10/18/2009

Sun Wireless Broadband Internet

Sun Wireless Broadband or SWB is one of the three (3) major wireless broadband in the Philippines, officiated by Sun Cellular. Sun Cellular is the known brand name for Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. or DMPI. Sun Cellular is a member of the JG Summit group. JG Summit Holdings, Inc. (JGSHI), one of the largest and most diversified conglomerates in the Philippines owns 47.45% of Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc.

The other two competitors in wireless broadband are SMART and GLOBE TELECOMS. For SMART they call it the SMART BRO. GLOBE TELECOMS call their wireless broadband the GLOBE TATTOO. SUN CELLULAR simply call it the SUN WIRELESS BROADBAND.

I'm not really sure really of which is better, although as far as I know they all have different target consumers or should I say that their services apply to different types of consumers.

I'm currently subscribed to the Sun Wireless Broadband or SWB plan 799. It's an unlimited service post-paid plan worth PHP799 a month. The modem is worth PHP1,895. This plan has no holding period since you need to buy the modem separately. The modem is an easy-to-bring, light-weight, USB compatible flash drive. It can come with a router (optional) for a one-time-fee of PHP3,500. You need to settle the accounts for the first month which means that your next billing statement should only arrive at the 19th of the 2nd month from when you've subscribed to their service. Their billing due date is always at the 19th of the month. Therefore you should receive your billing statement days before the 19th day of the month. Their service is Metro-wide applicable.




The speed can go up to 2mbps (as in 2 mega bits per second). Don't expect too much about the speed. Since it's a wireless application protocol, the speed varies from time to time. It has no constant speed. For this moment it could be 512kbps (kilo bits per second), then next second it could fluctuate to 1.7mbps (mega bits per second), then on the next second it could be as low as 4kbps or even ZERO kbps.

This is rather normal. The frequency would be less consistent since it's an airborne signal. This applies to all the other wireless broadband out there. The only difference is that Sun Cellular's service is unlimited. For Globe Telecoms' Globe Tattoo's strong point, their signal is strong everywhere and not just in Metro Manila. For Smart Bro, I'm not really that sure.

And please don't get messed up with the (kbps) thing. Many customers think that this speed is in kilo bytes per second. Now this is the common mistake. Kilobytes is far from kilobits. 1 byte is equivalent to 8 bits. so you could just imagine the difference when you add the prefix "kilo" to it.

I would just like to reiterate this, not just for Sun Wireless Broadband, but for all the rest as well. We often mistook the (kbps) download speed with the (kbps or mbps) bandwidth allotment. You might actually be wondering why you're connected with let's say 512kbps bandwidth and yet when you download any program or software from the internet it drops down to 40-50+ kbps or something less. This is because the bandwidth is in kilobits while the download speed meter is in kilobytes. If you convert 512kilobits into kilobytes, you'll end up at around 64kilobytes bandwidth for download. That would be the ceiling speed if you're bandwidth is 64kilobytes. But it's very rare that you would reach that maximum download speed. Often times you'll only get, as I said, around 40-50+ kbps of download speed or even less.

Let's go back to Sun Wireless Broadband. SWB is not really good for programs that need a consistent connection like online games. It's best recommended for web surfers since they only require a minimum amount of bandwidth and download speed. But just to share some experience, I wouldn't say that Sun Wireless Broadband has a really good internet connectivity. Sometimes you'll really get pissed for having a very and ultra slow connection. Sometimes you wish you've never subscribed here. But also sometimes, you want to take advantage when your download speed hits up 1.7mpbs to 1.9mbps (megabits/second or around 240 kilobytes/second). It's true, there really is a time when the download speed goes up this fast but usually it's around the time when people are already on their beds (LOL). Lucky for me, I'm a vampire. I mean my body clock is the reciprocal of a regular person. I'm awake from 6p.m. to around 10a.m. and the rest of the day is sleeping time. I usually encounter this ultimate speed during 2-6am as the maximum span of time. Very nice ^_^ download all you want ^_^ even torrents.

They have a pretty good customer service. I've tried it more than twice since I had some questions regarding the equipment set itself and problems regarding my billing statement. Since I have no land-line phone in my house, I have no choice but to contact their customer support through my cell-phone or through their website. First, I tried to use their website's customer support and feedback form. I was hoping that my query was going to be delayed since it has always been the problem with many other companies' customer support service, but it didn't turn out to be like that. I was even surprised to see their reply on my GMAIL inbox relatively less than 24 hours. I was expecting that queries like that could be processed at around three days without them notifying the customer of why it could take that long.Gladly, it was a good customer service. They were very nice with their message. They were straight to the point. And they were quick. I'm not sure about call center agents though. I haven't tried their CSR through call centers yet.