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Prepaid versus Postpaid: Things to Consider in Choosing between Non-contract and Contract plan For Internet Usage

Updated on December 11, 2015
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According to internetlivestats.com, as of 2014, 38 percent of the total population of the Philippines were internet users. It is equal to 39,470,845 out of the 100, 096,496 population of the country. If we gonna compare this to the data gathered in the year 2013, there is a total of 10 percent to the increase of internet user. The Philippines is rank on number 7th spot in Asia and on the number 17th spot on the Top 20 Countries in the whole world based on the number of internet users.

By looking at the data presented above, we can conclude that Filipinos are very active in the internet world whether they are engaged in social medias e.g. facebook, twitter and instagram. But how did Filipino users connect to the internet? Are they using prepaid or apply a postpaid plan to their internet service providers?


Below is the latest ranking of the Top 20 Countries by Users - 2014

Elaboration of data by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Population Division, Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), World Bank.  July 1 2014 Estimate
Elaboration of data by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Population Division, Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), World Bank. July 1 2014 Estimate | Source

Prepaid versus Postpaid

Before choosing the right plan for you, let us first know the difference between prepaid and postpaid.

What is prepaid? What is postpaid? How did these two plan works?

Prepaid plan is a term used to refer to data usage in which you need to have credit first before you can use the service. How to earn credits? You have to load your number the amount that you want. If you already have credits then you can call, text and access the internet. If you don’t have credits or the exact amount needed then you can’t access any of these services. It simply means as access denied by the network. The big difference for prepaid is the have credits before you can use the service.

Postpaid plan also known as contract plan is where the service is provided to you by a prior arrangement with you internet service provider. In this plan, you must first apply to your ISP and choose the best plan for you. Of course you need to sign a contract, one year contract or more depending on what is your data plan and device.

Before this mobile data plan, internet service providers actually offered unlimited services to their postpaid users. Though there was actually what we called as Fair Usage Policy in which the terms and conditions applied. But the sad fact is that some of its users were not knowledgeable about the FUP. Until ISP’s removed unlimited services and those who will apply for the service will be based on what mobile data plan they choose.

If you are a postpaid plan, no need for you to load your number instead you can surf the internet but you must know your monthly data limit. And speaking of your bill, it will arrived monthly and don’t be surprised if you received additional charges

Whether you are a postpaid user or prepaid user, knowing your daily and monthly data usage limit is A MUST

Many users actually complain of this and that. Why their internet connection is very slow? Why they can’t access online? Why they have limits? Why they have additional charges on their monthly bill?

For prepaid users, the most common issues are the daily/monthly data usage limit and slow internet connection. Other people complain that they were registered to unlimited services. Well, actually some internet providers in the country still offer unli to their prepaid users. But there are terms and conditions applied in which other users are not aware of.

“Why is it that my internet connection is very slow? I can’t log-in to my facebook, instagram or twitter. F*ck my network.” Have you tried asking yourself how many megabytes I’ve used today? And what is my daily and monthly limits based on the service I’ve registered?

If you are a prepaid user, then you know that there are actually data limits even if you are registered to unlisurf. Try reading fair usage policy before you complain. Network operators send warnings to their users about these limits. Below is an example of these messages that I’ve received from my network provider after I registered to unlisurf.

“You’re now registered to SUPERSURF50, with all-day surfing valid for 1 day. Maintain P5 to use the service. For status, text SUPERSURF STATUS. To unsubscribe, text SUPERSURF STOP. Send to 8888. For local use only. regular roaming rates apply when surfing outside the country. SuperSurf is subject to Fair Use Policy.

What we forgot is about the Fair Use Policy.

I have a very slow connection. I myself actually experienced this problem. But there are many factors that you must consider why you also experienced this. First, your network's signal. It doesn’t mean that people in other areas experienced fast internet connection then you can also experience it. Second is your data usage limit. When you reached your daily limit, your network provider slows down your internet connection. This is what we call as bandwidth capping.

So is postpaid plan better than prepaid plan?

Postpaid users also experienced what prepaid users had experienced. But the most common complain I’ve heard from them is that, why I have additional charges on my monthly bill?

Let’s go back on applying for mobile data plan. When you apply for a plan, you choose what plan that you like. Whether it is plan 999 or plan 1799. But you forget that there is a monthly data limit depending on what is your plan. The problem is some of us forget that there is NO MORE UNLIMITED PLANS ON POSTPAID.

But what’s good with postpaid plan is that you can still browse the internet even though you exceed from your monthly data usage limit BUT TAKE NOTE: YOU WILL RECEIVE ADDITIONAL CHARGES ON YOUR MONTHLY BILLING.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Prepaid vs Postpaid

1. Brand new phone. Buy it or apply for it?

If you are a prepaid user, I’m sure you bought your phone. You had save money for months so you can buy a new one. But if you are rich of course it only takes a minute for you pay it. It’s either you withdraw money from your ATM or pay it, own it using your credit card.

And if you are planning to choose postpaid, then you can have your phone in a week. All you need to do is go to the nearest store in your location. Bring valid id’s and of course downpayment. Once your application is accepted you can now enjoy your new phone but don’t forget that you have a contract with them and you will pay monthly until your contract is over.

2. Cost

We sometimes forget to calculate the cost between postpaid and prepaid plan as long as we received a brand new phone with internet access.

It is actually hard to save money for a new phone that why some of us choose postpaid plan. But have you ever wondered how much money you will save for your 1 year contract, for your 2 or 3 years contract?

3. Access on the internet

Prepaid users need to have credit before they can access the internet. They need to register in a service offered by their ISP’s to enjoy online. While for postpaid users, there is no need for them to registered on a service nor load their account.

4. Loads. Control it or additional charges?

If you are a prepaid user, you can browse online if you have credits. Load it. Consume it. But you must know your daily data usage limit. If you are not aware of it, then you will experience slow internet connection. YOU CAN STILL BROWSE THE INTERNET EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED TO ANY SERVICES OFFERED BY YOUR SERVICE PROVIDERS. BUT MAKE SURE YOU HAVE CREDITS. This is what we called as regular browsing. It depends on your service providers on how much per minute they will charge on you.

If you are a postpaid user, YOU CAN STILL BROWSE THE INTERNET EVEN IF YOU EXCEED ON YOUR MONTHLY DATA USAGE BUT EXPECT ADDITIONAL CHARGES ON YOUR MONTHLY BILL. Some subscribers actually complain that their plan is only 450 a month but they pay thrice the amount of their data plan. Well the problem is some of us still believe that there is unlimited service on postpaid. When you say data plan it is based on data usage and remember that there is NO MORE UNLIMITED SERVICES!

Now what will you choose? Just remain as prepaid user or apply for postpaid plan?

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