With all our telecom companies in the process of removing their “unlimited” internet offers, we are now faced with the task of choosing which mobile internet solution is best for us.
This is the second part in our “How To Choose The Best Mobile Internet Plan For You” series. This is a continuation of Part 1: How to Choose the Best Mobile Internet – Postpaid or Prepaid?
SMART, GLOBE OR SUN?
You also need to decide which telecom company you are going to use. This depends on factors like which company has the better signal where you need it, how much their promos are, etc…
In my experience and in areas where I frequent, Smart has the faster internet. Globe’s slow internet can’t even let my sister play Summoner’s War in Makati! Yes, Makati near the corner of Paseo de Roxas and Ayala Ave! Where Globe should have the best service. And we used to have a problem with Sun Cellular’s mobile internet where we can’t send or receive Viber pictures. Smart’s internet has also had a few problems but I find it the better of the three.
Test, test, test!
It really depends on what you need your internet for. So I suggest that you test out their internet services before committing to anything. If you can spare the money, try buying (or borrowing from friends) SIM cards from each company, registering for any 1-3 days internet package, and testing it out. Hopefully, your experience will help you decide which company to go for. The little amount you spend here for testing might save you a lot of money and murderous rage down the road.
You can always keep the spare SIM cards as back up (if you go to a place where Smart’s signal is weak, you use your Globe SIM instead).
LTE or non-LTE?
It really depends if the area you are in is covered by LTE. If it’s not covered by LTE, then it’s a moot point. Many, many areas are not yet covered by LTE, our area included. It’s been 3 years since they launched LTE and still have spotty LTE coverage in most of Metro Manila!
Regular 4G is fine. It’s not like you can do anything about it, anyway. A good 4G connection can be faster than DSL! You also have more promo choices to pick from. Just don’t make any major money investments in non-LTE gadgets – you might have to replace them with an LTE gadget soon, once the telcos get around to expanding LTE coverage.
You might not have to replace your old gadgets just yet. Your old 3G 3.6 Mbps USB modems and pocket wifis still work. While you’re testing out the different mobile internet networks, use Speedtest to check your mobile network speed. In most cases, you’ll only get 1 – 3 Mbps anyway. During my tests, my Smart Freedom Plan gave me consistently higher results at 4 – 5 Mbps. My prepaid Globe, Smart and Sun gave me 0.3 – 3 Mbps, sometimes 4 Mbps (rare), but mostly in the 1-2 Mbps range.
So if you don’t want to spend money to get a faster USB modem or pocket wifi, you can continue using your old 3G gadgets. Their top speed is 3.6 Mbps but what is the point of getting a faster gadget if your average mobile internet speed is way less than 3.6 Mbps?
Again, this depends on your test results and location.
Don’t be confused by all the terms! Know the difference!
LTE – up to 42 Mbps speed
4G – here in the Philippines, generally understood to be up to 21 Mbps speed
3G / 3.5G – here in the Philippines, generally understood to be up to 3.6 Mbps (3G) and 7.2 Mbps (3.5G) speed
Take note: Sun Cellular’s non-LTE Broadband speed is only up to 7.2Mbps max.
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