Page: internet_cellphone(for mobile device user)
Maybe for my fellow Filipino (who are actually the most visitors) I can't share anything new. But there are a lot of visitors from other countries and might find some information helpful.
Prepaid SIM card
Since the visa on arrival is lasting for 30 days, it might be nice for some tourist who can really stay that long, to know some about a possible way to use internet from a local provider here in the Philippines while their stay.
Maybe new to first time visitors from another country: If you want to have your own local SIM-card with your own prepaid number. Nothing easier then that: If you like (or need) you can buy one already at the Airport. The price for a SIM-card is by 40-50 PHP (up to the provider) and you don't need to show any document to buy one. But please keep in mind: The number will expire and get lost after a defined time. Maybe 120 days after not reloading or after one year not using anymore. You see, no need to care about. Prepaid will not tie you up in the Philippines.
In the other hand: Internet might be this way more cheaper for you instead of using your provider in your home country additional the cost for the roaming. By a SIM-card, load the card with an amount for your chosen promo, register the prepaid card to that internet promo and you are done already.
Example for Globe: If possible, go to a registered retailer like 7/11, buy the prepaid card for 40 PHP (in 2016). For this example your wanted promo is 'GoUnli50' and will cost you 50 PHP for 3 days. Let the retailer load your prepaid card with 50 PHP and then register to GoUNLI50 by just dial *143# or text GOUNLI50 to 8888. You better choose to text because it's more easy.
The Asian way
Using a cellphone in Asia might be a bit different from the way to use a cellphone in some other countries. Sending a text message (texting) has priority instead of making a call. To get the most out of the limited length (by 160 characters) they shorten the text like: wla = 'wala', hnd = 'hindi', slmt = 'salamat' or kmsta = 'kumusta'. Texting is the cheapest way to communicate with someone and so the providers here are offering plans for that. To make sure, they can earn, they make a plan expiring after a defined time. A possible plan can be like 'AllText10'. This means: Unlimited texting but for 24 hours only. You need to find the extended information for every promo (plan) before you know the details. Lasting for how many days, limitations when it comes to surfing or texting to another provider. Smart to smart or Globe to Globe is cheap. Everything else will become expensive if you are only a regular user.
But lucky you, there are only few provider in the Philippines. Every name is the link to their website. Have fun while finding your best promo ;-)
When I come the first time to Asia, I was surprised by the way how Asian are using their cellphone. In my country, we love to talk to each other when we are using the phone. And because of this, every phone company is offering plans to support this way of using the cellphone. But whatever we want to choose: We are tied up in contracts. The minimum contract time will be one year but the standard is 2 years. And even a prepaid SIM-card is only to become when you register that one after you bought it. And you need to show up some documents before it will become activated. But we don't separate between texting or calling and a normal plan will always be like the Asian 'unlimited' one. We call it 'flat line'. But always based on 'one month'. Internet is a bit different because it will be limited by the data volume. 2, 3 or 4 GB are normal offers per month. - But internet by landline is more common in my country and there a 'flat line' is without any restriction in the data volume and a download speed with 1MB/s is already a slow connection.
written by Frank