Internet Plan has been a huge issue in the Philippines. Many claims (including me) that the plans offered by the Telecom Giants are too expensive in terms of the speed you get. There are alot of debates about this going on. If I’m not mistaken, local news programs already picked up this issue. They even compared the internet speeds of several countries in Asia and their cost. As expected, Philippine Internet made it to the bottom.
Anyway, the reason why I’m writing this piece is because finally I was able to get my own Internet Plan! For several years, I’ve been hitching to my neighbor’s internet (PLDTmyDSL). We agreed that I’ll just pay her P500 pesos monthly for my usage. But due to the lightning speed (*sarcasm*) brought by PLDT myDSL, i got irritated and decided to let go of my “internet subscription contract” with my neighbor. Before I terminated my so-called contract with my neighbor, I did a limited research what’s the best internet plan out there. I’ve talked to a college friend of mine and he proudly recommended the internet plan of Sky Cable. He told me that for only P2,000, you’ll get a stable and fast internet connection. He showed me the result of a speed test during peak hour while its raining and I was quite impressed.
I was already convinced with the speed of Sky Cable. I decided to get one for myself. I gathered all the needed documents such as screenshot image of my passport and drivers license and head down to the Sky Cable Website to apply for their Internet Package. After three days, a customer service representative of Sky Cable called me confirming my address. She then looked up my address to their database to check if they have “a line” installed in our community. Unfortunately, it didn’t go well. She said that they can’t proceed with the installation because they don’t have a line installed within our community.
That really sucks!
Anyway, so much introduction. I’m sure you’re here because you want to know more about PLDT Ultera right? I would like to help you decide if you’re planning to get one. If and only if you are dying to get a PLDT Ultera, here are the things you need to know. Please note that these are not the basic information you’ll see in their product website. If you have not yet seen their website, I recommend that you visit it and read it first.
36 Month Locked In Period
In case you’re wondering what it is, it’s a contract between you and PLDT that they will provide you an internet for 36 Months or Three (loooooong) years! They will ask you to sign a document to make sure you can’t get out of it! This works like the mobile phone plan in Globe or Smart. You are required to finish the said locked in period before you can terminate the contract.
Fees for Termination of Contract
If you’re not satisfied anymore with what your getting with PLDT Ultera, you can’t just call them and ask them to terminate your contract! No you can’t do that!
Remember, you signed a document that you’ll be availing their service for 36 months? If your dying to terminate your PLDT Ultera for whatever reason, you need to pay the Monthly Service fee plus Device Fee multiplied by the unexpired or remaining months of your contract.
For example, you’ve been using it for 10 months and your paying P1,000 monthly. Aside from the device fees they will charge you, you are required to pay (a minimum of) the remaining 26 months which is P26,000. I have no idea how much is the exact amount you’ll be paying but I am sure you’ll be paying the remaining months of your plan. Also, I have no exact numbers for the “device fee” that I’ve mention.
Though all of the internet plans (correct me if I’m wrong) have the locked in period feature in their contract, it would be better if you’re getting a quality service that you’re willing to pay monthly and won’t regret in the long run.
One big draw back of PLDT Ultera is the volume allowance. This means that every user of PLDT Ultera has its own allotted volume.
I availed the most expensive plan which gives me 70GB of volume allowance monthly. If you are a heavy internet user, you might consider this. After spending the Volume allowance given, the internet will be disconnected. This means totally disconnected. No connection. No free FB or Youtube or anything. As in DISCONNECTED.
You can just resume the service if you will buy additional volume. Here are the rates of additional volume:
Monthly Refresh of Volume Allowance
In my case, the refresh of my volume allowance is every 11th of the month, I’m not sure with the other PLDT Ultera users if we have the same day. So if you’re spending too much in streaming movies, you better stop doing that. Your volume allowance will run out immediately and you’ll be left disconnected.
I just realized, If I spent the 70GB in just 7 days with my usual internet activity, this means that I need more than 70GB! PLDT Ultera won’t work for me! Big mistake!
Internet Speed is Unstable
To be fair, PLDT really fulfill their promise. Sort of (lol).
PLDT Ultera users can enjoy their fast and reliable internet connection. According to them, it is the first LTE WIFI service in the country. If you have a mobile plan with Smart or Globe, I know you’re familiar with the LTE Connection. My internet connection speed can reach up to 12 mbps during non peak hours (starting from 11PM). But will drop to 0.5-6 mbps during peak hours or during the weekends! Making it unstable due to the fluctuation.
The technician who installed the internet connection told me that high volume of users during peak hours is one of the factors why the internet speed is very low. This information is not new to me. I’ve already experienced this with my Globe Mobile Data plan.
To be honest, I’m not satisfied with the internet speed provided by PLDT ULTERA. I only enjoy the full power of Ultera after the peak hours but who am I kidding, do I have to wait until 11PM where majority of the users are already snoring and sound asleep?
