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Smart 3G to Baguio

Just after midnight today, we headed off to Baguio City to spend the holiday. I brought my Globe Visibility account with me and I borrowed my cousin’s 3G phone (N6680) so we could road test both 3G connectivity along the way. I am trying to do some head to head comparison of both services during our stay here, the results of which will be posted later.

Rotary Lion

Ok, moving on with some points to ponder for Smart 3G:

  • 3G does not always mean broadband speeds. While your conection will automatically switch between GRPS to 3G, whichever is faster, do not expect you’d get some good numbers even if you’re hooked up on 3G. Major reason? Signal strength – the lower the signal strength, the slower the 3G connection. My lowest recorded Smart 3G speed is around 90kbps.
  • Coverage is relative. When Smart tells you they have about 800 locations on 3G, it doesn’t mean that the entire area is covered. I noticed that 3G signal only becomes available when we’re at the center of cities we pass thru, not in between them. Not sure how far is the coverage for a certain cell site but my experience with Globe Visibility tells me it’s around 500 meters.
  • Smart 3G does not allow all ports so forget about accessing your site’s cPanel, WHM and Webmail. Google Talk, YM and other IMs wouldn’t work. Globe allows cPanel ports t pass thru.
  • Smart 3G is cheaper — still Php10 per 30 minutes. Globe doesn’t have that tingi pricing.

Nokia PC Suite

The Globe Visibility I used is connected via the PCMCIA while Smart 3G is connected via a 3G phone on USB cable. I don’t think their speeds are affected by these.

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Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is one of the pioneers of blogging in the country and considered by many as the Father of Tech Blogging in the Philippines. He is also a technology consultant, a tech columnist with several national publications, resource speaker and mentor/advisor to several start-up companies.

14 Responses

  1. Avatar for Gin Gin says:

    To whom it may concern,

    Good Morning,

    Ako po si Gin, Isang nagmamalasakit sa siyudad ng Baguio. Nais ko pong ipag ibigay alam sa kinauukulan ang pagnanakaw ng aking kapitbahay , ang Sibayan Family na nakatira sa address na #070 km, 3, Kitma Rd. ,sa ibaba lamang po ng Mabuhay Inn . Alam ko po na 4 na buwan nang nadisconnect ng beneco ang connection nila sa ilaw dahil ako po ang napagtanungan ng mama na taga beneco kung saan ang bahay na hinahanap niya at tinanong ko po kung bakit? Sinabi po ng mama na taga beneco na electric disconnection sa bahay ng mga Sibayan Family. Wala pa po 1 buwan ang nakalipas pagkatapos maputul ang connection nila sa ilaw nang napansin ko uli na may ilaw na sila,subalit tuwing 4-10 pm lang po sila gumagamit ng ilaw,dahil napag alaman ko na nakajumper lng ang ilaw nila sa labas..Madalas po sila mawalan ng ilaw at tuwing nangyayari ito ay madalas din silang nakajumper sa labas,dahilan para mahalata namin ang paglalabag ns ito.>Si Mr. Cipriano Sibayan po ang madalas kong makita na sumisimpleng inaayos ang wire sa malapit na poste sa tapat nila.. Sana po mabigyan ng aksyon ang paglalabag at pagnanakaw na ito ng aming kapitbahay. Maraming salamat po at ito po si Gin di tunay na pangalan.

  2. Avatar for kevin Dauth kevin Dauth says:

    wow internet in tagbilaran Bohol sucks big time, I can’t get any decent service, they dont even have hardware to install! absolute crap, I mean really bad service man! I heard the smart port blocks where lifted, then why cant I use pop3 and smtp?

  3. Avatar for kevin Dauth kevin Dauth says:

    well I cant even connect to globe at present in tagbilaran, and 3g is blocking ports for using pop 3 and smtp for emailing, is this correct or am I really loosing my mind and wasting my time and money on these lousy ISP ?

  4. Avatar for weird experience weird experience says:

    i have this weird experience on my smart 3g today.

    when i was trying to browse the net, a message from my browser told me that i have insufficient load. So i checked, i have more than enough.

    REstarted my phone. Still got the “insufficient balance” message.

    Reloaded 300. Still got the insufficient balance message.

