From the INQ7 article Smart to begin commercial 3G service in May: the mobile carrier will start charging starting May 1. These are introductory rates, so they could still adjust them.
- Video calling is still free. $0.40/minute IDD rates for a few available destinations.
- Streaming TV has an access charge of PhP 15 for 30 minutes, plus a TV (GMA7 or ABS-CBN) subscription of PhP20/day.
- MMS goes down to PhP1/message to Smart subscribers and PhP2 for other networks, when using 3G.
- Internet access becomes time-based, at PhP10/30 minutes, whether using GPRS or 3G.
- Content downloads range from PhP20 for video clips to PhP50 for music tracks.
My thoughts: mobile Internet browsing now becomes attractive for longer-term usage. For one-off surfing websites that take only a minute (even on 2.5G/GPRS) – it becomes more expensive. Perhaps this will make UMTS/3G PC cards on laptops more attractive – PhP20/hour is cheaper than commercial WiFi rates.
This is all about data networks for now. Will Smart slash SMS pricing to catch up with Globe’s PhP 0.90/text, since their network is now used more effectively? Will people switch to 3G services and buy handsets?