Damn! Loading Google's homepage took me 10 seconds! Yes, I know. I may sound like a whining brat but a delay of 10 seconds in cyberspace is like an eternity especially at this time when modernity has been speaking of breakthroughs in digital communication.
I learned of Wi-Tribe through the promotional flyers that were disseminated around our village. Wi-Tribe is a new player in the arena of local Internet service providers, specifically the wireless broadband services. It is operated by the local telecommunication company Liberty Broadcasting Network Inc. in partnership with San Miguel Corporation and the Qatar-based telecommunication company Qtel Group. The selling proposition of this ISP is its “unlimited Internet connection” powered by a “4g wireless broadband technology.” Accordingly, 4G surpasses 3G technology offered by other wireless ISPs such as Globe, Smart, and Sun since it is specifically made for the transmission of bigger data such as multimedia as compared to 3G, which on the other hand, is only made for voice transmission.
I availed the “Move Up Plan 998” at 1 Mbps connection speed which cost me just a thousand pesos including the plug-and-play modem from Motorola. The 1 mbps plan amounts at PhP 998 monthly and this is considerably cheap in my opinion. Locked-in for a 24-month period, my first few weeks of surfing the Internet was hassle-free. It was fast. I constantly tested the connection through speedtest.net and got an impressive average of 0.90 Mbps download speed and about 0.70 Mbps upload speed. With this speed, I enjoyed surfing the Internet, browsing through Facebook, blogging, working, and watching streaming videos from time to time. Such happy days of Internet usage however met its end a month after my subscription.
They say “4G is here” but where is it?
Connection was starting to be inconsistent. Most of the time, my connection speed was just plain bull. I am aware of Wi-Tribe’s bandwidth capping pronounced in its Fair Usage Policy. As mentioned, subscribers are limited to 6 GB worth of downloadable data per month. Upon reaching the limit, the 1 Mbps speed will be reduced to half.
Upon recognizing the boo-boo, I also realized that I should have gone through the contract in the first place. One provision stipulates that it is impossible readily terminate an account. Doing so will entail a subscriber to pay the remaining months of the 24-month locked-in period. In my case, it would cost me around Php 22,000 to have my account terminated.
I also realized that capping should not be allowed at all. Wi-Tribe managed to fool me by saying that they provide “unlimited” Internet connection. How is it possible to have an “unlimited” Internet usage while “limiting” the transmission of data to 6 GB a month? Perhaps, the company went overboard with their claims with 4G. Of course, 4G is broadband and as such, it is susceptible to bandwidth traffic. The company may have a limited bandwidth as of the moment and they use the so-called fair usage policy as a guise to their technical shortcomings.
Time is gold in Internet browsing. I was caught in the trap set by Wi-Tribe after promising me of a rich Internet experience. It was an exciting promise because I thought Wi-Tribe was advancing the wireless digital communication technology here in the Philippines. Apparently, this ISP made me feel that I am back in the heydays of dial-up Internet. Anyhow, I am not plugging out the cables yet and sadly, I’m still connected through Wi-Tribe.