Smart 3G Introductory Pricing

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?

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  • IMHO, just reading the article its telling me that:

    “Aside from the access charge, there will be a separate fee for content.”
    — You will pay for the air time for a flat fee PLUS the cost of the content.

    “..cost 15 pesos for every 30 minutes based on a running time that starts when a subscriber clicks on a streaming link regardless of the number of videos viewed.”
    — meaning Php15 + Cost of content while “every 30 minutes based on a running time” means the time spent on buffering the video before it starts playing is also counted. Take note, faster connection doesn’t mean shorter buffer time since content servers will take some time before the content is served between 10secs – 3 minutes. Broken downloads is counted.

    “Subscription fee for each network is 20 pesos per day. 3G streaming of audio and video clips will be charged 5 pesos per “hit.”
    — meaning they will chop the stream into multiple parts. You are actually not streaming them but downloading stored versions.

    “Multimedia messaging rates or MMS for Smart 3G subscribers will cost 1 peso per message for subscribers sending to fellow Smart subscribers and 2 pesos per MMS for Smart to other subscribers using other operators”
    — Still receiving MMS incurs the normal charge to the receiver, the sender may want to opt sending long 3000chars MMS at Php1.00 compared to 480chars SMS at Php3.00

    Still not exciting enough for me 🙂

  • just plain stupid.. good thing i deprive myself from earthly addiction such as mobile phone for almost two years now, and based on my calculation, i am 730 pesos (1peso text message /day X 365days/year X 2years) richer than an average cellphone users here in phil.. and the best part is, i dont have to buy myself a cactus to lessen my radiation intake!!!

  • Despite the comments below, I think this is a step in the right direction.

    1) Cheaper MMS – opens up a lot of possible services that can be offered to even prepaid subscribers.
    2) Time-based net access – still won’t be as good as your local net cafe but will surely make it easier for people to use mobile services like banking and buying online. But do we get good signal all over the metro?
    3) The pricing scheme smells like iTunes $0.99 per song.

  • hihihi..

  • filmboy

    this pseudo flat rate of 10php for 30 min. of browsing sounds great, problem is when I’m connected via 3g through my laptop I could never get bitcomet or utorrent to work, or even log on to yahoo messenger…wtf?!! No point in having mobile broadband if I can’t download tv shows or movies anywhere…has smart tweaked something here? Content filters?

  • I doubt torrents would work, if Smart assigns you a private IP. About YM – perhaps only port 80 is allowed?

  • Al18

    For internet access using mobile phone as a modem, SMART will charge PHP 0.25 per kilobyte of GPRS traffic,when I inquire about a month ago. Now they will be charging PHP 10/ 30 minutes of web surfing though 3G/UMTS. What’s rational about these thing?

  • “For internet access using mobile phone as a modem, SMART will charge PHP 0.25 per kilobyte of GPRS traffic,when I inquire about a month ago. Now they will be charging PHP 10/ 30 minutes of web surfing though 3G/UMTS. What’s rational about these thing?”

    nothing.. believe me man, i live in this box (my PC) and even if i have a cel i would still rather be in an internet shop: same rate, 10P/30min; i dnt have to worry bout the electricity; the internet is much faster; and i get to hang out with all the chickas and the mommas..

  • I got a SMS advisory from Smart that all surfing – GPRS or 3G – is under the same rate of PhP10/30 minutes. So I tried it out earlier.

  • “The sad fact is that we consumers are getting the worst of both worlds — lousy infra, lack of content.” — Is Smart Really Smart, asks Joey Alarilla at INQ7.

  • its like asking: is Globe really Globe..?


  • PoshNeya

    Lawmaker to ask Supreme Court to nullify 3G franchises –>

  • whapak

    I think this is a very aggressive move on Smart’s side, pricing similar to Internet cafe’s.

    It’s really more mobile than WiFi. However, the service sucks. Tried it a couple of times (Moto Razr connected to my laptop), and Dial-Up was much faster. I tried to test the connection via 2wire, and it wouldn’t even load the darn page.

    Can anyone teach me how to upload pics on this blog (if possible)? I’d like to show the tracert results I got using this service. Latency was really terrible…

    Looks like it’s still WiFi for me 🙂

  • PoshNeya: while that may be good in principle, I can think of two reasons why it’s bad:

    1. Smart and Globe will pass the cost onto the consumers.

    2. While Smart and Globe can easily pay the amount, the new 3G startups can’t. Some of them I believe are putting up “legacy-free” services (no voice/SMS, just data) and that will shake up the local wireless industry.

  • Topel

    I wonder if GPRS cost will come down now that 3G is present here in the Philippines…?