The past few weeks, I noticed some PLDT Home Ultera signs being put up around our neighborhood. I had no idea what it was, so being curious, I googled it to find out if it was something we may want to subscribe to. Who knows, it could turn out to be a good internet plan. *Hopeful pa*
What is PLDT Ultera?
As I understand it, it’s a home-based LTE internet product from PLDT. Unlike DSL, there are no telephone wires involved when setting it up. It’s similar to Smart Bro, PLDT Canopy or Wimax, except that Ultera uses LTE, which means it provides faster internet.
They provide you with an LTE Wifi Modem and an LTE Wifi Receiver (add P250 to your bill for 36 months + P1,500 one-time fee). Think of this like a home-based pocket wifi.
Upon checking their website, I see the plans available and I see that there’s a dreaded data cap. That is a big NO. I would never recommend anything with a data cap, especially for home use. I would only recommend it to someone who is desperate and hopeless of ever getting their own DSL. And even then, I would probably recommend getting a pocket wifi instead with a prepaid SIM.
What is wrong with it?
- Fast internet (supposedly)
- Easy set up
- Data cap – do not ever get a home internet plan with a data cap because you will just end up angry and frustrated. At least they are transparent about it, but still. Let’s stop patronizing internet offers with data caps and demand true unlimited internet
- Only 5 users can connect to the LTE Wifi Modem / Receiver! Please, most households have more than 5 wifi gadgets. First, count each family member’s wifi-capable cellphone, then their tablets, then laptops and computers. And what if you have visitors who brought their own wifi-capable phones, tablets and laptops? What if you have other wifi-capable devices like Smart TVs?
- 36 months lock-in period
The Data Cap
The biggest problem for me is the data cap. I really want to like this plan, I really do. Even if we have DSL at home, I always want to know about alternatives in case we run into a problem, and I know some people who for some reason or other, can’t get a DSL, so I’m always happy to let them know if I find some good alternative for them.
I was actually so excited about this new Ultera plan, thinking that maybe PLDT was offering something good. But that data cap! 1GB per day for a household? Are you kidding?! That is so not enough, not even for one person if you do a bit of streaming! Even the 2.3GB per day is a joke for a household. Just a couple hours of Youtube, Spotify, 9GAG and that 2.3GB can be easily consumed. That’s not even including torrents!
Even totally legit applications use a lot of data, too – Flickr, Dropbox, OneDrive, Evernote, Instagram, G+ Photos… you know, by default, the pictures you take on your phone sync to your cloud accounts, right? That uses data.
What about all those Windows Updates? They are sometimes several GBs big.
Some games are also data-intensive.
So imagine 2-3 people using the internet at home – that 1GB data cap for the Plan 999 will be used up in 30 minutes. What if your kid intentionally or accidentally used up your plan’s 30GB allocation for the month? What are you going to do when you need to go online? You can still go online, at the adjusted speed of 256 kbps. Good luck with your choppy Youtube. What is this? Dial-up?
Also, what if by some miracle, Netflix or Hulu becomes legitimately available in the Philippines? Your internet allocation will be capped halfway through your House of Cards marathon!
Getting a home internet plan with a data cap, and such an unbelievably low one at that, is just setting yourself up for rage later on.
Second, the speed. I thought this was using LTE? Why is the speed only from 3 – 10 Mbps? I thought LTE speed was up to 42 Mbps? Mobile internet LTE in some areas easily reach 25+ Mbps. Why is this only at 3 – 10 Mpbs?
Save yourself. Save your sanity. Don’t go postal. Just don’t get this plan.
If they didn’t have a data cap, I would totally recommend it.
Sure, the 1GB per day cap is a bit higher than Globe’s 800MB, but Globe’s mobile internet was marketed as a personal mobile internet access while on the go and not as a replacement for home broadband. PLDT’s Ultera is intended as a home broadband alternative to DSL. 1GB / day is unacceptable.
Depending on signal strength, I think you’ll be much better off getting a pocket wifi with a prepaid SIM instead – at least there is no lock-in period, and it’s easy to switch networks whenever service goes bad, and there are tips & tricks to get around the capping.
This data capping or tiered data trend is very disturbing. First it’s data capping mobile internet… and once we get used to data capping, what’s next? Are they going to start capping DSL and other internet services?
Let’s vote with our wallets and let these ISPs know that we don’t want metered internet and data capping and throttling, but instead want unlimited internet the way we originally understood it to be, before all the FUPs.
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