LTE 101: Everything You Need to Know About LTE SIM and Gadgets

Last year I wrote about the announcement of GLOBE Tattoo LTE. And that post has spawned more than 60 comments. A lot of people were asking about where to get LTE SIMs and if they could use it with their gadgets.

In this post, I answer those questions! In addition, I will do my best to give you all the information you need relating to LTE.

What is LTE?


According to, “LTE is a 4G wireless communications standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) that’s designed to provide up to 10x the speeds of 3G networks for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and wireless hotspots.”

Basically, LTE is the fastest mobile data connection that you can get. Theoretically when using LTE connection, you can get up to 42 Mbps in the Philippines. But the speed may vary depending where you are. For example, in Alabang, I can get up to 20 Mbps. In some places like Megamall, I can get up to 30 Mbps. On average, I get 6 mbps download speed.


Prepaid vs Postpaid

smart lte sim

Depending on your usage, you can choose between a prepaid or post paid LTE SIM.


When using a prepaid LTE SIM, you will be charged two ways: time and data. Globe and SMART offer unlimited surfing promos. Depending on your usage, you can choose the best ones that fit your budget.


SMART LTE Unlimited Surfing Promo


smart lte data sachets




If you don’t want to go the prepaid route, there are also unlimited data plans available. I have the P1500 unlimited data with 60 minutes free call and 120 texts. This can be useful if you usually use your smartphone for work.

There are also other plans where you get a certain number of hours of mobile data free every month.

Before getting a post paid plan, make sure to check the LTE signal in your location first. You can easily do this by going to SMART or GLOBE’s website.  Their website usually lists the cities and provinces that have LTE coverage. Or ask a friend who has an LTE connection in your area. This way you can be sure that you get good signal before signing a 24-month contract.

LTE Gadgets

Can I use an LTE SIM on my [Insert Name of Gadget Here]?

Basically, if your device is LTE enabled, you will be able to use any LTE SIM. However, if you got your device under a post paid plan, you won’t be able to use SIM cards from other networks. For example, my iPhone 5C is Smart-locked, so I can only use a Smart LTE SIM.

Will a Tattoo LTE SIM work with a Globe LTE Tattoo stick?

If you have a Globe Tattoo LTE pocket WiFi, you can use your postpaid LTE SIM. But you will only be able to use mobile data. You won’t be able to use your SIM for call and text. If you are getting charged for call and text on your postpaid plan,

Converting regular SIM to LTE SIM

Of course, it would be convenient if you can get LTE signal without changing your number. Unfortunately, if you have the old SIM card (non-LTE SIM), you have to get a new number because you’ll have to buy a new LTE SIM card. As of now, Globe or any other TelCo doesn’t offer a service where you could retain your number and get LTE coverage.

Where can I buy Globe Prepaid LTE Nano Sim?


It is available in selected Globe stores nationwide. A few months ago, only GLOBE postpaid subscribers have access to LTE SIMs. But I recently got an update from Globe that it is now available in selected GLOBE stores.



Can I use globe Tattoo SIM card for call and text, and for LTE?


If you have an LTE prepaid SIM, you can use it for call, text, and mobile data.




Do you have a question that wasn’t included in this post? Please feel free to ask them in the comments section.



Irene Chan

Irene Chan

Irene Chan loves two things: communication and technology. With this tech blog and her role as Head of Communications at Veems, she believes she has the best job in the world. 🙂 Besides those two things, she's also crazy for coffee, dogs, and zombies.Follow her on Veems to get tips and fun updates from her geeky life.
Irene Chan

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  • Bam

    Can the LTE Wi-fi be used by any gadget that can use Wi-fi or does it have to be LTE enabled?

    • Irene Enriquez

      It has to be LTE enabled, Bam.

      • Pol

        How ’bout ipad mini?

      • Paul

        Have you tried using your lte sim card on a non-lte capable smartphone (i.e. Samsung Galaxy S4 i9500). Would you have zero mobile data, or would it acquire the next best supported mobile data signal? (i.e. hsdpa+)

        • Irene Enriquez

          I think the latter. I haven’t tried it, but I suspect the SIM would still work and just connect to the next best mobile data signal.

  • Kristine

    Hi, i find your website very useful. Well, I am writing to you about my concern. I am planning to get an LTE unli data plan 999 from Smart. Will it work still if I insert the LTE simcard on my smartbro pocket wifi? I hope you could help me out. Thanks

  • El

    I have my LTE sim in my ipon 4 i enjoyed LTE50 smart twice but as I register again for the 3rd there’s no internet connection. So frustrating !!!! Attention Smart are u really smart? I think u are cause your good in stealing our money!!!

    • Irene Enriquez

      Sorry about that, El. Please tweet @smartcares so they can help you out.

  • jon

    Same story with EI, I got my smart LTE sim then I try thier “LTE 50” while Im on the promo suddenly LTE signal cut and didnt back untill now. They said up to 42mbps where in the peak speed I got is 1.5mbps In full signal. Very dissapointing.

    • Irene Enriquez

      Sorry about that Jon. I have friends from SMART and will bring it up next time we meet. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experience.

