Mostly Everything

SMART Communications launches Volume Based Data Plans and Starter Dongle

EDIT: To check balance for ALWAYS ON Promo, send GOLD BAL for SMART Gold and BAL for Prepaid. Send to 2200.

SMART has been releasing new Internet surfing packages. If you own a smartphone that hooks up to data, there’s a brand new package that’s been made more affordable for mobile phone browsing. I used to pay an additional PHP 1200 a month for mobile Internet — that’s unlimited Internet use for 30 days on my Samsung Galaxy S II. That obviously burns a hole in my wallet — it’s not just me echoing this sentiment, but many other mobile warriors who need to be always online yet want to only be charged based on the volume of data then use.

Instead of time-based usage, SMART has launched new volume based usage plans that are extraordinarily affordable.

If all you’re doing is Twitter, Facebook, checking in to Foursquare and chatting with friends via Yahoo Messenger and Kik Messenger via your phone, you only need 250 MB – 500 MB of bandwidth per month. It gets higher if you start tethering (remember, running app versions of your favorite services on a smartphone decreases bandwidth usage). What’s even cooler is that the system sends out a warning if you’re at 80% capacity of bandwidth allocation, allowing you to re-subscribe. To check your balance, send BAL to 2200 for prepaid and GOLD BAL to 2200 for postpaid.

Again, this is SO MUCH CHEAPER than subscribing to PHP 15 / 30 minutes and PHP 50 / day of Internet.

What if I want to use a USB dongle for my computer?
Before, we were tied down to fixed monthly fees and a LOCK IN PERIOD which everybody hated. So what SMART did was to remove the fixed monthly fees and lock in period allowing you to use the dongle to whatever plan you desired — whether you go for the time-based usage, PHP 15/30 minutes usage or yes .. this new volume-based consumable usage (Unlisurf, Per Minute, Volume, Prepaid Lifestyle). You can leave the country, come back, and not worry about wasting a month’s worth of data fees. It’s really customizable. Remember, the USB stick is only half the magic. It’s the fact that you can customize your usage and bills.

The Starter Dongle costs only PHP 995.00 with free one hour of surfing. But again, I do have to stress that there are no strings attached to the USB dongle. You can subscribe to different plans via the Web Connect application.

My unlimited data plan expires on the 29th. I’m looking forward to cutting my bill with these new plans (and also really get to see how much data I’m consuming from Tweets, Facebook and the occasional app download.)

Disclosure: I’m a consultant for SMART Communications.