It’s not everyday that your telco offers you free LTE connectivity. Got an LTE-enabled device? You can browse at lightning fast speeds for free. That is, if you’re in the Philippines and you’re a Globe Telecom or Smart Communications user. We got word from the telcos that they’re offering free, unlimited access over their LTE networks to existing postpaid subscribers who are already subscribed to a data plan.

This announcement comes after Apple released its iOS 6.1 update, which brings LTE capability to additional networks worldwide. “With this development, Globe postpaid subscribers on iPhone 5 can enjoy blazing mobile internet speeds of up to 42 Mbps in LTE-covered areas without having to upgrade their plans or pay extra charges,” said the statement from Globe’s PR department.

This also comes hot on the heels of rival Smart Communications’ announcement that it is also offering LTE free for postpaid subscribers. However, there’s a catch, as free access will only be until April this year. “Smart iPhone 5 users on iPhone Plans 999 and 2499 and Unlidata Plans 1500, 2000, and 3000 can automatically use Smart LTE for free until April 30, 2013.”

While the media release is mum on other smartphones and devices, it will be likely that other LTE-enabled devices — such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE — can also gain unlimited access, provided that subscribers are within LTE coverage and have an LTE-enabled SIM. Globe’s SuperSurf plan costs PhP 999 per month or US$25. Meanwhile, Smart offers data access at similar rates. Most postpaid plans come inclusive with a data plan, plus consumable amount for calls, messages and other services.

There is a catch, however. While Globe does not explicitly say so, its subscriber terms of service (ToS) has a clause that limits mobile downloads to 800 Mb per day, after which access is either significantly throttled down or blocked until the next day. Globe launched its LTE service with uncapped data, but its regular mobile broadband service comes with this daily limit. As such, there’s no word when the network will start enforcing caps on LTE, too.

Additionally, LTE only works in certain areas, like the Makati business district in Metro Manila. Globe has expanded LTE coverage to some areas within Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and popular beach hotspot Boracay. Outside of coverage, users can access at 3G or 3.5G speeds through HSPA+. For now, subscribers can enjoy unlimited access, hopefully whetting their appetites for faster mobile broadband and faster devices.

Image credit: noodleboss

J. Angelo Racoma
J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise platforms, and is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team that offers digital content and marketing services.