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June 02, 2008

SmartBro Prepaid Kit

Got a sample SmartBro Prepaid Kit last week from Smart for review. I was about to buy my own kit before this got in so I’m putting this one out to the stress test until I finally make the purchase. So, what’s inside the box?

Well, nothing much really. You’ll get the basic stuff — a Smart SIM card, the USB dongle, a short mini-USB cable, the installation CD, another split USB cable and a small pocket manual.
Smartbro Prepaid Kit

The SIM card (0929 prefix) is pre-loaded with Php30 of credits. You can add more credit via e-Load or by using scratchable prepaid cards and texting the PIN number (using your mobile phone) to 1510 (format: RELOAD <PIN> <SmartBro Prepaid Number>).

Smartbro Prepaid Kit

If you’re on Windows, the USB dongle will auto-run the drivers/installers. You will only need the CD when using it on Vista or OSX. Smart even had drivers developed specifically for the Xandros OS of the Asus Eee PC.

Smartbro Prepaid Kit

The 3G modem is a ZTE MF622 HSDPA USB modem capable of download speeds up to 7.2Mbps. Small (10mm thin) and lightweight (40g), it slides into your breast pocket comfortably.

Smartbro Prepaid Kit

Will be doing some road test along with a couple other 3G phones to compare performance differences, network coverage and download speeds in the next couple of weeks.

A hear that since Smart already owns CURE’s 3G frequency, they’ll be able to do major network upgrades and increase bandwidth capacity.

Plug It! Smart BRO Plan 799
SmartBro: Largest Broadband Service in the Philippines
Smart gives out free PlugIt to students

43 Responses to “SmartBro Prepaid Kit”

  1. dapeke says:

    I hope you could have a detailed review of Smart Bro’s USB Dongle because I’m wondering if it could really get 3G and HSDPA speeds. I hope that Smart will soon lower the price of the Dongle and their charge. I also hope they could also upgrade the speed of Smart Bro Postpaid because we’re paying P999 for 384Kbps compared to PLDT MyDSL Plan 999 for 1Mbps. But in terms of connection, our Smart Bro Connection is really good and does not disconnect even when used for long hours and sometime it burst up to 512Kbps. I really hope to have a 1Mbps connection.

  2. tonex says:

    This thing is useless in Davao City. The cousin of my wife bought one (at my recommendation) and the only service you can use sensibly is Yahoo Messenger. Surfing websites is veeerrrrry slow it will drive you nuts. We were using this thing in the city proper so presumably the network (3G, HSDPA or whatever) it uses should relatively be faster, but it’s not.

    My PLDT WeRoam is faster than this thing.

  3. Bigbird says:

    Always keep this in mind SMART BRO is very slow thats why the comparison is always Dial-up. They just re-package the cheap USB modem to look cool!

  4. Why not just buy a cellphone with 3G or HSDPA? You could just add around 4k and you’ll have something like the Nokia 6120 Classic…

  5. Erin
    Twitter: ramfree17
    says:

    what is the possibility of getting the Xandros driver and repackaging it to work on other distros?

    i hope smart/globe implements a lease to own scheme since they are chaining the users to 1 or 2-years anyway so why not spread the cost of the unit to the contract duration? that will also give the users the incentive that if a new hardware modem becomes available then they can exchange theirs.

    which brings me to the question, what happens if your usb modem breaks? do you buy a new one?

    ciao!

  6. dapeke says:

    @tonex How much speed do you get from WeRoam base on your use?

  7. ChiQ Montes says:

    I have this already .. I bought it.. the only problem is that.. there are some areas that aren’t 3G covered so it doesn’t work.. when i was in manila, i could make it work almost anywhere but here in mindanao .. not all areas are covered.. therefore, it does not work all the time.

  8. chelsea says:

    so its dependent on the location then? im thinking of getting one. i know i wont have trouble accessing site in baguio, but when i travel to pangasinan, which i often do, i might not be able to get a good signal. hhmm. will think about it.

  9. Any word if it can also run in other Linux distros?

  10. Bigbird says:

    My very phone can identify what signal and the proximity of the nearest cellsite within 70,000 ft radius. Actually this is already far behind technology. Q3 of this year will be the release of whitespace! Internet will be available just like an antenna of your television with same speed as DSL and T3. You have questions ask Google and Wimaxx.

  11. Bigbird says:

    My phone can identify what signal and the proximity of the nearest cellsite within 70,000 ft radius. Actually this is already far behind technology. Q3 of this year will be the release of whitespace! Internet will be available just like an antenna of your television with same speed as DSL and T3. You have questions ask Google and Wimaxx.

  12. tonex says:

    @dapeke – Don’t get me wrong WeRoam is still slow but at least it’s within dial-up speeds.

    WeRoam
    Davao City: 28kbps to 30kbps
    Metro Manila: 30kbps or faster

    SmartBro Prepaid (in Davao City)
    Useless to test it. You’ll get the results after 10 mins or more.

