The idea of a Fair Use Policy is nothing new and has been enforced, albeit discreetly, by telcos on a case to case basis. Both Smart and Globe have their own version of the Fair Usage Policy for their network services, be it SMS, calls and mobile internet.
That means any or all of the “unlimited” SMS, calls or mobile internet offers that the telcos offer have a numerical limit. That means if you subscribe to unlimited SMS for 1 day and you send out 1,000 messages in 1 hour, you will be cut off by the telco. Same is true with voice calls and mobile internet.
This measure is done to prevent abuse of the network. Besides, we also don’t want SMS spam or email spam right?
Of course, these Fair Use Policy has their own specifics on what is acceptable and normal usage. Smart has made it a standard to have new subscribers sign a waiver stating they agree to these FUP. Globe has a similar one but it’s on fine print.
Here’s the information we have on both Globe and Smart Fair Use Policy. They are lifted from their website, subscriber contracts and waivers.
Base don surveys from different postpaid subscribers of both Smart and Globe, these restrictions are not really observed. That is why we have folks who are still able to use their LTE connection way beyond the one indicated in the FUP (so lucky you if you are one of them who are heavy users but still enjoy the unlimited LTE speeds).
Our understanding is that this FUP are put in place as a legal safeguard to immediately allow the network or the telco to take action in cases where there is blatant disregard or exploitation of the network resources. We’ve personally experienced and recorded what happens if you reach your data cap (see story here).
Note though that there are exceptions to this FUP. Smart considers data roaming as an exception since you are billed by the KB or MB by the partner carrier. Globe exempts PowerSurf from the 1GB per day limit since that promo has its own bandwidth allocation.
And based on our research from all 12 or so other countries that we’ve visited last year and used their mobile internet, ALL of them have these Fair Use Policy. It’s only a matter of how much SMS or bandwidth is actually considered normal use.
Our suggestion — call a spade a spade. If it’s 3GB per month, then call it 3GB. If it’s just 1.5GB allocation, don’t call it unlimited. That’s how they do it in other countries.