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
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.