Maxis Says LTE Smartphone Plans Coming Soon

There has been as much confusion as there is interest about the latest wireless technology to hit Malaysia — LTE. LTE is capable of delivering download speeds up to 100Mbps and promises to offload data traffic from 3G networks struggling to keep up with an ever increasing load and when voice-over LTE comes to Malaysia, we will be able to enjoy much improved call quality with HD Voice. But unlike the current crop of 3G smartphones, the availability of phones that are compatible with the 2600MHz (Band 7) LTE standard used in Malaysia is rare and many are asking what phones currently in the market support the 2600MHz frequency.

Before that, let’s start off with LTE devices on sale in Malaysia that are not compatible with 2600MHz. The iPhone 5, iPad mini and iPad 4 are not compatible with Malaysia’s LTE network. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

  • iPhone 5 model A1429 sold here only works with 2100MHz (Band 1), 1800MHz (Band 3) and 850MHz (Band 5)
  • iPad mini model A1455 and iPad 4 model A1460 sold here works with 2100MHz (Band 1) 1800MHz (Band 3) and 850MHz (Band 5), 700 MHz (Band 13) and 1900MHz (Band 25)
  • No versions of the iPhone or iPad currently sold anywhere in the world is compatible with 2600MHz.

Currently, there are three devices that are compatible with 2600MHz – ASUS Padfone 2, Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. We got in touch with Mark Dioguardi, Chief Operating Officer at Maxis and he confirms that the three devices will work with Maxis LTE.

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The problem is, the LTE plans available from Maxis at the moment are for data only. So while you can put a Maxis LTE SIM card into an LTE compatible phone and you will be able to access data services, you won’t be able to make or receive phone calls. For this Dioguardi says that Maxis “will be announcing LTE enabled plans to support LTE SmartPhones soon.” And that’s something we’re curious about.

Let’s also look at devices in the horizon that will work here. The soon to be release Sony Xperia V supports 2600MHz. There are also versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III (GT-I9305) and Galaxy Note II (GT-N7105) that support 2600MHz as well, so it’s safe to assume that operators looking to make LTE phones available in Malaysia in the shortest time possible will chose to offer these models. In addition to this, there is a growing list of multi-band LTE smartphones that will be compatible with 2600Mhz and as operators like Maxis and Celcom continue to expand their LTE networks, the selection of LTE devices for you to choose will grow as well.

Got a question about LTE? Let us know and we’ll try our best to answer them.