PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid Hands-on
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Captain's Log Supplemental Stardate -315207.49
Several years ago, applying for a PLDT landline takes years to be approved. But that's no longer a problem today with the introduction of PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid. PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid SIM is the latest wireless product from PLDT that enables anyone who owns a GSM mobile phone to have a "landline" of their own. Anytime, anyplace, and nearly everywhere. MOBILINE!
I've been testing the PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid SIM for a week now and so far, the voice quality is clear, text messages arrive on time, and no congestion. My test unit is a Nokia 6510, my trusty old companion during my college days.
First thing you'll notice when you open the SIM pack is the SIM looks exactly like a normal GSM SIM card. They may call it a landline but it's just a rebranded SMART GSM service. PLDT claims mobility, they are true indeed. Your "landline" is no longer confined within the walls of your house. You can practically use it anywhere as long as there's a SMART signal.
One feature of a real landline remains though. You cannot use this outside your serviced area. If the SIM pack you bought was issued in Metro Manila, then you can only use it within Metro Manila or nearby provinces that is under the area code of two (2). I gave one to my aunt who lives in Sta. Rosa Laguna and our call was cutoff when she entered Mamplasan Exit. Her phone still has a signal but can no longer make and receive calls. It's a "landline" so no complains ok? :P
A lot of my customers are asking about network congestion. PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid rides on the SMART network so whatever congestion SMART has, PLDT Landline Plus has. I'm a Globe subscriber so I really don't know the quality of SMART's network. But for the past week, my calls are connected instantly, whether incoming or outgoing. There are times that I have to redial 2-3x but it rarely happened.
These cheap SIM cards might cause a "little" problem in the future. If PLDT can sell thousands (or millions) of these cheap Landline Plus Prepaid SIMs, just imagine how it would degrade the network quality of current SMART and Talk and Text subscribers. Can SMART handle the added load of millions of simultaneous landline calls at the same time?
Anyway, each call is limited to 10 minutes. You will hear 2 (EXTREMELY LOUD AND EAR DRUM BUSTING) beeps 10 seconds before your calls gets cutoff. This is the same feature, except the irritating beep, that SUN Cellular imposes to at least help reduce network congestion from voice call addicts. Give them a few weeks, PLDT and SMART might find themselves in the same pit where SUN Cellular came --the NETWORK BUSY pit.
I encountered atleast 15 cross lines whenever I make or receive a call. My call is being connected to another call. It's like those old-school party lines where you could spy on another call. Remember them? "Hoy party line! Isang oras ka na diyang telebabad. Puro ka boyfried! Isusumbong kita sa tatay mo!"
There's one big problem though. As of today. SIM activation can only be performed in some areas. My SIM was activated in SM Megamall but I have another SIM that I cannot activate until now. I tried to activate here at home, near St. James Quezon City, near Holy Cross Novaliches, and even infront of ABC-5's main office. All I could hear is, "Your number cannot be completed as dialed, please check the number and dial again..." The SIM that I gave my aunt was activated along South Expressway, near SM Bicutan. We tried to activate it here and it also failed.
I tried to activate my SIM within the vicinity of SM North EDSA this afternoon and still no luck. I was informed that a lot of SMART cellsites are not yet configured to receive the activation command from a PLDT Landline Plus. So if you bought a SIM from me and still cannot activate, stand infront of SM Megamall and I'll guarantee you 100% it would work. I've already activated 3 SIMs there. :~)
Reloading is also easy. You can reload at any SMARTLoad retailers from P30 to P1000 denominations. Internet is not yet available but is seems that landline video calls may not be far from reality as my Nokia N70 shows a 3G signal.
Here's a comparison on PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid's Plan 300 and bayanWIRELESS Prepaid.
PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid Pros:
- No need to buy new handset, old and 2nd hand GSM phones would do.
- Caller ID built-in compared to regular landline.
- Signal coverage
- Can be reloaded at any SMARTLoad retailer
PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid Cons:
- Per minute charging
- No free SMS
- Voice echoes in calls
- Cannot reload via SMART Call and Text Cards
Bayantel Wireless Landline Prepaid Pros:
- Per call charging
- Caller ID built-in compared to regular landline.
- Free SMS to bayan to bayan subscribers
Bayantel Wireless Landline Prepaid Cons:
- Required to purchase new handset
- SIM Card cannot be used with GSM handsets
- Scarce availability of CDMA handsets in the market
- Weak signal coverage compared to SMART
- Frequent drop calls
- Availability of Prepaid/Top-up cards
|PLDT LANDLINE PLUS PREPAID (Plan 300)||BAYAN WIRELESS PREPAID|
|P2/min call||P3 per call|
|P6.50/min Cellphone calls||P7/min Cellphone calls|
|P8/min Top 95 IDD||US$0.15/min Top 71 IDD|
|P1/SMS (Local)||Free Bayan to Bayan SMS|
|Can be used on any openline GSM cellphone.||Must purchase handset from BayanTel.|
Their rates are almost the same but the availability of cheap GSM handsets in the market is a big advantage to PLDT. PLDT's Landline Plus Prepaid will kill bayanWIRELESS if they don't do something ASAP. For as low as P300, anyone can have a landline without submitting any documents or proof of income. Bayantel on the other hand requires everyone to purchase a CDMA handset whether applying for postpaid or prepaid, which is a big turnoff to the masa market.
Anyway, we consumers are all winners if there's a healthy competition. :) But I do hope that PLDT one day requires everyone to register their PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid SIMs. They're opening more room for criminals to easily acquire a mobile landline with this cheap SIMs.
- You can still order SIMs here.
- SIM CARD Giveaway to Bloggers here.
*Computer end log*
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