Not long after successfully bidding for the LTE frequency, Dialog launched its Mobile LTE network few weeks back. This enables 4G network on supported mobiles and USB LTE modems. Lets take a look at some of the aspects of this new service
The frequency band used is 10 MHz from the 1800 MHz band. The 1800 MHz band is currently the most used frequency band for LTE deployment around the world. The 700 MHz band would have provided better coverage, but seems free bands on it were not available.
The Mobile LTE coverage is currently available in the Colombo 1 – 15 area. Since the frequency band used is in the 1800MHz range, the indoor penetration of the signals would be less than in the case where the 700MHz band was used. However since there wont be large number of users initially, even with marginal signals one should be able to get good speeds.
As the frequency bandwidth is 10MHz, theoretically one would be able to reach upto 50 Mbps speeds. However 20-30 Mbps would be the practically achievable speeds. This might also vary according to the bottlenecks in the server you are accessing and also the device category.
You would require a FD-LTE 1800 MHz Band 3 compatible handset or a dongle to be able to use Dialog mobile LTE. The dongle currently available through Dialog is the Huawei E398U which is priced at Rs. 16,000. That is quite a price for an USB modem. The price of these type of units directly depends on the quantity in the production line. Since the demand is still less for these devices, the number of units manufacture in batches are low and hence the high price.
Only a few mobile LTE supported mobile phones are currently available in the market, although this number would increase significantly by the end of the year. Please check below for some of the supported mobile phones available in Sri Lanka.
- Samsung I9305 Galaxy S III
- Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
- Sony Xperia V
- Sony Xperia Z
- LG Optimus G
(Note: Mobile LTE is not supported on Apple devices have not enabled the service for Sri Lanka)
Dialog Mobile LTE would be used less for personal broadband data as the price of the dongle is high. The dongle would be more appropriate for an office use, where it is used to create a Wi-Fi Zone.
In the initial stages Mobile LTE would be used more in phones. Streaming HD video would be a main usage. With the large HD displays on the supported handsets, watching HD videos would be a treat. Browsing and email would also be a breeze with 4G , and if needed one can always generate a hotspot from the phone for a high speed WiFi.
What do you need to start using Dialog Mobile LTE?
You will need a supported device (phone or dongle) and a 4G enabled SIM which you need obtain from a Dialog outlet for Rs. 150. Also you would need a postpaid connection as it is still not available for prepaid.