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Why is 4G/WiMax in the Philippines slow?

While WiMax has been introduced in the country for some time now, people are still complaining it’s not really fast. So, yes, 1MBps isn’t really fast but can we really afford 10Mbps right now?

Both Liberty Telecoms and Globe Telecom are offering 4G or WiMax but for the most part, the packages are between 512Kbps and 1Mbps. And as far as I know, each one of the Globe WiMax towers is maxed out at 8Mbps. If ever Globe offers an 8Mbps plan in the future, I think it will be in the Php5,000 range.

Come to think of it — if telcos will offer 10Mbps WiMax for Php5k, will people switch to it?

The only reason I can think of now why they’re not offering really fast connection packages is that they don’t want to eat into their own market. Probably the same reason why a 384mL can of Coke is more expensive than a 384mL bottle of Coke (nomadic vs. fixed).

So, if you’re looking for a 10Mbps or 100Mbps connection, you need to shell out Php3,995 (10Mbps) and Php14,995 (100Mbps). I think that 10Mbps for Php3,995 is a sweet deal. Problem though is that Globe only offers the service to posh villages like Forbes Park, Serendra, Bel-Air Village and Urdaneta Village. I believe PLDT has a similar offering in Alabang for a number of years now.

For the rest of us that’s not rich enough to live in those areas, we’ll have to settle with 12Mbps of Sky Broadband.

I remember, about 5 years ago, it was great news to see ZPDee Cable offering 64Kbps for only Php690 a month. Today, for the same amount, you get up to 2Mbps. That’s 30 times the speed for the same price. If we follow that trend, I reckon we could get 60Mbps for the same price by year 2015.

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

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70 Responses

  1. StrayArrow says:

    How about us here in the far far far provinces…. anyway if the prices are that, then I think I can’t afford it……we will just wait for a cheaper and afster services….. oh well!!!

  2. JM says:

    Or, for that matter, why is Internet in the Philippines slow but expensive? Haaaaay buhay! :P

  3. Jaypee says:

    Sir hindi ba “mbps” lang ang mga packages ng sky broadband and not “Mbps”? so ‘yung 12mbps nila is different/slower from 12Mbps? Compare that sa 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps ng Globe.

    Need clarification here. Thanks.

  4. jab says:

    it would be great to have connection speeds like those in Korea… but I’m afraid the price would sky rocket… hopefully we can get more internet providers to invest here so that everybody will keep their prices competitive…

  5. Jon says:

    Sir Abe, I have to add that this does not only apply to 4G services, but also to other wireless ISPs using 3G/3.G.

    I do hope your forecast would be accurate, that by that year, we would be getting such speeds. I also think that these wireless ISPs should not be in a hurry to offer such speeds right away. They should work on improving the stability, reliability and signal strength first. There isn’t much practical need for a 10mbps+ connection at the moment.

  6. idpt0000 says:

    it’s sad to tell you that similar problem exists in hk …. but the obstacle is more about the money spent on 3g infrastructure has not yet recovered … and the telco are not willing to invest more on 4g until they are satisfied with their own return …

  7. nanayMo says:

    We can howl all we want, but that’s how things are in this part of this earthquake-threatened planet. Stop complaining already.

  8. drew says:

    ok na sakn ung 1Mbps.. ng papasalamat nga ako dahil ng upgrade ung isp nmin at niretain nla ung price. hehehe

  9. drealmarlon says:

    idptOOOO got the point!

  10. 1Mbps is too much already but for a single PC or 2 lappies only. :D like Globe!

  11. Bokoi says:


    Parehong 12Mbps lg po. ala pong comparison sa Mbps at mbps. yung meron is yung MBps at Mbps…
    b=bits, B=bytes

  12. Jhay says:

    I guess 5 years would be go down barely noticed and before we know it, speeds have gone up to levels predicted by Yuga. Hopefully, that is…

  13. Jaypee says:

    Ah i see. salamat po.

