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SIM for both Manila and Cebu

Bellevue, Washington
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SIM for both Manila and Cebu

I am going on a trip to Cebu and then Manila. Can I get by with a single SIM Card to serve me in both areas?

Who are the best cell providers for Smartphone usage?

Is there coverage in the more remote parts of the VIsayas?

Thanks!

Philippines
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for Philippines
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263 reviews
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11. Re: SIM for both Manila and Cebu

@ Seattle ,

Viajero is right on that

However, do be careful of the Pre paid data plans (called promos here int eh Phils) as

(a) they are time bound and some load sellers may not be aware that the plan is an old one. If you are keen on this, check the service provider's site. Load sellers often check blogs which have outdated info

(b) Some offers which are good for a tourist are those that last for a number of days with a large load top up. The one day promos are difficult for a tourist to monitor!

(c) Best to just make a large load top up and spend more time enjoying your vacation

@ viajero

This is how some of us feel that the phone company "stole our load" he he - been there, suffered that!.

Also, I think the idea of one day loads / one day promos is uniquely popular in the Phils. It exists in other countries but is not as popular as compared to here in teh Phils where it literally rules the roost. In otehr countries, lumpsome loads for a longer time are more popular and cost effective.

Also, the cell phone costs in Phils are still far more than that in most other Asian countries (in some Asian countries outgoing calls are just 1 peso per minute / lesser. In many, texts are free!)

manila
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12. Re: SIM for both Manila and Cebu

Which is why I check my bill meticulously. My brother was charged Php40,000 despite the fact that he was on a recurring data package plan for his iPhone. Good thing he was able to straighten it out with the telco. I can see how it can be a more frustrating issue for prepaid subscribers.

That being said, I also have an M1 prepaid from Singapore and I must say that on a $ for Php comparison, Philippine data costs are loads cheaper, although the voice calls are more expensive. It is my opinion that they should just give away text messaging for free. I manage to get around eating up my sms allowance by utilising iMessage and WhatsApp as much as possible as they eat up very little data.

Philippines
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for Philippines
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13. Re: SIM for both Manila and Cebu

@ Viajero

Sad to hear of that hefty bill! ugh!

Having said that, if you compare Phils call and text costs to other DEVELOPING countries, you will find that here in the Phils, we still are a decade behind others and still far more expensive than them

manila
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14. Re: SIM for both Manila and Cebu

I agree. Even voice quality, signal reliability and data (3G and heaven forbid LTE) coverage are spotty even in the best of times. I hope the fiberoptic backbone PLDT is laying out will accelerate things. However, I find that since there is a smaller demand for mobile data in the Philippines, the telcos still can afford to compete and bring the prices lower in order to attract more subscribers to their data products IMO. Texts are in high demand and I am assuming they are using predatory pricing the same way the petrol cartels do to control gas prices. The exception to this is Sun Cellular which hasn't abandoned its buffet pricing model for texts and calls, but they have not expanded it to SMART when the two telcos practically merged.

Singapore, Singapore
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15. Re: SIM for both Manila and Cebu

SUN and SMART merged?

Luzon, Philippines
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for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
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16. Re: SIM for both Manila and Cebu

Text messaging is cheap that is why there are more than 2 billion SMS sent daily by Filipinos which accounts for 20% of the world's total so the Philippines is still the undisputed texting capital of the world since the late 1990s.

Regarding data plans, Filipinos are becoming one of the most heavy users of twitter and other social media sites because of attractive pricing and better coverage than years ago. Innovations like the pocket wi-fi and it's predecessor the wi-fi stick are even unheard of in many countries.

Philippines
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for Philippines
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17. Re: SIM for both Manila and Cebu

@ Kegler

You are right about the heavy usage part.

Unfortunately a bit wrong on the "because it is cheap" part. Text messaging is FREE and has been so for quiet a few years in many Asian developing countries. Phone calls in those countries have been less than (equivalent of) 1 peso per minute for regular users. (no need of promos!)

Wifi too has become common in most Asian developing countries.

But yes - free wifi in so many places (esp. malls and restaurants) is something unique to Phils and I do applaud this. Even Hongkong does not have such a profusion of free wifi this which becomes a pain for tourists.

@ MH -

You are right - Sun - Smart - PLDT are owned by the same parent company.

@ Viajero,

I agree on the monopoly part. Telecom in the Phils is monopolised by two groups only - Ayala (Globe) and PLDT (Nippon - JP Morgan - First Pacific)

We NEED a few more companies to com in and add some competition

Luzon, Philippines
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for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
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18. Re: SIM for both Manila and Cebu

The problem is that the market is already very saturated as there are more active cellphone numbers than the entire population of the country, the last time I read in a newspaper there are 110 million active cellphone numbers as of early this year. Filipinos are very brand loyal to these big networks that a new player would need to offer dirt cheap services in able to lure new subscribers.

19. Re: SIM for both Manila and Cebu

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