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Smart caps Mobile Internet @ 1.5GB/month

This is the first time I was able to read Smart’s Fair Use Policy on Mobile Internet Use and was surprised to see that their cap on unlimited mobile internet is just 1.5GB per month.

A reader was asking for some clarifications about Smart’s Samsung Galaxy Tab and the accompanying unlimited mobile internet. After a quick search on Smart’s website, I discovered that they only allow up to 1.5GB of bandwidth per month.

Once the cap is reached, they will throttle you down to a slower (yet unknown) speed. And here’s the catch:

The 1.5GB allocation of the Fair Use Policy applies only to mobile browsing. Value Added Services (VAS) such as push email, messaging and BlackBerry services usage consumption are not covered by the Fair Use Policy.

So if you’re one of those who recently got the Nokia N8 or the Samsung Galaxy Tab for with the unlimited mobile internet, you now know what “internet plan” it came with. That means zero to limited internet tethering on your mobile device.

See full text of the Fair Use Policy here.

Disclosure: Smart is an advertiser on this blog and several other blogs I manage.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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66 Responses

  1. Charli3 says:

    yah smart sucks. One of the many reasons i made the switch. XD

  2. rob says:

    Hi Sir Abe, how about Sun and Globe networks?

  3. Manix says:

    the policy is still a bit ambigious…

    bit low on the limit too.

  4. BrownBear says:

    Wish ko ngayong pasko sana may telco na itayo sa Pilipinas na puro data lang, walang call or text.

    Pero meron silang VOIP para pwede ka pa din makatawag or matawagan. At ang SMS via email na lang. Send an email, ma-receive as text. Someone sends a text message to you, you’ll receive it as email.


  5. The question is: is the tethering capability already usable? There are lots of smart phones in the market who have tethering features but cannot be used yet.

  6. Harley says:

    globe is also capped! just that i am not a heavy data user so i dont usually use them all up! tsk

  7. 1.5GB is a LOT for a mobile device. I’m on an unlimited plan for my iPhone on AT&T, and the most I’ve used in a month is probably around 1.1GB – nanonood na akong streaming NetFlix niyan and constant check-ins, status updates, photo uploads, and e-mails.

    So I guess it’s just fair to put the 1.5GB limit in case people, I don’t know, …abuse the service? I really can’t imagine going beyond that on my mobile device in a month, or maybe it’s just me.

  8. YuYu says:

    i believe that the other telcos are already doing this, even on their non-mobile broadband services.

    also, i heard from somewhere that this was lobbied by NTC.

  9. agwe23 says:

    When i got my galaxy tab from smart 3 weeks ago from their 12 days of christmas at plan 2000 they said the limit wad 2gb

  10. jack says:

    in the first place di naman umaabot ng 1.5 Mbps ang mobile broadband!

    ang bagal na nga intermittent pa.
    walang kuwenta mobile broadband dito sa pilipinas

  11. JunAlquis says:

    ok not a good move imo. they could have made the cap higher like 2 – 3gb

  12. spectator says:

    And you think Globe doesn’t have caps on their unlimited internet? My friend has his Internet connection capped by Globe because of their fair use clause as well. And you know what- all he does is Twitter and upload to Twitpic.

  13. Pat.s says:

    Globe’s cap is 800mb per day..

  14. jums says:

    @Joy de Guzman

    nagagawa ko naman sa aking good old X1.

  15. frozenpyro says:

    Why call it unlimited data plan when they limit you on your usage? O_O

  16. mark says:

    i have smart plan 2000 with unlimited data plan. Nabasa ko sa contract after reaching the 1.5gb cap. Magging 23kbps nalang. Mas mababapa pa sa dail up. And i have a billing dispute with smart. Even na naka unlimited data plan na charge parin ako. Ng data charges. They insist that its nokia push mail. But wala naman akong ginagam na app na hndi ko nagagamit using ordinary wlan. and na confirm ng nokia na hndi active pushmail ko.

  17. Weroam says:

    Is the corporate we roam service of pldt also capped?