  14. @bi3L says:

    Yeah.. the problem is not the infrastracture but the ROI (return of investment), since ISP are still scrambling on how to get the money that they invested on 3G or any other system that they have. But if the competition gets tight.. I think we can get the 10Mbps and 100Mbps connection sooner than 2015. Since competition is not only good for end user but promotes innovation, better service at a much lower price. :)

  15. Miguel says:

    Not just the domestic infra but the huge capex in buying fiber capacity going abroad.

  16. fr0stbyte says:

    That prediction may be right. SmartBRO’s Plans right can easily reach 2Mbps (constant) on selected areas and 1Mbps on peak hours. Sa Globe? Ay ewan, never heard of a single positive comment ’bout them from my friends.

  17. Bob says:

    @symbiandreamsdotcom: 1Mbps is slow for a heavy user like me.

  18. iamupset says:


    medyo naguluhan ako ng konti, meron bang ISP na nagooffer ng MegaBits na connection? I thought it was always understood that connections are either in Kilobytes per second or Megabytes per second. Mali ba pagkaintindi ko?

    I don’t know if this still applies, pero more than the max burst rate, I always ask ISPs what the committed rate is for their packages, kasi yon yong lagi nilang ndi minimention sa contract or even in advertisements/promos.

  19. chris says:

    broadband is really expensive here in the Phil.

  20. louie says:

    sana mag upgrade ang smartbro d2 sa davao. 0.5Mbps pa kasi, sana mag 1 Mbps naman cla

  21. kisaeng. says:

    globe’s wimax has an absolute higher latency.


  22. maxi says:

    Liberty is not yet done rolling out their machines. I think they are only about 30% complete.

  23. Frank says:

    Regardless of the speed, Philippines is still on its infant stage when it comes to internet connection. Until then, stick to cable connection which delivers the most fastest connection, as of now. In my opinion, if they’re going to introduce a fast connection like 4G make sure their advertisement delivers its promise.

  24. @bob

    What do you mean by heavy user if you are just a single person using that speed. That is already too much. Heheh.

    Isa pa ang nakita q sa globe, HIGH ping which means cons, compare to PLDT na mas maliit lang young PING.

    Anyways, I still like GLOBE!

  25. Beau Rudd says:

    We have been using Wimax for about two years now in my office and the shit rocks, the best internet connection I have ever had.

  26. yeah 1 mbps is slow even for moderate users. my 1 mbps smartbro lock in period had already expired. still waiting on which provider, whether globe or smart will upgrade to 2 mbps. that will be the deciding factor on whether i will renew my contract with smart or move on to the next faster provider.

  27. fr0stbyte says:


    There are select areas in the Metro that have been to 2Mbps by Smart (including me). They might roll out the upgrade to the public soon.

  28. hi frostbyte sana nga maabot na ako ng 2mbps download speed ng smart. lumang canopy pa rin ba gamit ng mga naka-2mbps? alam ko kasi 1000kbps lang kaya nun (download + upload) kaya ang settings ng sa kin 800 kbps download + 200 kbps upload.

  29. vince says:

    how would you feel if the 4g ISP you subscribed to suddenly dropped in speed. You called up customer service and you found out there is a cap, after XX gigabytes you automatically get lowered speed. But its nowhere on the website, on the ads or on the contract?

  30. Henry says:

    Wimax is not 4G. They’re only 3.9G.

    They’re using 802.16j not 802.16m for it to be considered 4G.

    And if you have downloaded 3 gig of data, your connection will go down to 256 kbps.

