If you survey various telcos around the globe, you will notice that all of them offer packet-based charging for 3G or Ev-DO. Only in the Philippines you’d get time-based charging. And the reason why?
A telco executive once told me most Filipinos do not understand packet charging or related terms such as bandwidth, KB, megabyte or gigabyte. Time-based charging is more understandable since it’s the same way as using net cafes or dial-up internet at home.
When GRPS and WAP services was first introduced years ago, they were offered at packet-based charging. People didn’t like it because they don’t want to be surprised how much their bill would end up after connecting to the net.
When I first tried GPRS back in 2003, I tried visiting my blog, left a comment and logged out. That 3 page visits I made cost me about Php100 on my prepaid account. I never tried it again.
The other week, when I went to an overnight trip to Singapore, I used my XPeria X1 tethered to my MSI Wind to go online. SingTel 3G charging was on per KB so I was careful not to visit heavy sites or download anything. Had they been doing time-based charging, I would have easily managed my connection time.
In hindsight, I thought we’re much fortunate to be able to choose between packet-based and time-based charging when running on 3G (at least for Globe Telecom). Besides, Smart Bro’s Php1,500 Unlimited offer is already a good bargain.