- LTE Knowledge & FAQ

SimDiscount for favourable LTE internet rates

Highspeed surfing with a mobile phone? SimDiscount has cheap LTE tariffs on offer! Take advantage of inexpensive rates for mobile Internet with LTE for fast Internet access.

Your SimDiscount LTE benefits

  • faster Internet connection: high surfing speed
  • more download speed and shorter response times (e.g. in online gaming)
  • LTE Internet also provided by a mobile tariff without minimum contract term (monthly cancellable)
  • inexpensive & convenient use of LTE Internet with your mobile phone

Convince yourself of our individual tariff selection for LTE Internet at SimDiscount, the top provider of cheap mobile phone rates (SIM only).

LTE Internet: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here is our comprehensive mobile Internet guide on LTE supporting your fare search for inexpensive mobile phone rates with LTE Internet.

What does LTE mean?

Long Term Evolution (LTE) is the name for a mobile radio standard. In the further development of 3G standards (UMTS / HSDPA) LTE is called 4G (4th generation mobile standard). LTE supports fundamentally higher data transfer rates, shorter reaction times and therefore faster mobile Internet. By the way, the counterpart to LTE is mobile WiMAX (not available in Germany).

Why LTE?

LTE Internet is characterized by a high transmission rate and therefore works more conveniently than the previous mobile radio standards including UMTS (3G) and Edge (E). LTE (4G) does not only support fast data transfers. Furthermore, LTE is characterized by a less interference-prone network in comparison with UMTS.
With bandwidth of currently up to 50 Mbit/s and a more flexible availability in the mobile network, especially in rural areas, LTE is a high-quality alternative where there is a lack of good DSL Internet with similar high-bandwidth (DSL 50,000).

LTE Internet for mobile phones: Why?

Mobile Internet gets more and more popular. Therefore carriers and mobile phone manufacturers are also targeting LTE technology and provide LTE-enabled smartphones, powerful LTE networks and LTE Internet at favorable rates.

Which are the important LTE Internet benefits?

Highspeed surfing with LTE: Benefit from these special features in the use of LTE Internet with your mobile phone:

  • higher surfing speed
  • faster data transfer (upload and download)
  • shorter response times (latency, ping time)
  • backward-compatible use (If LTE is not available, UMTS is provided etc.)
  • modern, cost-effective network expansion (fast mobile Internet where DSL is missing)
  • continuous development, for example, LTE Advanced with up to 300 Mbit/s download, 50 Mbit/s upload or Voice over LTE (VoLTE)

LTE availability and offers: Who and where?

LTE is already well established in Germany and many other countries. First of all, the websites of the major network operators in Germany (Telekom, Vodafone, O2/E-Plus) provide firsthand information on the LTE availability and coverage in Grmany. Secondly, there is a variety of independent websites offering LTE availability checks by address.

LTE frequencies: Which network operator is using what LTE frequencies?

For LTE data connections the German network operators primarily use these frequencies: 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz. We recommend contacting the respective network operator (e.g. Telekom, Vodafone, O2) in advance for in-depth information on the used LTE frequencies depending on location and network coverage. For example, the LTE frequency 800MHz is spread more in rural areas than in urban areas and cities.

What about LTE in Europe and the world?

  • In other European countries also the LTE frequencies are 900 MHz and 2300 MHz are disseminated.
  • In South America the LTE networks rely on the following frequencies: 1700 (Band 4), 1800, 1900 und 2600 MHz.
  • The Pacific region and Asia regularly support thes LTE frequencies: 850/1500/1800/2100/2300/2500 MHz.

How fast is LTE?

LTE and LTE-Advanced are ready for very fast data transfer rates that exceed the mobile radio standard UMTS (3G) and partly DSL Internet significantly. In theory, up to 300 Mbit/s in download can be reached. In practice, this bandwiths needs to be further expanded, including the development of LTE Cat-4 and LTE Cat-6 standards.

LTE ping time - What does it mean?