    You guys should check the thread in TipidPC.com

  31. bokoi says:


    lahat ng ISP Megabits per second yung offer. Ala po nag offer na MegaBytes per second. kung refer tau sa download speed, MegaBytes per second yun kaya MBps yung nakikita mo sa browser mo and usually is maliit yung value compare sa subscribed speed mo na Mbps. kasi nga 8bits, 1 byte…

    iba rin yung Kbps at KBps.
    yung speed rating na 512Kbps, download speed nito is about 62.5KBps


  32. bokoi says:

    @ legend of the seeker channel
    wag mo muna prioritize yung mataas rated speed. tingnan mo rin stability ng connection mo.

    isipin mo lg, mataas nga rated speed mo pero hindi mo naman nakukuha at putol2x pa compare sa kahit na 1Mbps na speed at stable connection naman…
    1Mbps is fast already assuming na kuha mo talaga atleast 80% ng subscribed speed mo…

  33. @bokoi

    i’ve already tested the stability of both globe’s wimax and smartbro in my area. my sister uses globe wimax in her room and i’ve seen how stable her connection was(at least for our area only). halos consistent 1mbps download speeds for both video playback and highly seeded torrents even at the middle of the day. my smartbro is almost the same. stable all the time but not as fast as globe’s wimax during daytime use (maybe because they have more subscribers here since they have been around for a longer period of time). so that’s it, either i renew my contract with smart or switch to globe which are both stable and almost have consistent download speeds of 1mbps in my area. but as i said the i’ll go with the one who bumps up their maximum speed for the same price i am paying right now which is hopefully soon. good night!

  34. cycle11 says:


    ang swere naman ng lugar niyo. sana ganyan din sa min

  35. Anonymouse says:

    Dami negative feedback ng Wi-tribe sa Tipidpc.
    Ironically, mas bago technology pero mas mabagal sa luma :( Parang kotse lang to, mas higher model man, kulang naman gas pangit din. Unlike nung mga luma mas marami gas. Aanin natin ang mabilis na 4G kung kulang naman bandwidth supply nila.

  36. MyMaria says:

    As for me, I think I can live with my current wired and 3G connections. Globe 2mbps for 1295 is great and it comes with landline. I get really stable connection and a 190 to 210 KB/s for RS downloads during peak hours. During wee hours in the morning, it even reaches up to 1000 KB/s! Also has HSDPA signal in my house and using a SmartBro prepaid, I get up to 300-400 KB/s for RS downloads. Not bad at all. Not really interested in 4G… especially here in the province. Pretty happy with current speed and stability. :)

    Took a screenie.. check here for my recent actual download speeds for today: http://img.skitch.com/20100319-ea5fdrua79cid9mxkr3wxfpuga.jpg

    I’m not really sure what the speedtest means (or of its accuracy) but with Globe, this is what I’m getting right now: http://www.speedtest.net/result/753855047.png

  37. IVAINS says:

    Other than speed you may want to ask about SMTP Port Blocking. I know for a fact that both Globe and Smart block SMTP Ports 25, 26 & 587. Some may not care about this, but if you are running a business and would like to use your company’s website SMTP you won’t be able to. You are forced to use your ISP email account & SMTP. So if you want to establish a corporate email identity – forget it.

  38. Rian says:

    May Witribe na 4G na rin dito sa kanto namin pero sabi ba naman may capping raw after 5Gb. Anong klaseng broadband naman yung offer na yun tapos P995/month pa

  39. box says:

    meron akong wi-max 1mbps 995 plan, test ko sa speedtest .51kbps download speed tapos .51kbps din upload speed, ok na ba un para sa plan ko?

  40. box says:

    i mean .51mbps pala not kbps sorry sa nauna, di ba dapat pag 1mbps sana man lng lagpas sa .51mbps? parang 775 lng ung plan kasi .512mbps lng ung 775 peso e??

  41. box says:

    meron akong wi-max 1mbps 995 plan, test ko sa speedtest .51mbps download speed tapos .51mbps din upload speed, ok na ba un para sa plan ko?

  42. Ricardo says:

    Plan 1Mb ba sya, di ba aggregate yung 1Mb download and upload? Ganun din yata sa smart canopy.

