Globe and SMART’s Fair Use Policy for Mobile Internet

For the past few days, I’ve been seeing a number of friends posting complaints about Globe’s data cap for mobile internet. We’ve also received a number of messages on our Facebook page inquiring about Globe’s data cap or Fair Use Policy, as well as SMART’s.

GLOBE fair use policy data cap

But why are we really frustrated? What is data capping and why do these networks have fair use policies in the first place?

Before mobile internet was mainstream, back in the days when we proud ourselves as being the SMS capital of the world, unlimited service was actually ‘unlimited’.  Say, in the case of unlimited text service, one can basically send SMS all they want (without making huge impact on network traffic). Well, large scale SMS clogs the network at times, especially during Christmas and New Year, but that is a different story.

For home and mobile internet, bandwidth is a shared resource.  Being that, users who excessively use peer-to-peer applications like BitTorrent to download movies, music or files and those who frequent on video and music streaming sites affect the internet usage/performance of  other subscribers. This is the main reason why networks have fair use policies in place – to limit the maximum amount of data being used by its users, in turn discourage network abuse and provide equal opportunity for its users to enjoy quality internet.

Globe vs. SMART Fair Usage Policy / Data Cap for Mobile Internet

Daily Monthly Throttle
Globe Prepaid Promos 800MB
Postpaid 1 GB
Tattoo sticks 800MB (prepaid), 1GB (postpaid)
3GB  64kbps

Looking at the two major networks, Globe has a consumable 1 GB data for a day or 3 GB for a month before it implements it data cap while SMART has a limit of 1.5 GB (daily or monthly). SMART’s Fair Use Policy applies to its mobile internet service but does not include its Value-Added Services (VAS) such as push email, messaging, BlackBerry service and International data charges. Globe on the other hand implements its data cap to all its surfing promos and data plans for Globe postpaid and Tattoo Lifestyle Sticks, except PowerSurf and those who use mobile internet on regular browsing rates of Php 5 per 15 minutes.

So, what happens when you’ve exceeded your mobile data limit? The networks downgrade your connection from LTE, HSPA+ or 3G to 2G. In a sense, that still makes the service ‘unlimited’, but you get to make do of the lower browsing speed.

Data capping and fair usage policy is nothing new. In fact, even networks abroad are implementing the same.  Maybe what gets us really frustrated is the word ‘unlimited’ when user’s unlimited data plans are actually limited and regulated.  Browsing our local providers’ websites, most unlimited data plans do not mention the monthly quota.  Perhaps they need to start including it on their websites to avoid confusions.

Globe Fair Use Policy

SMART Fair Use Policy


  • couljahboi

    Any update po in smart capping? Un sakin po kc im using mobile tether para sa desktop. Nag DL ako for let say 1.5G. After nun, bumagal then wala ng connection… 2 days ko n hinintay di p bumabalik. Sayang ung UNLI 299… haaayz… anyone experiencing same issues with smart?

    • bOOm

      im having the same issue, i registered at LTE 995 with my smartbro noong October 28, 2014, until now hindi pa bumabalik yung tamang speed sa LTE ko, .78 mbps pa rin until now..

    • ejc

      Experienced this last week. I contacted Smart customer service thru Facebook four days ago, they were able to fix it by "resetting service update" yesterday, and once back up I used it right away. When service started slowing down, I viewed data usage on my phone and noticed it has accumulated 3.30gb already (I'm guessing 1.5 last night, and 1.5 this morning). Instead of having connectivity lowered down to 2G (as I understand with their UnliSurf FUP), data connection is gone again. I am registered in unli 999.

  • Hanael

    Yung video streaming ko po ay bumagal ng bumagal..
    -Youtube, switching to 240P bagal parin :(

    Pero Ok nman din yung connection ko sa garena dota..

    balik na sana ung dating HD na d na mag bbuff.. :(((((

  • JunePhilippines

    Info lang sa writer ng blog, SMART Unlimited Texts are also capped. after you send 500 messages, i-boblock na nila message sending mo. Unlike sa Globe and Sun na walang cap.

    mga napaka.

  • Juah Delacruz

    What the heck? The last paragraph is ridiculous and shameless lie! The last paragraph: "Data capping and fair usage policy is nothing new. In fact, even networks abroad are implementing the same."
    Where abroad are you talking about, what country you have in mind, is it in Africa???

    There is no such policy in the United States. If a provider says unlimited it means unlimited!!! And by the way it's cost the same as in the Philippines. The only difference here in America we make $2000 min wage monthly and we pay $20-30 dollars for our monthly UNLIMITED very fast internet service!!!

  • Joana

    Is there any charge when i have reached the limit? My plan is unlimited surfing. Hope to receive answers thank you

  • rommel

    i receive various letter from smartbro's lawyers. either i pay 3000 pesos or pay 100 k in litigation.
    i had use smartbro for 10 days even though i paid 2 months in advanced. i just got so exasperated that i enroll for globe connection when i found out that i had reach their internet capping. if i haven't research for it i will never know that their is internet capping. they should inform their customers before asking for application fee. also their technician that installed their antenna should inform their customers, im sure even though the customers would lost their nonrefundable application fee- they would not go through with this measly capping.(globes capping for 2 days is smartbro capping for 1 month with the same monthly bill). i should be the one that should ask for a refund instead im the one facing litigation.

