SMART has just introduced a new “Always On” internet service for what we would deem as light or moderate users of mobile data. The service is what we would call a long validity, capped data plan for postpaid, prepaid and broadband SIM users – since most of them are valid for 30 days. While they last like you would expect an entire month would, they have data caps that are actually your hard limits. Once you reach these hard caps, your validity will have effectively been revoked. Still, for light users or users who use data lightly, then this just might be for them as opposed to higher cost unlimited plans. Details on these after the jump.
As you could see, the 1-day validity services are only PHP 20 and 30, but with a limited cap of 25MB and 30MB respectively. In comparison, most telcos charge about PHP 10 for every 30 minutes of use with uncapped data and unlimited for one day costs PHP 50 with a much higher cap of 800MB or higher. The 30-day plans can also be considered cheap for an entire month of use, but with a much lower cap on data. Most unlimited plans start at PHP 1k or PHP 700 for postpaid users, and they have much higher caps.
So who are these plans for? It seems they would be great for light to moderate users of their mobile internet on the go – targeting a market where this would not be their primary means of accessing the web. We’d imagine this would be great to have for people who do a lot of e-mails, use a lot of microblogging, (eg. Twitter, etc.) or location based social networking (Foursquare, etc.) since those don’t use up too much bandwidth.
If you’re part of that demographic (E-mail, Twitter, Foursquare on mobile phones) user like us, this might be a great deal. However, we think the best plan here is the Always On 300, with the two 1-day validity plans offering a slightly decent deal for when you have a long day ahead. The other three 30-day valid plans seem too much for a capped service to us. Paying PHP 500, 750, and 995 for limited plans seem too much, especially since its easy to get unlimited monthly plans for pretty much the same prices – all without the burden of hard data caps. Still the Always On 300 plan only gives you 250MB of data, which equates to about 8.3MB per day if you wanted to max out the 30 day use. That’s not a lot. Some image heavy web browsing, or more than one YouTube or music use for the day and you’ll easily fill 8MB. So users should keep this in mind.
Fortunately we’ll bite the bullet for you guys and give this a try. We’re planning to take the Always On 300 for a test drive soon and report our bandwidth use every few days and how we’ve been using it. We’ll try to keep it under 8.3MB per day as well to maintain the 30-day validity and test the speed every so often. This should give you a better idea if this plan is for you.
Either way, if you’re on a SMART postpaid, prepaid or broadband SIM right now and interested in these Always On deals, you can activate it by texting Always On 20/30/300/500/750/995 to 2200.
Sources: Smart.com.ph and Smart’s Facebook Page
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Hi! I would like to know how your test drive on this new service is doing? Thanks!
Hi Adrian, we’re on our 4th day today. We started on August 1. The speeds we get from Speedtest are decent (around 140-200KB/sec) but of course we’re not using it to download large files. We’re subscribed to the 250MB 30 day plan and so far we’ve used about 20MB from our occasional Tweeting, Foursquare, E-mail, MMDA traffic check, etc. It’s not bad, but sometimes the internet lags – like when we’re trying to check locations on Foursquare.
Since its only the 4th day, we’ve not formed a complete opinion about it yet. We noticed that if we keep the sync on with data on it uses quite a bit of data as it’s probably syncing contacts and whatnot on our Android phones. We’ll need to test it a lot more when we have the chance.
Hope that gives you a good idea of the experience for now. We’ll keep you posted!
Thanks for the update! As for me, I’m on my seventh day on the 250MB 30 day plan. The connection is sometimes laggy. I’m averaging 10MB a day. I’m following your idea to keep usage below 8.3MB. I noticed the same thing too that if you keep background data and auto-sync on, I consume more data.
The service seems ok for small tasks during the day. Haven’t had a “regular” day of use with it yet since I’ve had an unusual schedules the past days. Sometimes I’m outside for the whole day, sometimes I stay somewhere with full WiFi/land based internet access. So some days I use it a lot, some days I don’t.
Still, always great to have access to Twitter and Foursquare when you’re out. And since I can “save” my data when I’m on a WiFi spot I can always use it for a different day.
Hope the service gives us all a good experience overall. All it might need now is slightly less laggy-ness.
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