The Internet Connection Debate: Prepaid or Postpaid Broadband?

MoneyMax Philippines

The continuous growth of internet use in the Philippines is naturally boosting the demand for more faster and more reliable internet connection in the country. In October last year, the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) reported that the country’s internet penetration rate has risen to 36% in 2012 from only 2% in 2000. It was also reported that some individuals have more than one internet subscription, as mobile subscription rates rose by up to 102%.

A lot of Filipinos are availing of unlimited data plan while others stick to postpaid internet plans, either because it’s cheaper or they have no better options. Hence arises a debate on which type of internet subscription is better: prepaid or postpaid?

Prepaid Broadband

Prepaid broadband internet connection is a type of connection where subscribers pay for internet use that can be consumed for a shorter period as opposed to postpaid. With prepaid broadband, you usually follow a “pay-per-use” rule, where you pay a certain amount for every minute of use, depending on the terms of your mobile network.

Smart and Globe prepaid broadband users need to purchase a Smart Bro or Globe Tattoo prepaid SIM card for P40, after which they will pay P5 for every 15 minutes of internet use.

Meanwhile, Sun Cellular offers their Sun Broadband prepaid SIM card for P39, which comes with 5 hours free internet access valid for 4 days. 

For Smart prepaid subscribers, minimum GPRS speed is 12-48Kbps while connection speed can go up to 7.2 Mbps. Both Globe prepaid broadband and Sun broadband users, on the other hand, can get up to 3.6 Mbps.  

Another option for prepaid subscribers is to buy a broadband stick. Smart has a Plug-It Lite stick worth P795, which can connect to a speed of up to 3.6 Mbps and a pocket WiFi device worth P1,995, which enables 10 gadgets to connect to the internet with a speed of up to 7.2 Mbps. For a faster WiFi internet, Smart users may also get the 4G LTE Pocket WiFi for P4,888, which can provide internet speeds of up to 42Mbps and comes with free 7 days LTE unlimited surfing. Smart also has an LTE version for its Plug-It stick, which is available for P3,888 and includes 7 days of unlimited LTE surfing.

Globe’s broadband stick, on the other hand, costs P995 for an internet connection speed of up to 7.2Mbps. But for those who want a higher speed of up to 42Mbps on their LTE device, they should get Globe’s LTE Mobile WiFi + Powerbank which costs P4,995. Another option is to get an LTE prepaid stick for P3,995.

Sun Cellular’s broadband stick also costs P795 and it features 1 hour internet access valid for 1 day. Their pocket WiFi prepaid broadband kit consisting of 1 hour internet access valid for a day can be availed for P1,995.

Postpaid Broadband

Postpaid broadband internet connection is another type of connection, which provides unlimited data plan services to users. With a postpaid plan, you typically pay a fixed amount every month for unlimited internet browsing regardless of how frequently you go online—as opposed to prepaid plans, where you may only purchase and use internet browsing whenever you need it, and you don’t have to pay a monthly fixed amount for your internet connection.

For Smart postpaid broadband users, there’s the FlexiSurf plan. The FlexiSurf is available in P299, P399, P499, P599, and P999 plans. The P299 plan features 30 surfing hours with an internet speed of up to 5Mbps. Meanwhile, the P399 plan offers 50 hours of surfing with the same speed, while the P499 plan offers 50 hours of surfing, but with a faster connection of up to 7.2Mbps, plus a Power Plug-It, which costs P800. The P599 plan also offers the same surfing hours and internet speed but comes with a Pocket WiFi instead of a Power Plug-It. Finally, the P999 plan provides unlimited surfing hours with an internet speed of up to 5Mbps.

On the other hand, Sun Cellular offers Affordable, Non-Unlimited, Unlimited, Gadget, Group, and By the Byte Plans with connection speeds of up to 3.6Mbps.

Globe also provides postpaid broadband users a range of internet connection services that include mobile internet, Tattoo, Tattoo On-the-Go, and Tattoo Home Broadband.

Internet Connection to Fit Your Needs

As a conclusion, to figure out the type of unlimited data plan you should use, you should consider what you will be using your internet connection for, whether you will need to text as much too, and how long and how frequent you will be using your connection.

If you are a heavy internet user or if you are looking for use the internet for business purposes, it is better to go for a postpaid broadband plan, as it could be cheaper and more cost-efficient. Meanwhile, if you are a light user and go online for only short periods of time, then a prepaid broadband plan would be the ideal type of connection for you.


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