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iPhone 5 and iPad Owners Rejoice as Maxis Becomes First Operator in Malaysia to Bring 1800MHz (Band 3) LTE


When the availability of LTE networks was first announced in Malaysia early this year, iPhone and iPad owners wondered if their device could take advantage of the blazing speeds that the new network standard has to offer.

Back then, LTE in Malaysia was only available on one spectrum, the 2600MHz (band 7) spectrum, which is not compatible with the iPhone 5 and the new iPad. Early on, there were talks about repurposing the existing 1800MHz spectrum currently used for GSM to support LTE and while telcos confirmed that 1800MHz will eventually be used for LTE, both regulators and operators didn’t provide much information on when and how it will happen.

As it turns out, the 1800MHz refarming is happening and Maxis is quick to stake its claim as the first operator in Malaysia to make band 3 LTE available to Malaysians.

So what does this mean to you? Well, if you’re an iPhone 5, iPad (fourth generation) or iPad mini user, it means that you can now jump on board the LTE bandwagon (where coverage is available and only if you’re a Maxis subscriber at the moment). Congratulations. This also means that future iPhones and iPads will support Malaysia’s LTE network.

For you to access the Maxis LTE on your iPhone 5 or compatible iPad, you’ll need to run the latest carrier settings update. There should be a notification about this update on your device already. If you have not received the update notification yet, just run a manual update check — Go to Settings > General > About. The update should be available then.

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Maxis say that subscribers who subscribe to data plans with a data quota of 1GB and above are able to jump on LTE automatically. Those with data plans with data quota lower than 1GB will have to upgrade to enjoy Maxis LTE speeds. Why is this? Maxis say that because of the super fast speeds on LTE (between 10 to 30Mbps), you’ll have the tendency to use up your data quota faster hence the need to upgrade to a higher data quota plan.

What about if you’re on other operators? Well, it depends on when these operators want to launch their LTE service and if they have the 1800MHz spectrum to use in the first place. So if you’re on Celcom and DiGi, there is a possibility that band 3 LTE will be available for you. P1 4G or Yes 4G on the other hand may not be able to offer band 3.

On a side note: Wondering when Celcom will launch their LTE plans.