  18. binaryboy says:

    With this, i can make myself shout some vulgar words at Smart! Smart is the dumbest telco i ever had! Shame on you Smart for being inhuman to those who patronize you! Overall, Smart’s internet speeds range from mediocre to poor and that’s why i hate Smart so much. Once, i was subscribed to Smart…the speeds they promise from their ads were all fake! I got myself subscribed in their 1 mbps plan…but the only speed i got is 50 kbps (almost a speed of a dial-up connection)! I almost came to the point where i am about to file a lawsuit against them!!!

    I’ll curse Smart all of my life and i’ll never be Smart’s customer anymore. They are nothing but a bunch of demons who are always seeking for your money!

  19. ScIoN says:

    Mobile… does this include the SMART Bro Plug-it Unlimited plans?

  20. binaryboy says:

    Good thing Globe Broadband and Wi-tribe is there to save me from the misery i’ve experienced from Smart…

  21. Kenneth says:

    This is bad news, so if you need to download a linux distribution that is greater than 1.5GB, if you do successfully download it in one try (session) then for the rest of the month you will have to live on 23kbps speed.

    Meaning unlimited 23kbps speed … very anti-customer policy …

    They should not advertise those affected plans as unlimited, very misleading. The fine print should be in large print specially the part about the cap.

  22. daninjakitten says:

    Globe does this for their unlimited browsing as well, even for the Tattoo service. I swear, mobile and internet services in this country suck, and to make matters worse, these abusive telcos are being tolerated by a toothless NTC. Dapat kasi magkaroon ng matinding class action suit against these companies para madala.

  23. abnoynoy says:

    this is what we get with a protectionist constitution. Yes to CHACHA.

  24. michael says:

    well, as they said. it only applies on mobile browsing, which is internet on cellphone and other similar devices that uses their GPRS/3G network. Nothing to worry about that, unless SMART applied it to its mobile broadband (e.g. Plug-it/Share-it). Also, i think 1.5GB is enough but, UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH POLICY IS THE BEST….

  25. michael says:


    most people nowadays uses wi-fi networks over their mobile device. It’s HARD to reach that limit on mobile devices, since there is PC or a Mac ………………

  26. ebak says:

    if u cud subscribe to a mobile internet plan worth 2000, malamang may DSL ka sa bahay at internet sa ofis. so hindi na rin dapat kaso kung may capping ang mobile internet mo…. pero kalokohan pa rin ang capping cappng na yan, nonetheless. :-)

  27. raymond says:

    I think it’s a necessary thing to impose a cap. This is to avoid the abuse of service. Imagine someone with an android device. One can just activate the wifi tethering capability of his phone. Then connect up to five devices on the internet. That’s is a nice feature if used on an occasional basis. But someone can abuse this android capability by connecting the five devices and download data constantly at all times. It can be used to make profit if it goes uncontrolled. Unfortunately, other users will suffer from a congested internet traffic because of this money-making scheme. And smart will also lose revenues.

    • Michael says:

      That’s why we are paying a huge ammount(P2,000) monthly… You can also connect up to 5 devices as you mentioned in a DSL line which is cheaper. So why arent the DSL companies putting a cap on their internet??

  28. Robin says:

    Caps or bandwidth limits is used worldwide. Better that than mobile internet being used 24/7 and grounding to a halt like what happened to Globe Visibility product three years ago.

  29. chok says:

    my globe prepaid tattoo stopped at 800MB, and you cannot used it at all once you have reached the bandwidth limit. you’ll be able to use it the next day at 12:01AM. why call it unlimited if it’s LIMITED?

  30. Matrix says:

    This is worse than Globe. LOL

  31. Operation Super says:

    Caps are there to avoid abuse? Then don’t put “unlimited” on then. Don’t offer mobile internet at all.

    People would make profit from it? So what? I am paying for it in the first place. Suffer congestion? Congestion only happens when the system can’t take it so just make it accept all the connections, broaden the damn network.

  32. walang imik says:

    @ agwe23, about sa galaxy tab,,, naramdaman mo ba na mabilis mag init ung rigth side pag ginagamit mo?

  33. agwe23 says:

    @walang imik
    oo, kapag pumupunta ako sa mga porn sites, umiinit yung galaxy tab ko…hindi ko alam kung co-incidence ‘to pero totoo.

  34. walang imik says:

    hehehe, un kasi akin kahit nag games lang ako nainit.