  43. rain says:

    I also have a globe wimax 1Mbps plan, i frequent get a record of 1.02Mbps(126 KBps) Download Speed and a 0.98Mbps Upload Speed. The newly utilized network from globe rocks my world. haha

  44. John Carlo M. Ebreo says:

    Yes sana malagyan din kame ng wimax connection dito sa Mapulo, Taysan Batangas Philippes beside Fortune Cement Corporation need talaga namen po para sa mga shop at connection namen sa abroad sana pansinini ng Globe ung lugar namen kasi ung ibang kalapit na municipality meron na. Hope fully More Power po

    Salamat po Mabuhay po Kayo

  45. TaysanPeeps says:

    agree ako kay JohnCarlo, ang Taysan,Batangas naiiwan na ng mga kalapit municipality. haay. di na lang sa wimax kasi sabi ng iba mabagal din yung service. maganda kung iuupgrade ng globe or smart yung cellsite dito. GPRS lang kasi eh. better if i 3G or HSDPA nila para mas ok. or maglagay ng phonelines para maganda and internet connection. almost majority of people here kelangan ng net. so, please please globe pakinggan nyo kami mga tayseno.!!!tnx

  46. rodel says:

    boss ako po taga carmona my speed is 512kbps dami nmn mabilis connection k pero ngyn sobrang bagal my signal nmn po 3 signal pero sobrang bagal po pag ganito ng ganito lilipat n po ako s iba hnd nmn po kc magamit ung globe wimax nyo……..

  47. rodel says:

    carmona cavite

  48. Rocky says:

    In Finland the regular speed is 1Mbps at the price of 30 to 40 euro. We still have the lowest charge per 1 Mbps. There is a new provider that offers better speed depending on plans.

  49. Harley says:

    just wondering, can i use my wimax connection at home and attached it to my cdrking router? i used that cdrking router for my 3g connection i have from globe and having no problem at all. but with the wimax, i just cant connect to the internet, just the local connection. what would you recommend, buying a new router? kindly help me with this. thank you!


  50. Aries says:

    bakit bagal ng download any sugestion ganda naman ng signal ko,wala naman virus pc ko kasi nakadefreeze baka meron mas maganda dns server para sa mindanao pakibigay lang thank you gamit ko , saka 35kbps lang pinakamataas kuha ko pag nagdownlod
    wimax Globe broaband 1k bayaran baka meron kayo idea maayos ito
    signal Connection Status Connected
    Connect Frequency 2622000KHz
    Upload Data Rate 182 bytes/sec
    Download Data Rate 144 bytes/sec
    Signal Strength 100%
    ALL SC Link Quality 97%
    1/3 SC Link Quality 100%
    ALL SC CINR 29.56dB
    1/3 SC CINR 33.11dB
    RSSI -61.75dBm
    UL_FEC 16-QAM(CTC)1/2
    DL_FEC 64-QAM(CTC)3/4
    BSID 00:00:1B:D8:28:20
    POWER 13.00dBm

    Statistics Upload Download
    Ethernet Bytes 194.683MB 1.091GB

  51. Aries says:

    contento na sana ako 126 kbps bakit biglang bumagal ang connection after 2 months naging 26kbps-35kbps ayaw na nya tumaas nagbabayad naman ako ng maayos kahit walang collector ako nlang pumumpunta please help ty

  52. Togram Inciong says:

    Planning to buy a new one 4g for internet use. Possible ba ito sa remote area such as in sampalok quezon. Need internet badly there but no signal avail for other network.

  53. vince says:

    @Togram Inciong

    depende talaga if your area is covered or not

  54. mayETsr says:

    aries, same with me , okey na sakin 100+kbps kahit pa up to 2mbps kuno ang service. kung madaling araw humahataw nman sya 300 [yes hataw na yon :/ ]. dati joke nila pag wala nang sun, wala ka ng signal, ngayon pag sun-up na gapang ka na – as in 35kbps- di kya gawin nalang ‘dawn’. more than a decade ago i can manage with my easycall’s few hours a month plan. I would really scrimp on my usage. i would prep netscape by opening all at once a screen full of https then disconnect 5 to 10 minutes later. I would save d pages for later reading/viewing at my own leisure. Now with 2mbps 24/7 i have to sacrifice my sleep hours at dawn if i want to browse or challenge my patience at daytime with < 10 pages to open!
    In less than a month tapos na 2 yr holding period ko. Balak ko pa naman 4G, di kaya pareho lang yan ng up to 2mbps ko ngayon. Okey lang yung may cap, pero sana may GUARANTEED minimum kbps kahit 1/10th lang ng 2mbps. di na nga heavy user/downloader eh suffer pa rin imbes na surfer. At yung cap nila [5Gb?] eh applied for the whole 2 yr lock-in period na ata, imbes na monthly nare-reset. Even then, di naman uamabot ng 5 G ang downloads. Kahit pa nga 1Gb/month cap o fair usage okey pa rin basta maGUARANTEE man lang MINIMUM kbps – never mind the 'up to 2mbps'. Sana silang mga service provider ang maging fair. attention Sen Enrile, DTI & NTC…