The PING time forms part to measure the shorter reaction times with LTE Internet (e.g. when loading a web page). Ping detects the exact time needed for sending and receiving data packets. With a ping time between 20 and 80 ms LTE is ideal for a stable and fast data transfer for applications like Skype or online games, especially in comparison with the regular ping time of other technologies:

  • LTE: 20 to 80 ms
  • HSPA: 80 to 140 ms
  • UMTS: 200 to 400 ms
  • DSL: 15 to 100 ms

When was LTE established?

The first LTE offers in Germany were placed in Germany upon completion of a mobile frequency auction (May 2010). Formerly started as a pilot project with selected test customers, the first network operators who commercially launched LTE in Germany in the first half of 2011 include Vodafone and Telekom. Since then, the LTE network expansion is in full swing and also proves to be cost-effective in terms of the further broadband deployment in Germany.

What about the LTE costs?

The LTE network can be used both, stationary (LTE at home as DSL alternative) and independently of location for fast mobile Internet. Depending on your network operator and LTE providers the supported bandwidths (data transfer rates) vary.

Please check our SimDiscount tariff comparison for further information.

What kind of hardware do I need for LTE?

LTE use does require a general network coverage as well as compatible hardware. If you want to use LTE (4G), your device must also support this standard (e.g. LTE modem, LTE-enabled mobile phones, tablets with LTE support).

LTE Internet rates: Which LTE tariff is right for me?

There are a variety of mobile phone tariffs with LTE Internet. Which LTE tariff might be a perfect match, always depends on personal use and desired conditions:

  • Frequent Internet users are happy with high bandwidths of LTE Internet flat-rates.
  • Internet surfers with an average usage can rely on rate plans with a certain inclusive data volume for LTE Internet (e.g. 500 MB).
  • Internet users who are occasionally connected with LTE might choose from inexpensive package rates for mobile Internet, telephony and SMS.

Important facts for a good tariff selection are also:

  • the supported bandwith, e.g. 21 Mbit/s or 50 Mbit/s
  • the provided data volume, for example, 1 GB LTE Internet

How much data volume do I need? We are more than happy to answer this question in our Mobile Internet Guide.

Distinguished by favorable LTE tariffs without a minimum contract term SimDiscount might offer the mobile phone rate you are looking for. In addition, SimDiscount customers benefit from fast LTE Internet with data automatic and low package prices for mobile phone rate plans with favorable telephone, SMS and Internet conditions. More here.

How can I get more LTE data volume?

Many SimDiscount LTE rates include an automatic service for cost-effective data volume upgrades. And here is how it works:

One example are LTE tariffs with automatic data services (e.g. SimDiscount LTE M 2000):

  • If the included data volume is depleted prior to the end of the month, the data volume is automatically expanded.
  • A maximum of 3x 100 MB (= 300 MB LTE Internet) is charged for a small price (2 € per 100 MB).
  • At 6 € (3x 2 EUR), there is an automatic cost-stop.
  • The customer will be notified by SMS if the data volume is expanded.

What does LTE-Advanced mean?

Long Term Evolution (LTE) describes the first stage of development of the mobile radio standards of the fourth generation. In research, LTE Advanced (LTE-A) actually corresponds to the 4G standard. In common parlance the term 4G is even used for the overall LTE network (acutally 3.9G).

Compared to LTE LTE-Advanced allows faster data transfers, tested with up to 300 Mbit/s. It might also cover up to 1000 Mbit s download and 500 Mbit/s upload in the future. The technical background of this highspeed surfing is called LTE carrier aggregation: the parallel use of multiple LTE frequencies (e.g. 1800 and 2600 MHz).

What is 4G?

The acronym 4G stands for the wireless mobile radio standard of the fourth generation, taking over from UMTS (3G) and and commonly named as LTE. However, the first LTE standard has been scientifically defined by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as 3.9G and LTE Advanced (LTE-A) as 4G. In practice, LTE and 4G are more often set to identical values by network operators and hardware manufacturers.

