Smart Communications, Inc. launched their LTE service today priced at 3,500 pesos per month with a max bandwidth of 100mbps (disclaimer: as a Smart LTE beta tester, i was able to get as high as 30+mbps) but with a data cap of 10GB. That’s like having a Ferrari but you can only drive it on EDSA during peak hours (or as one facebook commenter said: “It’s like being given an Uzi with only 3 bullets”). I’d rather have a 2mbps connection that 1) gives me close to the advertised speed (or a rather good Committed Information Rate or CIR) 2) doesn’t drop my connection every so often – with a higher data cap and at lower price. It’s not always just about speed.
We do not NEED 100mbps or even 1/10 of that bandwidth for most of our day. What we (I) need is a stable, reliable yet reasonably fast connection than a gimped LTE connection. It’s true that in other countries the price per 1GB of usage is much higher but we are not in these countries. I hope that PLDT/Smart recognizes that only a handful of our internet population will use LTE as it is now, most of us are still waiting for stable, reasonably quick and fairly priced non LTE based internet access via wired connections or wireless connections like Smart Bro.
This is exciting news though as once LTE technology matures and gets propagated throughout the archipelago, i’m sure we will see better coverage, higher bandwidth caps and a lower price. I hope that time comes sooner than later.