Wednesday, October 20, 2010

To apply for unlimited mobile internet plan (Philippines) or not ?

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As smartphones or small internet devices are becoming popular and popular, at the same time wireless internet connection is becoming ubiquitous and cheaper, it's now easier for everyone to be connected to the internet. While being online is fun and productive, it also incurs costs.  One of the most ask question to me by my friends is "should I apply for an unlimited mobile internet plan?". This is what I usually ask them before giving any advice:

On average, how many hours do you NEED to spend online everyday?
Will you be using it mainly to download large files?
What network are you subscribed now? are you willing to change network?

Before I start explaining, check out my previous post on Unlimited mobile internet from globe , sun and smart - prepaid version. (use this as reference) .

One major consideration in deciding is the frequency of usage. Frequency of usage is directly proportional to data cost incurred.
Smallest denomination of mobile internet billing is from globe which is 5 pesos per 15 mins (sun and smart offers 10 pesos per 30 mins).

For Post paid plans

If you will be using mobile internet for more than 1 hour and 15 minutes everyday, i'ts more cost effective to apply for Sun's unlimited mobile internet plan 699. If you don't want to switch to sun , then you must be online for atleast 2 hours everyday to justify the bill of 40 pesos per day or 1200 pesos per month on Globe and Smart unlimited mobile internet postpaid plans.

For Pre Paid users

Pre paid offerings provide more flexibility in terms of payment and usage but is priced higher when it comes to bills. Cheapest you can get is Globe's 5 pesos per 15 mins. So if you're not spending more than 2 hours (for smart) or 2.5 hours (for globe and sun), it's more cost effective by just using their "per 15 mins" or "per 30 mins" internet service.

I'll give you an idea. One good example is me, I have a dsl + wifi  at home and wifi at the office (but facebook and other social site is blocked). Since I spend almost 40% of my time weekly at the office and 30% at home (the rest somewhere else), I already have free internet connection on my phone. So I'll just need to have an internet connection on the go but not for a long time, example is 15-30 mins surfing while riding MRT to kill time or research-on-the-way to movie houses or any place. Average of 15 mins per day usage and so my 
strategy is to just use 5 pesos per 15 mins when needed (i'm on globe by the way) and i just register for 1 day unlimited internet when we travel or I needed to have a internet connection for long period of times (very few occasions). My data bill is playing around 200-300 pesos per month using this model. 
In the case of my friend who lives in a condo, the cost effective way of using internet service is by monthly unlimited mobile internet. He seldom goes home (province) that's why most of the time he's online, he is using his phone as a modem, connected to a laptop he uses. He can't commit to a cheaper dsl line cause moves to other condo units if he wants to. 
I forgot to mention that if you plan on using your mobile internet for downloading large files, which means connecting to the internet for a long time, I suggest you apply for broadband USB sticks (globe tattoo, sun broadband, smart bro) or MiFI (mobile routers) instead. When you use your phone's connection to download large files for a long period of time, theres a tendency for the device to heat up continously (affecting its longevity)

While I recommend Sun's unlimited mobile internet because its the cheapest in town, not all people are willing to change network or even apply for a 2 year contract that's why they settle on their own networks internet offerings. Globe also offers the fastest mobile internet connection in terms of numbers but there's no big difference on the speed of the 3 telcos when it comes to experience. Numbers are just numbers, its the overall experience that dictates customer satisfaction.

If you have access to free wifi, think twice before committing to post paid plans. You can save a lot of money by utilizing wifi hotspot, and they're faster (most of the time).

If you want to suggest an article you want me to talk about, just drop an email (found on the left side of this website). Hope this article helps.

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