What is 5G?

The research on the 5th generation of the mobile radio standard (5G) has already started. Up to 10.000 Mbit/s (= 10 Gbit/s) might be obtained in data transfer in the future which would be about 33 times as fast as LTE-Advanced (LTE Cat6 with 300 Mbit/s).
When the 5G mobile standard will be successfully established in Germany, faster data transfer and more highspeed surfing is on the go. However, this will require a more targeted network expansion. Another mobile frequency auction lead by the Federal Network Agency in Germany in May 2015 was an important cornerstone of that developement.
The 5G mobile standard is developed by Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN), an organization with several German partners such as the local network operators (Telekom, Vodafone, O2). First 5G tests are planned in 2017 (e.g. Telekom). The 5G network might then be ready for commercial use from the year 2020.

What is LTE Cat-4?

LTE Cat-4 stands for faster data transfer rates of up to 150 Mbit/s. Offers for this rapid LTE are especially available in big cities and provided by the major network operators. In addition to the LTE network coverage, it is also crucial that the used devices (e.g. mobile phone) support LTE Cat 4. These include those smartphones: Apple iPhone 6 Plus & iPhone 6, HTC One M8, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z3 & Z3 Compact.

What is LTE Cat-6?

LTE Cat-6 stands for Internet data transfer rates of up to 300 Mbit/s. This corresponds to the standard LTE Advanced (LTE-A) and is already available in selected German cities and urban areas. Analogous to LTE Cat-4 and LTE appropriate hardware is requeired. Mobile phones supporting LTE Cat-6 include:HTC One M9, LG G4 & LG G Flex 2, Samsung Galaxy Alpha, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge & Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 & Galaxy Note Edge.

How do I know if I have LTE?

You can easily check whether LTE is Internet ist available at your mobile phone, tablet or another device:

  • Activate the data services (mobile Internet) on your device. The used mobile radio standard will then be displayed on the home screen including its signal strength (e.g. E for EDGE, 3G UMTS, H for HSPA, 4G for LTE).
  • In addition, various apps and online tests are available for measuring Internet speed and for monitoring data transmission.

Why can't I use LTE?

If LTE Internet is activated for your tariff, but you don't have quick access to the network, please consider these facts:

  • Is LTE generally available at the current location?
  • Is the used device LTE-capable?

The surfing speed with LTE also depends on the respective location, the selected LTE network (+ coverage) and the concrete LTE frequency range. Plese note: In the absence of LTE the backward compatibility of the mobile technology automatically provides data connections via HSPA, UMTS, etc.

LTE speed test: How does it work?

There are many ways of monitoring Internet speed and LTE connections, for example with online LTE speed tests at web pages or by using specific applications at mobile phones or tables. General information on the regular surfing speed will be provided by the respective LTE tariff provider.

LTE use on my mobile phone or tablet: How do I know?

Please review the technical data sheet for your device where supported mobile data services are regularly listed. You might also use the settings menu on your mobile phone to check which mobile radio standard is activated.

Which LTE phones are good?

There is a great deal of mobile phones with LTE support, from cheap to expensive. As some mobile phones support different standards and LTE frequencies, we recommend taking some time for the selection. High-quality LTE phones support many LTE frequencies (800, 1800, 2600 MHz) and both LTE Cat-4 and LTE Cat-6. These include:

  • Samsung Galaxy Phones: S6, S6 Edge, Note 4, Note Edge, Alpha
  • LG Mobile Phones: G4, G Flex 2
  • HTC Phones: One M9

Popular LTE mobile phones, each with LTE Cat-4 support, include Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact.

iPhone and LTE: What should I know?

There are some Apple iPhone devices that support LTE. However, the smartphone does not necessarily transmit on all popular LTE frequencies. The LTE Cat-4 standard is a common mobile data transfer feature of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Users of the Apple iPhone 5 need to know that it only supports the LTE frequency 1800 MHz.