Monday, September 5, 2011

To Smart Rocket or not to Smart Rocket, that is the question

I'm trying very hard not to be excited about Smart Rocket, the new 4G wireless Internet thing which Smart is thumping its chest about. The nerd in me is excited as hell. It's 12mbps, bitches! The thing is, having been around during the advent of 3G (and being partly responsible for the hype of that), I know that I should be cautiously optimistic at best. 

The promise of 3G was fast internet everywhere. In practice, I've found 3G to be next to useless except for checking mail, checking in to foursquare, and occasionally light browsing. Plus I can never find a 3G signal when I need one. 4G promises the next quantum leap in fast wireless Internet. Hooray? I want to be excited about 4G, but I'm holding myself back. Why? Read on.

Real speed
Real speeds are not the advertised speed. 12mbps is crazy fast, but real speeds are always lower. Advertised numbers are burst speeds at the higher end of the spectrum. That's just the way it is because that's how nerds measure speed. Even then, a fraction of 12mbps is still fast. So the question is…how fast is it? Yugatech made an interesting speed test in different areas around the metro. Nothing surprising here. But it does look good in some places.

4G isn't quite everywhere yet. The Smart Bro site gives a list of areas where 4G coverage is available. And Boni/Mandaluyong-Pioneer, where I live, isn't one of them. The nearest 4G tower is in SM Megamall. So it looks like I might have to pass on testing this thing out. Anyone out there tried Smart Rocket in the Boni area? C'mon, give me an excuse to get one of these babies!

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