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I have a few questions regarding the availability of services and use of mobile telephones in the Philippines.

I have always heard people talking about purchasing their "load" for their mobile phone devices. Do they not have monthly services available there like the rest of the world? Is this your only option in the Philippines is to purchase a "load" and then when it is used up...go back and buy more "load"?

Also, just about everyone I have met in the Philippines seems to have two phone numbers...a regular mobile phone as well as a Global number...(?)

Why would anyone...especially the locals...need both of these two optional phone numbers.

Can someone or anyone clarify the cellular services in the Philippines and outline the products and services available and perhaps suggest the best route to go when I arrive there so I can actually purchase the right product and service for my needs?

My only requirements, as simple as they are, will be to have a great phone device that I can make a call on whenever I need it...

I would be interested to hear some of the best stories as well as the horror stories about the Philippine options for cellular services.
 

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Yes, there's plans. Most people get loads because they think its cheaper as they only need to use the money in their pocket, poor people don't have bank accounts to make the payments, and people don't want a 2 yr plan.

Loads are a genius idea....how the telecom owners in Asia are billionaires.

Google Smart and Globe and you'll see what's there.

But I would use loads until you settle down to see who's the strongest signal. Also if family members have the same sim so it's cheaper to text/call them.
 

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I have a few questions regarding the availability of services and use of mobile telephones in the Philippines.

I have always heard people talking about purchasing their "load" for their mobile phone devices. Do they not have monthly services available there like the rest of the world? Is this your only option in the Philippines is to purchase a "load" and then when it is used up...go back and buy more "load"?

Also, just about everyone I have met in the Philippines seems to have two phone numbers...a regular mobile phone as well as a Global number...(?)

Why would anyone...especially the locals...need both of these two optional phone numbers.

Can someone or anyone clarify the cellular services in the Philippines and outline the products and services available and perhaps suggest the best route to go when I arrive there so I can actually purchase the right product and service for my needs?

My only requirements, as simple as they are, will be to have a great phone device that I can make a call on whenever I need it...

I would be interested to hear some of the best stories as well as the horror stories about the Philippine options for cellular services.
There are the big 4 Globe, Sun Smart and PLDT. PLDT is also the primary owner of Smart. If you subscribe to Globe, and call Smart or Sun it cost more than if you call another Globe. Most people text here as it only cost in some cases 1 peso. In most cases from the mobiles you can't call a landline number, thats an add on. PLDT does have a chip for mobile that is a Landline and you can call Landline.
Globe Smart Sun chips are cheap 50 pesos.
You can get a monthly subscription post paid, I don't know anyone who has that. You can also get internet on the mobiles, but is pretty expensive. You can get a load anywhere. I personally have a dual Sim phone I have a globe and a PLDT chip. I don't use the internet thru the phone because the service is intermittent and most of the big shopping malls have free wireless.
 

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When someone over here is buying a "load' they are referring to prepaid credits (sold in 100p, 300p and 500p increments). The costs of texts vary, from 1p to 2p depending on which Carrier they are being sent between.

There are plans similar to the states where you sign a 2 year contract and pay monthly. There are limits on minutes and texts (read the contract's fine print).

Cellular services is spotty and over subscribed. So even if you have a great signal, you can still have issues making a call during peak times. Also, depending on where you hang your hat, you may have better coverage with Smart/PLDT vs. Globe/Sun. This is why some people have both Sim chips. Those people with 2 chips have the choice of buying a dual sim phone or 2 cell phones.

I would start out with a prepaid (Load) sim until you see how much you are spending per month. If you are going to be in a metro area, either carrier (Globe or Smart) should work fine. 500p for me now lasts almost 2 months, plus you get 50+ free texts with the load card. If you are doing a lot of business and texting, 500p may not be enough. When I was working here before I could burn thru 500p in one day.

To use data on your cell phone can cost about 20p per half hour. Again, the throughput is not always usable.

I am not sure what c_acton was referring to about sims that can't call landlines. I have never had an issue calling a landline from a mobile. You just have to know the dialing sequence. However, calls between a landline and a cell phone are considered long distance. The rates are costly and I do not recommend doing that unless absolutely necessary. For this reason you will see businesses advertising both landline and mobile numbers for contact.
 

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We had unlimited wifi on a phone for 1000P a month. Usually worked good enough out in Samar. But Smart Bro sucked which is odd since its also a cellular signal.
 

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PLDT DSL Internet with Land line

I have a few questions regarding the availability of services and use of mobile telephones in the Philippines.

I have always heard people talking about purchasing their "load" for their mobile phone devices. Do they not have monthly services available there like the rest of the world? Is this your only option in the Philippines is to purchase a "load" and then when it is used up...go back and buy more "load"?

Also, just about everyone I have met in the Philippines seems to have two phone numbers...a regular mobile phone as well as a Global number...(?)

Why would anyone...especially the locals...need both of these two optional phone numbers.

Can someone or anyone clarify the cellular services in the Philippines and outline the products and services available and perhaps suggest the best route to go when I arrive there so I can actually purchase the right product and service for my needs?

My only requirements, as simple as they are, will be to have a great phone device that I can make a call on whenever I need it...