    Restarted both lapotp and N70 phone. ThERE!!!!

    I’m online and i found this forum while i was looking for anybody with my experience.

  5. Avatar for Nympha N. Lacson Nympha N. Lacson says:


    D ko po kayo macontact. Pwede po pakireconnect ulit connection namin. Nakablock po lahat ng online games ko. Hindi ako makapasok. Hangang browser lang po ako? Pls. paki ayos po ng completo. Dati normal naman. Ala po sa user error pero nasa connection po. T.y.

  6. Avatar for Raptor Raptor says:

    dwarf, i have difficulty trying to connect to smart, ano ba yung proxy nila?

  7. Avatar for BOY BOY says:

    SMART 3G/GPRS blocks Torrent downloading or any P2P app like Limewire! WHY? they should at least OPEN it, people will really love SMART for this! almost all net users use P2P!

  8. Avatar for ReN ReN says:

    I’m a gamer, and i cant connect my online games on the internet using smart. : (

  9. Avatar for dwarf dwarf says:

    I have been living without internet for about 4 months now [new house, no phone line]. My wife brought a new phone that supported 3g & HSDPA so I thought I would try it out.

    Tried Globe out, but because I had a prepaid card I had to manually configure it to work via the www.globe.com.ph APN. That worked ok, but slow and many sites wouldn’t work (like meebo etc). Plus it was very expensive and not reliable. Couldn’t test out visibility without joining, so I gave that a miss…especially after reading all the bad press.

    Then I read about Smart 3G and thought I would give it a try. P10 for 30 minutes sounded great, but heard from some forums that it wasn’t true.

    When we brought the SIM and activated the GPRS it didn’t work. My wife took it to smart to see why, they didn’t know. When I checked it, they had sent an invalid proxy address. Tried to call Smart and ask for the correct one, they didn’t know what that was. Anyway, copied the proxy from one of the other settings and away it went. Seems Smart aren’t so Smart.

    Gave it a try and it was EXCELLENT. It is now my main internet and I doubt I will need DSL anymore.

    I highly recommend Smart 3G to everybody. If you are worried about blocked ports, there are always alternatives. e.g. logmein.com etc. If you are worried about cost, it is only P10 per 30 min. Not only that, you can use 15 minutes now and 15 minutes later and still only get charged P10. Just don’t download music or ring tones from the smart wap site, or they might charge you extra for the “value added services”, but the prices are on their web site, just not obviously as they call it VAS and dont’ explain what that means.

    Anyway, thanks Smart 3G.

  10. Avatar for Miguel Miguel says:

    Chris, better test Globe 3G at your main location. Also, note that there is no router/WiFi sharing for 3G-based broadband at the moment. (Well you could leave your laptop running 24×7 and share via P2P WiFi…)

  11. Avatar for Paul Paul says:

    The only thing I don’t like about the USB cable for the Nokia is that it’s easy to lose – or maybe it’s just me – and I’ve lost two already. It’s also a pain to replace.

  12. Avatar for Chris Chris says:

    I’m really disappointed with the speed of pldt dsl based on what they promise to deliver. I’m currently subscribed in their professional/excel plan (P3k/mo) with maximum speed of 2.2 mbps. Until now i haven’t reached the 1mbps mark and the highest recorded speed that i had was 950kbps. Their tech’l support even told me that i should average to 80% the maximum speed so dapat naglalaro ako sa 1.5mbps right?

    I am considering to switch to Globe visibility, although 1.5mbps lang ang maximum niya at least kung mag-a-average siya ng 80%, mas sulit considering na P2k a month lang ang rate niya. Another plus factor is the portability dahil wireless siya. You can bring your broadband anywhere you like. But the thing is, di ko pa siya tested and wala pa akong naririnig na feedbacks regarding the service.

    Please help me decide.

  13. Avatar for hip2b2 hip2b2 says:

    regular Smart 3G via the Internet APN will have blocked ports and will cost 10php per 30 minutes.

    however, a PLDT WeRoam 3G (powered by Smart) via the WeRoam APN will not have these ports blocked (at least, the last time i tested the service).

  14. Avatar for Miguel Miguel says:

    About ports: while the Visibility account has no blocked ports, how about a regular 3G SIM?

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