  35. walang imik says:

    i mean, kahit games lang umiinit

  36. Jeric says:

    haha.. 1.5gb? funny, baka sa youtube mauubos lang yan.

  37. Robin says:

    The Smart terms of use are unlimited as to Data, but the speed can be reduced if you exceed the 1.5GB a month. It is still an unlimited data plan… and I will be getting one end of this month because they have a cap. If no cap, I would be less inclined.

  38. Benito Guevarra says:

    I can confirm that wifi tethering is not disabled on Smart’s Galaxy Tab, unlike with some US telcos where you have to pay extra to have it enabled. Smart’s rep told me that the cap is to keep the lines decongested so that speeds remain optimal. Ok lang sana yun kaya lang when I started using it, sobrang bagal. What’s the use of the cap if you don’t get acceptable browsing speeds? But then, right after I got billed for my first month of use, all of a sudden, bumilis sya. I now don’t know if they throttled down my connection even before I got to my 1st megabyte. Strange. I don’t think I will use up the alotted 1.5 GB so I hope the speed I am getting now remains consistent.

  39. bOkz says:

    how about smartbro prepaid?

  40. mark says:

    @Benito Guevarra
    kamusta bill mo? sa smart?
    kasi ako i have unlimited data plan under smart w/ nokia n8.. pero may data charges pa ako..
    despite having a unlimited data plan..

  41. Benito Guevarra says:

    @mark: Actually di ko pa nakikita yung details ng bill. They just texted me the amount (around P1100). But the thing is, wala pa akong isang buwan naka subscribe, so baka nagstart yung subscription ko midcycle siguro. I did test it with speedtest.net, best I got was about 1.3 megabits/sec.

  42. ephraim_dc says:

    mag opera mini kayu na modded.. panigurado.. unlimited ang internet nyo.. kelangan lng ng pisong load sa smart at 0 balance nman sa globe! ahahaha…

  43. yhopix says:

    Meri Xmas!!! Everyone….

  44. Arvin says:

    pretty much like Globe’s unlisurf50 promo where its 800MB/day

  45. denz says:

    Smart Bro is next. /sigh

  46. better use wi-free for your unlimited internet needs check out my blog. its only 350 per month. 09326549394


  47. Bennette Vivar says:

    @mark: I was indeed given data charges on top of my basic fee for unlimited internet, but I think I’ve found out why (after talking to a Smart rep). If you use Push e-mail, which I apparently did when I used my sim on a Nokia phone, and then checked my gmail using the preinstalled email application instead of the browser (which is what you might’ve done with your N8), that’s when they’ll charge you extra. So for anyone getting a Smart plan like this, just use the internet browser to check your e-mail to avoid paying additional.

  48. mark says:

    @bennette vivar
    Ganun rin sakin. But I insisted that hindi ako gumamit ng push email. I contacted nokia and they verified that I dont have an active push mail. Plus ung app na @mail. I tried using it over wifi. Minus the smart sim. Gumana naman so bkit nunh tinesting ko dati sa smart network may extra charges.. Anyway. Kahit wala ng email sa @mail app under n8 ko. And pati ung nokia social hindi ko na ginagamit. I still have additional charges. Napa ka unfair. Since lahat naman ng ginagamit ko sa n8 na app that requires a network can run over wifi. bakit pag smartinternet may additional charges.

  49. mark says:

    @bennette vivar.
    Pinipilit nila setting ko sa n8 push email daw. I have to deactivate it. Sabi ko sa side dapat nila deactivate since hindi ko naman inavail ang push email nila. Plus iniisip ko pag phone ko pa mag trigger ng push mail. Hindi push mail un parang microsoft outlook lang na nag rerefresh ng content.. Kung push email un. Dapat ala blackberry pag may email ako. Smart dapat mag sasabi sa unit ko. Thus “push mail” they push it like a text message. Server nila sana ang mag initiate ng connection.

  50. Benito Guevarra says:

    @mark: I also used the email client (using free home or office wifi) on my cell and it worked naman, then nung gamitin ko na ang smart network to check email using the same client eh all of a sudden may charge na (when I saw the bill). So starting now, di ko na ginagamit yung email client at in-off ko na rin yung mga widget na nag-uupdate sa internet.

