Smart dabbles into tiered-pricing with Always On plans

In a blogger gathering with Smart this afternoon, they showed us the entire HTC line-up including the HTC Chacha which is initially exclusive to them for the first month. They also discussed their new tiered pricing for mobile internet called Always On.

Always On basically gives you a cheaper time-based rate (daily to monthly) but capped strictly for mobile use (that means it’s not suitable for WiFi tethering to your laptop or other devices because of the conservative bandwidth allocation).

The Always On plans are available to all postpaid, prepaid and broadband accounts with varying denominations from Php50 to Php995. See pricing schedule and bandwidth caps below:


* Available to SMART Postpaid, Prepaid and Broadband
** Not available with Mobile Prepaid

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To activate the plan, just text “amount” to 2200 (e.g. text “ON 300” to 2200 for 30 days of unlimited internet with 250MB cap).

What happens when you used up all the bandwidth before the end of the validity period? Well, you just go top up and activate another Always On plan.

I think these plans are most suitable for users that are heavy users but not heavy on bandwidth. That means you can have it on your smartphone for Php300/month if you only want to access FB, Twitter and FourSquare and you can also do the same with your tablet or another 3G device. That way, each device has its own unlimited account.

I will try the Always On 300 on one of my Android phones for a month (will be mostly using FB, Twitter, Google+ and FourSquare) and see how much data I’ll consume on the phone. Let’s see if this is a more rational and economical way to be always online. Will report back after a month.

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

57 Responses

  1. Ajjie says:

    I subscribed to the Php200 (180MB cap) and I’m very happy about it. I’m using an iPhone which makes the experience all the more satisfying.

  2. Desired says:

    That 2GB for 995 deal is expensive. Didn’t Globe just price their unlisurf at 999? And that’s unlimited (albeit capped). So what’s the advantage kapag Always on plan? Makakatipid ka ng 4 pesos? :)

  3. Techboy says:

    These are perfect for chatters. Even if you chat (text only) for 30 days non-stop, you won’t go over the 250MB limit. Trust me, I did the math.

  4. William C says:

    Too limiting. 25mb is just one Angry Birds update on your Android phone. The telcos around the world are greedy, 2Gb is not much for one month, and if you use smartphones with these over the air updates for firmware and Apps. Wala pa iyung youtube…

    So, the older unli plans are gone?

    • deuts says:

      Updating your Angry Birds game, it can always wait till you connect to Wifi at home or at the office. This is usually for social networking apps and chats so you can always be online.

    • William C says:

      Yes, you could wait for wifi for those upgrades to software, but it negates one of the advantage and convenience to smartphones.

      Personally, I find the 2GB for 995 too limiting, if it’s something like 5GB for that price or 15GB for 1500, I would be okay with that, since bandwidth is not free, but 2GB is just like 65MB a day, that’s just a few youtube videos or one video podcast or 5 audio podcast (one only, not all three).

      Even on plain websites, If you don’t visit mobile versions, you could easily gobble up that 65 MB in an hour. Some sites with flashy stuffs or big picture attachment can easily be 1MB per page!

      And it seems Smart no longer have their old plans, so 2GB per 995 is the high-end now, so I think it’s too pricey.

      And with no Sun to provide incentive to lower their price, Globe will just follow, and consumers will suffer. Liberty’s plan is as expensive as Smart’s? So all of Ramon Ang’s saying that they will take up where Sun will leave behind is all talk, until they have something to show…

  5. Dan MD says:

    Mr. Olandres,
    would you know if the cap (e.g. 250 MB) applies only to download or including uploads? Thanks.

    I’m curious if they will also count the amount of uploaded data as this will decrease the available “data” credit. :)

    Interested to try the Always on internet. This is when Opera Mobile/Mini comes handy. :)

    • ARL says:

      siguro that applies to you Downloads or the incoming amount of data you receiving! so its not advisable to dl large files if you’re into smaller plans…

  6. Arvee says:

    What I really think of this: it’s a capped unlisurf plan but Smart did not market this as such kasi maraming natu-turn off sa word na capped/capping (including me!)

    I’d say this would be beneficial to those who subscribe to time-based plans kasi most of them eh magchecheck lang ng social networking and e-mail accounts pero they have no choice but to pay P10 for 30 minutes. Pretty good move for Smart here. *coughs*Globe*coughs*

  7. icesteAm says:

    Ok bagay na bagay to sa nokia c3. i dont think i can use this on android phone .emails pa lang ubos na 300 mb how about upload 50 mb?

  8. Iyan Sommerset says:

    How often and how much kb does Android pull/send when it syncs with Google servers?

    Oh, and Google Maps/latitude?

    Depending on base usage, the 300/mo might be suitable for gtalk/mail/etc. usage…maybe a bit of GPS mapping too.

  9. nameless says:

    250MB for 300php? Are you serious? Come on! These are only for losers.