  55. WirelessSucks says:

    Wireless really sucks. Stability and bandwidth, SMTP blocking are not only the problems. Globe and Smart wireless offerings both degrade quality of hi-res photos. They put some photo optimizer in between to cut down on bandwidth. For me this is cheating. Globe used to at least offer the capability to download the hires version of an image by hovering your mouse for seconds, but that has changed recently and the image quality downgrading seem to be more permenent now. Smartbro have followed suit.

    Recently, the most notorious problem is smartbro’s gateway timeout problem. This is a manifestation of a highly congested network.

    THere is more. Pag HTTP ang protocol .. sobrang bagal. Try nyo mag non HTTP, like TORRENT, and its pretty stable. Guess what ano problema? Not the telcos but yung mga bobo nilang network engineers.

    Well i guess the reason why we are all being abused by these telcos is becuase no one among us files cases against them for e.g. false advertisement, fraud, etc. If we can all file sort of class action civil suit against these mudafakers, magigising din mga yan.

  56. allanli says:

    first month my kb/s is more than 100.after 2 months its peg at 35 kb/s. globe wimax is cheater.

  57. allanli says:

    I paid 500.00 php upon installation of globe internet with a modem set up and antenna at rooftop.The plan is 995.00 php per month. My first bill (customer account no. 839823962 – o.r. date 12-12-10) after a month is 1,226.00 which I paid at the globe office G.S.C. – For the first 2 months my internet speed is variable at more than 100 kb/s. Sometimes it goes down below 100. After two months the speed is variable at 0kb/s – 57kb/s and most at 35kb/s. No matter how I configure my pc it doesn’t go any faster.I removed the firewall and anti-virus but still slow. I went to the globe office to tell the problem. They said its wimax. I’m paying 995.00 php monthly for 1mb but I’m receiving only 35kb/s. The technician who visited me at home explained that the subscription is 1mb at the maximum but not necessarily that I’ll receive fixed 1mb speed everyday, that I understand. BUT who needs 35kb/s in torrents? I think globe must initiate orientation to consumers who wants to subscribe that it’s like this and like that. The globe office told me I have to pay 2,500.00 php if I have to terminate my subscription early. I would like to try dsl. Ayaw ko po mapag iwanan. Hoy mga engineers jan sa wimax paki adjust naman ng ip ko. Huwag nyo i block. Thanks.

  58. allanli says:

    IP Address:
    Subnet Mask:
    Default Gateway:

  59. bert says:

    Where i can buy globe4G in rosales pangasinan??????

  60. fast says:

    I use VPN Connection 100 Pesos a Month!!
    Speed 1mbps! http://www.symbianize.com/showthread.php?t=332127

  61. fygon07 says:

    i planed to upgrade my wimax connection to wimax 4g p795.00 worth. is this really faster? because my current connection is so slow. only 40 kb/s download i paid for 512 kb/s. can anyone give me some tips bfore i upgrade becauxe i also planed to terminate my connection . im from zamboanga.