I would be interested to hear some of the best stories as well as the horror stories about the Philippine options for cellular services.
I have PLDT DSL/wifi built into unit, 3 mbps, phone package, it comes with a land line and you can buy a SIM card for 250 peso's (from the PLDT office only) for your cell phone it doesn't require loading (you can't load it) and you can make a call from anywhere to and from your house land line, you can also buy an additional SIM card and make calls from one cell phone to the other, plan runs me 1,299 Peso's a month.

Most phones here have more than one SIM card slot and that's a good thing, weather here can be extreme and if one company gets taken out you can use the other for making calls, If your traveling you could also lose cell service so back up is a good thing. SIM cards from Globe, Sun, Smart aren't expensive and can be purchased at most spots but do require loading, it's a real pain I agree and another negative with these companies is the constant advertising they send you.
 

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I have PLDT DSL/wifi built into unit, 3 mbps, phone package, it comes with a land line and you can buy a SIM card for 250 peso's (from the PLDT office only) for your cell phone it doesn't require loading (you can't load it) and you can make a call from anywhere to and from your house land line, you can also buy an additional SIM card and make calls from one cell phone to the other, plan runs me 1,299 Peso's a month.

Most phones here have more than one SIM card slot and that's a good thing, weather here can be extreme and if one company gets taken out you can use the other for making calls, If your traveling you could also lose cell service so back up is a good thing. SIM cards from Globe, Sun, Smart aren't expensive and can be purchased at most spots but do require loading, it's a real pain I agree and another negative with these companies is the constant advertising they send you.
And they charge you for receiving them. I believe you can turn them off.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the awesome feedback...particularly the detailed info from mcalleyboy...great info with prices! This really helps me sort out the available mobile telephone options and applicable pricing. Thanks again to everyone for your invaluable services to the members of this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hopefully...(mcalleyboy)...these companies are not charging text message rates for all the unnecessary advertising they send...that would certainly be a double negative issue...receiving all the unwanted ads and then having to pay for the messages.

Here in the US there are negatives also. My big one is if you buy a new phone, it comes with a bunch of garbage apps preloaded on the device from the factory and most of them cannot be shut off or removed and if you don't use them, they still drain your battery reserves!
 

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My big one is if you buy a new phone, it comes with a bunch of garbage apps preloaded on the device from the factory and most of them cannot be shut off or removed and if you don't use them, they still drain your battery reserves!
Here here! Just got a Galaxy S5 and want to clean it up. Hopefully it's explained on Google somewhere!
 

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Good luck! I have tried everything to clean up my Android and it seems it can't be done. These companies pay big bucks to have their app added and the cellular companies make it impossible to disable them! My battery won't last one day...even if I never use my phone...bummer!
 

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Cell Phone Adverstising

And they charge you for receiving them. I believe you can turn them off.
So true these advertisements rob you of the load (sometimes they offer deals but I don't need them) trouble is I don't know how to shut that off, my back up SIM card is Globe, now that I use my PLDT I hardly use Globe anymore but need to find out how to shut off Globe advertising.
 

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Here here! Just got a Galaxy S5 and want to clean it up. Hopefully it's explained on Google somewhere!
you can root any android phone its very easy. All mine are rooted and all the bloated software is gone.
 

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So true these advertisements rob you of the load (sometimes they offer deals but I don't need them) trouble is I don't know how to shut that off, my back up SIM card is Globe, now that I use my PLDT I hardly use Globe anymore but need to find out how to shut off Globe advertising.
I haven't done this myself but I believe you can text a stop message to a certain number. Try asking a few locals, I'm sure they will know.
 

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That would be awesome to be able to clean ALL the junk that I don't want or need off of my Android! Thanks c_action98...I will check into this...
 

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you can root any android phone its very easy. All mine are rooted and all the bloated software is gone.
Read up on it and it seems easy. Can you then connect the phone to a pc and use that to modify it?
 

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When it comes to mobile Internet Globe now has the most 3g/4G coverage out of all the carriers. Smart claims it has LTE but it is NOT LTE. And where they could have 4G speeds their network is so oversold that you won't have reliable service.

That being said you still have regional differences. Smart was a little more reliable in Valenzuela than globe but down in Lilo-an Southern Leyte globe is king and their Internet is 3-5 mbit.

Just get a dual Sim phone and slap smart and globe Sims in. You'll be covered.

Snip
 

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Extra charges

I have PLDT DSL/wifi built into unit, 3 mbps, phone package, it comes with a land line and you can buy a SIM card for 250 peso's (from the PLDT office only) for your cell phone it doesn't require loading (you can't load it) and you can make a call from anywhere to and from your house land line, you can also buy an additional SIM card and make calls from one cell phone to the other, plan runs me 1,299 Peso's a month.

Most phones here have more than one SIM card slot and that's a good thing, weather here can be extreme and if one company gets taken out you can use the other for making calls, If your traveling you could also lose cell service so back up is a good thing. SIM cards from Globe, Sun, Smart aren't expensive and can be purchased at most spots but do require loading, it's a real pain I agree and another negative with these companies is the constant advertising they send you.
Late note, this service is new for me, so bills are a little late in getting to me but I do get charged for using my phones, SIM Card, I still prefer the service, loading SIM cards or running out of load gets old.
 
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