    • whosdloser says:

      Don’t you know how much a mobile 250-mb 30-day capped plan costs in other countries? This would be very useful for people who uses push e-mails like me and occasional gps use, which requires you to connect to download maps. I’m going to try the 300-peso plan for 1 month too just to see how much bandwidth I really need. If you live with your parents and do not have work, I’m pretty sure this would be a waste of your money. Do you still live with your parents?

    • nameless says:

      Oh well. what phone are you using anyway? Im using my phone to connect to my desktop, to my work server etc. Can you do that? I guess not. 250mb would not be enough. Oh by the way, I’m working on my own, and i know how to spend my money wisely. Can’t you do some calculations on your daily data bandwidth? Such a loser. I have mine. This 250mb for 30 days works for me 3years ago.

  10. harley says:

    i am always on and i never did try to go to 2G in my blackberry, it is always in 3G mode even if i am not using it and thank God that my battery is still in its perfect state! I just hope that globe has this kind of internet coz I am sure loving this!

  11. nexusboy says:

    thanks for the reply, I appreciate it. but are we forgetting something? SMART is not telling us what the speed is.

    i’d stick with GLOBE SUPERSURF 220 pesos for 5 days UNLIMITED mobile internet. a TRUE “ALWAYS ON” connection.

  12. fr0stbyte says:

    Yun!!! I’ve been waiting for this kind of offer from the PH. Ganito kasi ang gamit ko sa Australia. I buy $60 worth of load every month and may kasama na siyang free 3GB worth of data that you can consume for 30 days. Ganun din sa mga DATA only SIM cards pero you have a choice of 100MB to 15GB (for a price, and it ain’t cheap).

  13. nexusboy says:

    it’s not correct to say “ALWAYS ON” if it’s not “ALWAYS” connected. How can you say you’re HEAVY USER if you do not use up HEAVY BANDWITH? sorry i’m having a hard time understanding simple terms. can someone please enlighten me?

    in any case, thank you SMART for the innovative idea, definitely a TREND STARTER! next thing we know, lahat ng TELCO wala nang UNLIMITED MOBILE INTERNET.

    do you still believe PLDT won’t stop the SUN UNLIMITED when it takes over the brand?

    • mike says:

      in mobile phones now when you turn off your 3G the time.does not count. with this you can always leave your 3g on. but nobody leaves the phone 3G one as it gobbles the battery. and with this scheme you cannot use the phone for videochat,online games,download of large apps and games, youtube. Phones now are like pc and laptop. It use full internet. So this is like limiting technology. Sakal sa leeg. Putang ina mo smart!

    • deuts says:

      I thought I read ‘Always On’, not “UNLIMITED”.

    • Abe Olandres says:

      @nexusboy – Always On means that if you don’t turn off your 3G, you are not billed unless you actually pull down data. Unlike time-based charging, even if you are not pulling data from your phone, you will be charged by the amount of time your 3G is on.

    • kebbot says:

      Just like Sir AbE said, this just for fb app and twitter,and a little opera mini browsing will do….
      Its A Go for me its 24/7 for 30 days thats cool…. i will be able to go online using nimbuzz…..ill just be turning off my 3g,iam gonna use gprs and edge only to save my battery…

      i really hope Sun will have desame, i like their EDGE signal,its fast and reliable not like smart and globe.

  14. deuts says:

    This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. Hope Globe will implement the same, if not a more attractive, plan soon. Otherwise, I may have to get that Gevey Sim to use Smart in my iPhone 4.

  15. mike says:

    do you people know why this has been implemented late? its because it is an advantage to these predator.telcos if they use time base on slow old phones. Now the phones can download more data at a shorter time so they switch.to this model. Oh now Smart is selling LTE than can download web pages at a fast rate. Boo! Im not buying this crap.

  16. mike says:

    so when is this available?

  17. Rygel says:

    how exactly will you measure bandwidth usage on a mobile phone? I mean to be able to check how much you’ve used and have left

    • emignatius says:

      Android has a free app called “stats”, which measures incoming and outgoing calls and texts and bandwidth and wifi network use. It is ad based though but can be ad free if you donate, which I suggest you do if you are subscribing to this since ad uses bandwidth too. You could put a limit on the stats and it will warn you if you are reaching your bandwidth limit that you set up. I’m sure other OS’s have the same or similar app.

    • Dan MD says:

      If you’re using a Nokia Symbian phone. Just head to “Logs” in the Menu and check the data counter to check the following data usages:
      a) Total Data used
      b) Data sent
      c) Data received.

      Neat, huh? this is a feature present as far as 10 years ago.:)

    • cocopako says:

      mag log in lang kayo sa smart connnect, taz makita nyo ung pag nag balance inquire kayo!

  18. LG Promo Victim says:

    I want to use my rarely used nokia smartphone as a dedicated gps navigation device because nokia has free voice navigation service. hope the 300php/30 plan is enough

  19. cocopako says:

    pwede kaya yan sa smart bro micro sim?

  20. Neil says:

    This is what I’ve been suggesting to Globe Telecom last month.. Carriers abroad usually offer these kinds of data plans and not the time-based plans..

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