  51. mark says:

    @Benito Guevarr
    un na nga eh. unlimited data plan. tpos may additional charges pa. pag internet ng smart ginamit mo.. dapat kasama na..
    bakit ganun. dapat mag subscribe pa sa plan 299 nila?
    eh ung plan 299 unlimited facebook nokia messaging.. lang. ung plan natin unlimited internet. dapat. kasama na lahat ng na cover ng plan 299 nila..

    ako i dint use @mail i just go to http://www.gmail.com or mail.yahoo.com using opera. but still up to this very date, may additional charges pa ako..

  52. emross says:

    @Mark new subscriber ako using galaxy tab. Magkano pala yun additional charges mo sa smart? on top ng 2000 dataplan?

  53. mark says:

    ung una. since bago. madalas ko gamitin.. halos 1500
    second month hindi ko na nagagamit ng maayos kasi natatakaot kao lumobo. halos 500..
    but hindi ko talaga ginagamit ang. push mail nila.
    una akala ko baka ung nokia social. pero i also stop using nokia social. ganun parin additional 500 sa bill..

  54. ^_^ says:

    awts NTC.
    dapat ginawa na nilang 99%-100% ang kailangang maging reliability ng data connection…


    kung i-co-consider lahat ng factors, dapat manguna mismo yang mga iSP na yan na mag overhaul ng facilities/lines nila and dapat hindi malaman ng mga end-users yang mga maintenance na yan.

  55. milanaorly says:

    panu na sa mga gumagamit sa phone as modem na walang smartbro.. tsk.. wawa naman sila.. buti hindi pa capped ang smartbro..

  56. Herce says:

    This is much better than Globe’s system that Yuga reported on. Wonder how much of a hassle it will be to switch corporate plans.

  57. bypasser says:

    tama, better to use modified operamini’s for unlimited internet, free.

  58. manok says:

    my wafer naligaw wak kau magkalat d2 ammpz!

  59. manok says:

    may waffer na naligaw? Wag kau magkalat d2!

  60. benjpedro says:


    Lahat namang lupalop ng mundo, may fair use policy ang internet over GPRS/EDGE/GSM.

    At bihira naman lumalampas 1GB ang NORMAL mobile user every month per month unless gawin mong modem ang cellphone para sa full internet for your laptop (which is plainly idiotic).

    Ang tunay na dahilan ay mabagal lang talaga ang connection ng smart, walang kinalaman ang caps caps diyan.

  61. Robin says:

    I availed of the plan. Unfortunately even if you do not avail of push email, if you use an app that synchronizes with your online email account you will be charged extra when you get new mail. You may also get charged additional when accessing Facebook, Twitter and the like. Tried to clarify with Smart which apps can and cannot be used, but they are not yet sure.

    We should just ask for a bill reversal since there is nothing in the contract where we agreed to pay additional data charges. We agreed to trottle down.

    I think I will migrate back to a consumable plan and use Globe Super Surf for internet access.

    • reuelc says:

      I availed the Galaxy Tab last nov in Rockwell – unlimited data plan 2000/mo.

      Im so disappointed with smart’s service because they keep on charging me for wap and a number P10/30min because of social networking widgets. This was not discussed during the promo nor it is in the contract.

      If they cant reverse the billing, I asked for immediate termination of my account, im not sure what will happen.

      Aside from 1.5g download limitation you cant use the mobile widgets?

      This is not the case on Globe or even for Sun, grabe talaga ang Smart!

  62. Draio says:

    Hmmm… masyado naman atang maliit ang cap nila for this plan… Grabe, 1GB per MONTH?! I use a Smart Buddy sim in my Smart Bro plug-it and I avail the 1200 unlisurf prepaid plan at nakakapag-download ako ng at least 500MB everyday (I record/download streaming videos .flv of TV series using Orbit downloader). Siguro dahil I use it mostly during off peak hours pero nakakapagsurf at nakakapagdownload pa rin ako until/during day time reduced speed nga lang. Dati Globe gamit ko pero nakaka-badtrip yung 800MB nila na completely hindi ka makakaconnect unlike sa Smart bumabagal lang pero at least makakapag-surf ka pa rin.

  63. KM says:

    UNLI Internet, pero 1.5 GB bandwidth per month. so anong unli dun?

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