to explain each important specification to help you in making decision for your next phone.

In this article, we will try to explain one of the most marketed phone specification, LTE network capability. What is LTE? and what potential buyer need to check on the phone to make sure the LTE works? We will try to explain the type of LTE and which one you should be looking at depending on which country you are from.

What is LTE?
In short, LTE is the latest mobile network standard used by most new phone that will give user faster access to the internet. LTE is one of the 4G standard accepted and widely used around the world but there are multiple type of LTE depending on which country you are. LTE, as other mobile networks such as 2G and 3G uses multiple radio frequencies to connect between phone and cell tower for voice and data communications. 

Type of LTE
There are 2 type of LTE That is FDD-LTE and TDD-LTE, most mobile phone would only be able to use either of these two type. We wouldn't dwell to much on the technical difference but will explain on the impact if you buy a phone that doesn't support your carrier LTE type. When buying a smartphone with LTE, you have to make sure what is your carrier LTE type and buy only phone that support the same type. Buying a phone that doesn't support your carrier type would make your phone uses the lower speed of 3G only.

LTE Frequency and Band
After making sure about the supported type of LTE, then came the frequencies or band that you phone support. There are close to 30 band available but most of the current carrier will support band 1/3/7/8 on FDD and band 34/38 on TDD.  If you phone model don't show the band number but show supported frequency, here is a reference table for band number and their frequency.

Type Band Frequency
FDD 1 2100
FDD 3 1800
FDD 7 2600
FDD 8 900
TDD 34 2100
TDD 38 2600

Hope this article can help you to choose your new LTE phone wisely and please be aware that any unsupported band of LTE will only make your phone connect to 3G. So choose the correct phone for the correct provider so that you can really use the extra speed available on LTE.

If you have any question, please do use the comment below and we will answer your question as soon as possible.

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