Even today, I still hear a lot of people saying or commenting hat 3G internet in the Philippines is still expensive. Yeah, it’s not that very cheap but I don’t think it’s expensive either.
Let’s skip comparing our local 3G internet rates to the rates in other countries and look at some domestic parallels.
Let’s look at Netopia, the most popular internet cafe chains in the country, and see how much they charge for rentals. Members get a discounted rate of about Php30 while non-members pay Php45, right? (or is it higher)
Regular internet shops (the mom-and-pop’s type at the street corner) charges Php20 for gaming and Php25 for surfing.
Pay-for-access WiFi Zones provided by Airborne Access and Globe WiZ charges Php100 per hour.
If we compare 3G internet at Php20 per hour, it’s not that bad. Actually, if you compare it to the examples above, it’s the cheapest. So, why there’s still the perception that 3G is expensive?
- The WAP-era trauma. About half a decade ago, when WAP was first introduced, they cost an arm and a leg. I remember viewing my blog over WAP and posting a comment back then — those 3 page loads costs me Php100!
- Reliability. If you surf on a net cafe, you’re pretty much sure you’d get a good if not fast internet speed. Over 3G, it’s a hit and miss.
- Over-charging nightmares. Either your prepaid loads get drained up real fast or your postpaid bill is thru the roof — any one of these incidents could happen to you.
- Coverage. Even if you’re subscribed on 3G, there’s no telling if your area is covered only by GPRS or EDGE.
The only compelling reason why I think 3G is cheap for me is because of mobility. Maybe someday, we’ll have an alternative option with mobile WiMax.