  62. Jerazelle P. Millan says:

    Ang Wimax mabilis oo mabilis pa ang Pagong una sinabi nila na hack daw yung dating net nila kaya nagpalit ako sa 4g kasi yun ang sabi nila sa akin mabilis sa unang week maganda 1mbps pero pagkatapos non nasa 200kbps nalang san na yung mga Promo nila na pagka ganda-ganda?Wala ba karapatan ang mga costumer ng Globe na magreklamo kesyo meron puno kaya mabagal ehh nong pagkabit nila ng antenna nila mabilis naman pero pagkatapos ng ilang weeks ayun na bagsak na ang speed nila then papuntahin nila ang technician nila sasabihin babalik lang daw ang speed ng net.Nakailang taon na din ako sa Globe Wimax na to pwede na gawing album ang mga reklamo ko sa office nila.mga Ampness talaga tong Globe na to mga kurakot/mandurugas 1mbps ang binabayaran tpos ang service mas mabilis pa ang dial-up.

  63. stilla says:

    Anybody here knows what the frequency bandwidth of wi-tribe is for both 2G and 4G? I read that they have frequency of 700Mhz which means it’s 2G..

  64. gambit768 says:

    kayo naman masyado manglait sa globe

    matulin naman sya pag gabi
    matulin naman sya pag di mo ganong ginagamit
    matulin naman mag YOU TUBE wag mo lang ii-play
    matulin nman sa YM wag mo lng i-open ang video call
    matulin naman sya unang buwan
    matulin lang sila pag maniningil na

    pag singilan na mabilis pa sa 100Mbps

    naka 1mbps ako
    noong una 136kbps download speed
    ngayon 20kbps minsan 36kbps at 40kbps
    sabi nila sumagad ka na sa limit
    may download limit lang yan
    pero babalik din daw with 24 ours

    tip ko sa inyo para 2mulin yang wi max nyo
    wag nyo muna gamitin 1 month
    nakakabushit di ba

  65. Name: Nobody Special says:

    >>> Anybody here knows what the frequency bandwidth of wi-tribe is for both 2G and 4G? I read that they have frequency of 700Mhz which means it’s 2G

    What you are asking doesn’t entirely make much sense – here in the Philippines 900/1800/2100 MHz are used most commonly for cellular systems. WiMax typically uses 2.5 GHz here but this is arbitrary as there is no defined carrier frequency in the standard. Whatever spectrum the telco’s can get, they’ll take – and they have lobbied the government for chunks of it above 2GHz.

    2G/3G/4G are largely meaningless, these are mostly just advertising slogans.

  66. Marc says:

    I am from the US where connections are in mBs. Here in the Philippines the connections are in mbs. B=bytes and b=bits. 1 byte=8 bits. So if you get a Globe or Smart connection with a top speed of 2mbs the maximum download rate would be 250kBs. You will never see anything download that fast here. You can’t even expect to see 170kBs very often. m=1000k. Go to speedtest.net if you want to see what you are actually getting.

  67. 1wzw9zopr says:

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    The 15-year-old, who has become an international colophon of sand after being targeted for insistent indoctrination representing girls, is being treated for a encouragement to the top a intercept in Birmingham, England.

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    Both parents are on a plane that left Pakistan Thursday morning, said a direction valid, Noor Malik. The flock is expected to get there come in Birmingham Thursday afternoon.www.gafasraybans.eu

    In regard to Malala, who has been unable to discourse because a tube has been inserted into her trachea to protect her airway, tumid after her gunshot maltreatment, the presence of kind members will beyond the shadow of a doubt be a comfort.

    Her create, Ziauddin Yousufzai, has been a leading sway in her unfledged life, having operated sole of the some schools that defied the Taliban in the Swat Valley by keeping its doors open to girls.

    “I am leaving this hinterlands with a heavy callousness and in unparalleled circumstances because the undamaged countryside knows that it is fundamental that I be with my daughter during her improvement,” he told Pakistani network PTV in advance of leaving Islamabad, in his first community remarks since the October 9 shooting.

    “With the political entity’s prayers she survived the corrode and she longing undoubtedly get well and her fitness resolution progress. And Power happy, as speedily as she is recovered I desire be go in Pakistan.”

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  68. nico says:

    your prediction is right 2015 and we have 60 mbps at that price on sky

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