Saturday, March 2, 2013

Smart WiFi gets mixed reception.

Two and a half months since Smart launched their WiFi service and we’re seeing a lot of mixed reactions towards this cheap alternative broadband service. I blogged about its launch last June and as of today, the entry has gathered close to a hundred comments already.
Smart Wifi subscribers from as high as Baguio to a far down south as Zamboanga have opposing feedback on their connectivity. The good thing about it is the pricing. At Php788/month introductory and Php988/month regular rate, Smart WiFi is comparably affordable to the common household even at its prescribed speed of just 128Kbps (though others have reported to reach twice this rate already).
In hindsight, Smart WiFi isn’t really WiFi since the only un-wired segment is between your antenna and Smart’s nearest cellsite. Inside your home, you’re still plugged to cables and wires into the router unless you buy the wireless type (yet again) to hook up to multiple PCs or devices.
Scouring from the dozens and dozens of feedback from current users, the biggest issue by far is the “fidelity” of the connection. Even if the Line of Sight (LOS) is achieved, there are other extraneous factors that affect the reliability of connection such as weather conditions and the like. These are inherent issues with wireless fidelity so subscribers should take it as a consistent affliction in their broadband setup.
And since Smart, or PLDT for that matter, is all alone in this market, we won’t see any difference in terms of service reliability and customer support (worse). We’ve already witnessed how broadband penetration, pricing and bandwidth has improved with the number of providers increasing. What we need is another player like Globe’s GlobeQuest service going the same WiFi route. Will Sun Cellular go the same route via Eastern Telecoms or BayanTel? Still remains be seen.
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