  13. Denver says:

    I have my own Smart Bro USB dongle. It works fine in Manila and I use it most of the time when I travel. So far, it works well in Dagupan, and signal is HSDPA. It works well for me in Davao, kind of slow though in Samal Island. I tried it also in Cavite and several areas in South Luzon. So far, it’s quite ok. Just don’t expect it to work at areas where there’s no Smart signal. Also, it doesn’t work when you’re in a basement or some enclosed space…
    So far, I’m satisfied with it. And I would actually recommend it for users whose area is covered with Smart’s 3G signal. =)
    I also tried using my phone as a modem but speeds go to up to 115kbps only… I think it’s better when you have your own dedicated data modem since you won’t get disconnected when you have calls or texts coming in. Well, that’s just for me.

  14. X.A. says:

    i just got my smartbro prepaid this saturday. actually, halos lahat ng wireless center walang stock, mega, trinoma, gateway, sm north edsa lahat yan wala! anyways, the ZTE modem is HSDPA ready, but i noticed sa software up to UMTS or 3G lang capability, or being allowed by smart to be received. There is no option to receive HSDPA that’s why i am wondering for some na nakaka receive “daw” ng HSDPA. I am also a WeRoam and Globe Visibility user, but these two have the option to choose HSDPA unlike smart bro prepaid. I am using this for my EEE PC 900.

  15. Jay says:

    Yuga sana po you can provide a more detailed review of this product. Thanks!

  16. Jan Blando says:

    @X.A. – if you’re running XP on your Asus eeePC, you have the option to choose UMTS only in the settings if you want to set the modem only for 3G or HSDPA. Major cities like Makati have HSDPA coverage.

  17. Arpee Ong says:

    @Aldrin, yep this runs fine over linux, check here > http://streetsmartingit.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-to-use-smartbro-prepaid-kit-on.html been using it on my fedora box for a week now since patay parin ang regular internet dito sa aklan due to typhoon frank..

  18. potpot says:

    i try smart bro, im at davao, the speed is reliable, in terms of surfing, but I havent tried it video conferencing and a like, but i do try to remotely connect to a server, and its kinda slow, especially when you FTP (download or upload data).

    but to me as web developer, its somehow reliable, unless the plan 999 which is I guess reliable than the prepaid one.

    I bought this just to check emails and chat clients from time to time.

    btw, i live at UM Matina. So its quite near to the downtown area, I have tried it to remote places here in davao or in mindanao.

    but one thing I want is that it would run or somehow capable to Linux, not just xandros, but i guess it will run on Ubuntu (which is I havent tried it) but my flavored are fedora so i guess I need to hunt it down on how to install in F8.

  19. Arpee Ong says:

    potpot, see my previous (just before yours) for instructions on how to use it on fedora, im on fedora 8 and been using it more than a week now using wvdial and works fine.

    PS: check your usage duration, my logs show i am being charged P20/30 minutes. You can try this yourself by depleting your credits and sending PasaLoad worth 20 to your SmartBro Prepaid sim number, you will notice you will get disconnected exactly after 30 minutes.

  20. John says:

    I am planning to buy smart bro prepaid kit. Could someone advice if Smart bro prepaid is good when the location is in Pangasina? btw, exact location is San Fabian.

    Tnx…

  21. Ami Miciano says:

    I have this gizmo- and it cuts off every minute- I have changed it 2 times and also the sim – it is very frustrating- I keep calling the service center and they can’t help- I live in makati in the magallanes area and there should be good signal. don’t waste your money……..

  22. brando says:

    if you start at 9:25am then finished at 9:45 at total of 20minutes, you will pay 20pesos?? it not P10/30minutes???? it should be per minute charge. huh broadband line still the best

  23. Macoy says:

    I don’t know anong klaseng system ang smartbro at palaging nawawala ang load ko!

    Kahit 1 minute ka pa nag konek at biglang naputol.. tiyak gudbye ang 10 pesos mo (dapat 30minutes).

    Pag tuwamag ka, puro naman report report report..

    ano ba yan

  24. ceasar says:

    Plano ko rin sana bumili ng smart bro prepaid kit
    pero nag aalala ako baka pag uwi ko ng probinsya
    di ko mapakinabangan.Any suggestions kung paano
    makakaconnect sa internet gamit ang laptop ko
    aside from using these prepaid kits.

    tnx.

  25. kfive says:

    i’ve been using smart bro for almost 2 years, and ever since, no experience of internet connection problems, i’m even using it with a wireless router for home use.. i’m also living in mindanao, specifically cagayan de oro.. 1 comment i’ve read is to purchase another 3G phone to use as modem, i would not suggest that, cuz, frequent use can sometimes damage the phone especially the pop port sensors, madali masira.. And tama si Denver, kung mobile phone ang gagamitin, hihina ang connection kung may incoming calls or texts.. Mas mabuti pa ang separate modem..

    In terms of 3G/HSDPA speed, it depends on the area you’re in, if you’re in an area na GPRS lamang, naturally mabagal. But if you’re in a 3G area, mabilis..

    And lastly, please check your PC system specs.. not only the minimum RAM you’re using, but also the USB hardware and driver.. If you’re using USB version 1.0, mabagal talaga because of transfer rate from modem to PC, you will not appreciate 3G.. But if it’s USB 2.0, you will be able to appreciate 3G efficiently, whether globe visibility, smart bro prepaid or pldt quick install or zpdee or whatever wireless broadband you have..

    Hope this info may help..

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