It’s not just me, I’ve read many complaints about the slow connection speed of Ultera during peak hours and we share the same sentiments.
Shared Dynamic IP Address
If your a tech savvy user and you need a dedicated static IP Address, then Ultera is not for you.
Based on my observation, your IP Address will change when you restart your router. This was also confirmed by many users who posted their concern in one of the Reddit forum that I’ve read. So if you have activities that requires you to have a dedicated IP Address, then Ultera won’t work.
New users of PLDT Ultera will get surprised with the annoying captcha that frequently appears everytime they will visit a website.
The thing is, you need to comply with the request shown on your screen. Its either you just click the box and wait for it to verify you that you are a human and not a BOT or provide the answer to the questions that they’re asking.
I’m not really sure of how frequent and when it will appear but I’ve noticed that every time I visit a website for the first time, the annoying captcha appears!
I’ve done some research to address this little issue and end up on a Reddit forum discussing the same issue I’m dealing with. According to them, many users of PLDT Ultera is using a shared IP Address. There might be a case when one of the many computers using the shared IP address are infected with virus or malware. Even though you’re computer is clean and free from viruses/malware. Since you’re using the same IP Address, you will be flagged as a risk to the website together with the others who’s using the same IP address with you. Another thing that I’ve noticed, you’ll see the annoying Captcha when you visit a website that installed Cloudflare as its CDN.
As an innocent subscriber of PLDT Ultera, I have nothing to do with this. I’ve tried googling an easy solution to this but unfortunately i haven’t found one yet.
Successor of SMART HOME BRO & WIMAX
Just so you know, PLDT Ultera is the successor of Smart Home Bro and the Wimax. If you happen to encounter issues with the latter products, might as well think twice before getting Ultera.
The basic router is crap!
As part of the Ultera package, users are given a basic router. When the technician remove this little white (crap) router from the box, I instantly knew that this won’t be good enough. And just as what I’ve thought, after few minutes of looking into it, it really is a crap!
Here’s the deal, you can’t do much with the basic router! Yes, you can change the SSID (name of your WIFI) and its password. You can also hide or unhide your WIFI to the public eyes if you want to but aside from that, there’s nothing you can’t do with it. No advanced configuration can be done!
Unlike the router of my previous internet (PLDT myDSL), I can filter all the device that can connect to the network even if they have the password. It is also not capable of port forwarding. What you can do with this piece of crap is very limited!
I’ve asked the Customer Service Representative of PLDT Ultera if I am allowed to change the basic router but he didn’t gave me a straight forward answer. What he told me is that they’re not liable if the quality of the internet changes after replacing the router. According to him, It’s my call if I want to change it but then again, they’re not liable if my internet speed slows down.
The Higher the Better
As I have mention before, Ultera claims to be the first LTE WIFI service in the Philippines. That means it depends on the signal where your antenna or your PLDT Ultera Device is located.
The technician told me that to be able to get the best speed offered by Ultera, we need to place the device on the roof.
So I did and just as they expected, the internet speed went much faster compared when the antenna was still inside my room.
PLDT Ultera doesn’t fit to all users
Most of my activities in the internet are social medias, torenting softwares and games, playing online games, downloading movies, watching Netflix on our TV and streaming movies from different websites. Imagine how much gigabytes I’m spending daily to satisfy myself?
After just 7 days, the 70GB volume allowance was already drained! I have the option to get additional volume of 10GB for P250?
No thanks! This means that PLDT Ultera doesn’t fit my online lifestyle. If you have the same acivity just like me, Ultera will not work for you! You’ll regret it, believe me.
If someone would ask me if I would recommend PLDT Ultera, I will instantly say NO! Getting an unstable internet speed and dealing with the annoying catcha is bad. Paying the internet plan monthly and feeling sorry for myself because I’m tied up with this internet plan for 36 months contract is the worst and (lastly) having a monthly volume allowance of 70gb was the nail in the coffin!
If I can just terminate my Ultera Plan without paying any extra, I would do it! If I can redo the entire internet application experience, I would have waited for my PLDT Fiber application to be processed.
So please people, don’t be stupid like me! Don’t make the same mistake. Be wise, get something that’s worth your peso.
I was able to talked to the Customer Representative of PLDT and asked if its possible that I can upgrade my Ultera plan to PLDT Fibr. She said yes, I have a choice to do that.
All I need to do is go to the nearest PLDT Office and raise my concern and submit the requirements needed which is one valid ID. Another thing she mentioned is I need to wait until March 2020 because my PLDT Ultera Plan is a newly activated account. Their standard protocol is accounts should be at least 3 months old before upgrades will be entertained.
I also asked her if I will be paying the pre termination fees (remaining months in the contract) of my plan. According to her, It can be waived since I’m still availing another product from PLDT. BUT it is still subject to the PLDT’s approval.
Anyway, I’m really excited to terminate this shitty Ultera Plan and switch to PLDT Fibr!