  • Art

    FYI, your LTE capable handsets should also have the correct frequency for LTE here in the Philippines. Band 1-3-7 AFAIR. If your LTE handset came from a different country(like my China Mobile LTE phone) it cannot detect any LTE signal. only up to 2G.

    As of today, only some models of Iphone 6/6+ have LTE multiband capabilities.

    • Irene Enriquez

      Wow. Thanks for that, Art. I personally haven’t used phones that came from other countries, but I could totally understand how it would be different when used here.

  • Mikey

    Just some updates on LTE:

    1. SMART can replace old non-LTE SIM cards to LTE nano/dual-cut micro SIM cards. This means you can access LTE using your old number. The first LTE SIM upgrade I’ve done was for my brother (0919 number since 2001) last May 2014.

    2. Those who are having issues with losing SMART LTE is caused by the infamous Fair Usage Policy, wherein you are given 1.5GB per day for surfing. If you blow the cap, the access gets terminated, and will come back the following day. In addition, you’ll be banned from the LTE network for a certain number of days. (I didn’t bother counting because I stopped using LTE 50 and just settled for the volume cap plans). I think this answers EI’s and jon’s concern.

    3. Upgrading to an LTE SIM will not automatically give you LTE. You need an LTE plan (50, 299, 995) to access LTE.

    4. I prefer using SMART Bro Data SIM for LTE. It also has the same cap, but when you blow it, your speed gets throttled to 0.7 – 1 mbps as compared to the mobile SIM that totally terminates your data access even to GPRS/EDGE/3G/HSPA+.

    5. SMART Bro Data Packages are better (FLEXITIME, UNLISURF, BIG BYTES.)

    • Irene Enriquez

      Hi Mikey, would you be willing to write a post about this on GirlyGeek as a guest post?

  • sheryl

    How can i use my lte prepaid sim to my tattoo pocket wifi..ive registerd to supersurf999 but i cant use it even inserting the sim to my samsung core2 phone pls help me

  • Cydo Pink

    ..if I will buy a Globe LTE Sim, can I use it on my Globe Tatoo Pocket Wifi?

    • I asked a Globe rep before she said yes you can use it for the mobile data but you wont be able to use it for text or call.

  • Ralph Pong-Ar

    What’s the current data cap of LTE 50, 295, and 995 ?

  • Gilnard Añana

    Hi Irene,
    What setup would you recommend on my pocket wifi? I’ve been experiencing slow connection since few weeks ago (10Mbps down to 2Mbps)
    Device: Huawei E5372
    Promo: LTE 50
    Current APN: LTEsmartinet
    Preferred mode: 4G only

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  • Is there a way to notice that you have a LTE cross-sim account number… Honest to tell, there are callers in my number looking for the same name and sometimes are bank keep texting and calling to my number… I don’t know how, another one was, after i load 50php load, in few hours, my load watch will inform me that I am out of load for 2php… what the heck… looking for a good suggestion.

  • Kendrea

    Hi Irene,

    Just want to ask what’s the differnce between the smart http prepaid with smart internet prepaid. which should be ticked? I cant find anywhere what’s the difference of these two options.

  • Ryan

    pwede po ba ang LTE sim sa iphone 4S and malakas ba signal pag nasa dasmarinas cavite?

    • I don’t think 4s is LTE enabled. Haven’t been to Dasma so don’t know how strong the signal is.

  • Nicky Jacob

    3G network and 3G Device.
    3G network and 4G Device.
    which is faster? or Same speed ? Im planning to buy 4G device but my network/sim is 3G, i dont want to change my network/sim…will it increase the speed of my net im if i insert the 3G sim to 4G device?need help..thanks ..

  • Kevin Quijano

    Panu po kung hspa+ ung phone tas kakabitan mu ng LTE prepaid sim pwede pu ba in o babagal internet speed? Tnx.

  • Jaz,

    I’m planning to buy LTE sim pero will it work sa non-LTE ready phone? 3G lang?



  • Valen Virtudazo

    Hey i just bought a smartbro lte sim, my question is could i use it on my mobile phone? experia m4aqua?

  • Alexander Miranda Jr.

    I bought my sim card with my 3G phone last year. And now i’d plan to buy a new phone (4G phone) but I’m not sure about my sim if it is 4G (forgotten)? Coz i still want to use it, basically for work. My sim number starts with 0949…
    I want to know if it 3G or 4G.

    Waiting for a reply. Thanks!

  • Denisse Ganapao

    Hi Irene. I just want to know your insights about the problem I am experiencing with my Smartbro LTE Pocket Wifi. I’ve been streaming videos and using my SNS last Sunday [5/15/16] but then the signal suddenly dropped, there’s no bars on my signal strength at all despite I am using it outside our home which has good LTE Signal. Until now [5/19/16] I cannot use it because there’s still no signal bar even when I tried turning it off then on hundreds of time.

  • Selina Gualberto

    Hello, I bought a Globe LTE pocket wifi. How do i know if i have an LTE connection? It only says 4G on the display. Thanks!

  • Ben Santiago

    Hi Irene! Good day I have some question I buy Globe LTE pocket wifi but my mobile phone is not LTE only 3G, can my mobile phone connect/work to the pocket wifi LTE? or not? Hope for your comments. Thanks!