  • Engr Mray

    lahat po ng "unlimited" offers dito sa pilipinas ay may data cap po, if i say "unlimited" ito po ung may atleast 1day ang promos, not unless it is data-based (promos na MB ang sinusukat) or time-based (promos na time ang sinusukat)…as far as i know, tama ung data cap na nakalagay sa article na ito…some things are just wrong, like sa Globe (prepaid) that when you reached the cap for the day your internet is cut-off and sa Smart (prepaid and postpaid), the daily cap is just wrong, because for an "unlimited" internet promo of any amount, iisa lang po ang data cap, meaning if ung data cap is reached, your internet connection will remain weak until your next subscription…

  • raymond

    Smart sucks now. I was not experiencing this before. it's okay to have a slow connection at some point after a lightning-like speed but to totally lose your net for 24 hours because you reach their max data( unlimited, i suppose). it's no Joke!!!

  • firefighter jay

    as far as i know wlang data cap sa abroad nsa dammam ksa ako at pag sinabing unli unli tlga.stop lang service pag na reach mo ang deadline ng contravt wich is the minimum is 3 month at walang MB na offer dito puro GB sa pinas lang mababa ang net at ang maganda pa dito pag nag subscribe ka ng 3 months di counted ung day na binili mo ung plan sa next month pa tatakbo ung ika 1 month nya. sa pinas pag inunli mo ngaun counted na un hehehe ano ba yan

  • epiquestions

    Data cap ng SMART LTE 50, 5GB. Pag na reach mo na yun mawawala yung mobile internet mo (no LTE/H+ or any icon near the cp signal for the rest of your subscription). Tried and tested ko na yan ganyan limit nila. Kahit 1hr mo palang nagamit basta na reach mo 5GB.

    Pano naman yung mga streaming na HD? Pano yung mga bumibili ng digital games (steam, origin, Di ba nila naisip na kelangan pa i download yung mga games na yun? Tapos bibida nila na LTE 50 pang online gaming. Pano mag game kung na cap na 5GB download palang ng game na 30GB ang size? Imbis na ayusin nila infrastructure/ network nila para ma-accomodate nila bandwidth e ginagawa nila yung kalokohan na data capping for 'UNLIMITED' subscriptions.

  • abel calatan

    Bwisit na SmartBro yan. Unlimited daw.. lte995 ba un? after dl ng 1G a day e limit nila browsing at download ng .75mb. hindi na lte un. hindi na masasabing lte un. connected ka lang sa lte network. grabe sila ang galing mag advertize smart fake naman.

  • MD

    Had the same experienceS. Yes. May emphasis on the letter 'S'. Changed sims thrice (I'm on prepaid), and I get the same effin' issue. Called Smart's customer service countless times, they always say 'Pakihintay na lang po ng 24 hours blah blah blah." Kahit 6 hours or 12 hours ko pa lang nagagamit yung connection, so nasasayang lang yung pinang-unli mo. Lol.

    Akala ko ako lang nakaka-experience nito. And they've mentioned wala silang limit when it comes to surfing kasi 'unlimited' naman daw. Those are lies then? Lol. They're hilarious.

  • Mr.genius

    hayz guyz ano sa tingin nyo ang dahilan bakit may data cap? in my opinion guyz the promo named Unli surf or super surf ,,with the word surf kapag surfing ka hindi madali ubusin ang 800 mb or 1.5gb ,,ginagawa nyo kasing pang download ng music,games,at higit sa lahat movies ,,nakaka abuso din kayo ng network,,,,, surfing is not for downloading,,, mag router nlng kayo para unli surf unli download

    • Mon

      Joke ka ba? What you defined as Surfing is merely Browsing.

      When i say, i'm surfing then the site i visit is You tube.

      It does not download yet i consumes huge memory( you may check that with your data usage).

      So you mean by Surfing is just roaming around the net doing nothing.
      and Besides if you search the meaning of net surfing, you'll find this " To navigate through the World Wide Web or Internet" which means whatever i/you do during that time is covered by its definition. =P

    • Dan

      Baka nagiinternet cafe ka lang kaya hindi mo alam kung gaano nakakainis ang data capping. Paano kapag madami kayong gumagamit ng internet sa bahay? Haven't you thought of that? For the past few days I couldn't use the internet properly, I know babagal since madami kami gumagamit but wth? Hindi mabagal eh, nagaappear na wala na kaming connection. I can deal with it kung mabagal but may connection but no connection completely? Lol. No.

  • Juridz Sotto

    Ano ba mas maganda na gamitin smart or globe….im in dinalupihan bataan

  • Robin Faigmane

    Unlimited is not that unlimited. I'd say they're just good at marketing words. It's okay to have data cap but they should first make sure that they're really delivering the speeds that we deserve. Here in Tarlac, I only receive 3G with 3 bars yet Smart states on its website that my place is already LTE covered. Smh