Review: SmartBro LTE with Alcatel One Touch LTE Modem

May 9, 2014 | Uncategorized

I grabbed this image from Smart's website, so its their copyright, not mine. 8-(

Pictured above is the Alcatel Onetoch LTE modem I got. I grabbed this image from Smart’s website, so its their copyright, not mine. 8-(

Our office just “upgraded” my mobile internet access device to an Alcatel OneTouch LTE Modem under their Smart LTE Plan 1749. In this package this is what I should be experiencing:

  • A Smart LTE Plan that is capable of going at blistering speeds of up to 42 Mbps*
  • 10GB of data
  • Expanded coverage in key cities around the Metro

Let me tell you people, if you will use this everyday, you’ll spend more than your plan allows. Let me tell you why.

First, I realized that 10Gb will not be enough monthly allocation if you are using a computer. You will be checking email. These emails may have big attachments like, photos, documents, spreadsheets, etc.

Then you’ll be surfing the web, why else would you need internet access. You’ll be Facebooking, checking out news sites, maintaing your cloud (Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc), listening to streaming radio (think Spotify), watch a few YouTube videos and before you know it you’d have consumed over 1Gb. Its sooo easy to reach that. so imagine in 10 days, you would have consumed your allocated 10Gb. Its not unlimited! Remember that, its not unlimited! You cannot live on 10Gbs of internet allocation! BELIEVE ME!

Check out the Smart website and you’ll easily see that for each excess gigabyte it would cost 450 bucks!

Then there’s the coverage. Its good that our neighborhood is included in the list of locations where there is LTE coverage. Now ask me if I am experiencing the “…blistering speed of 42Mbps.” Yes…in the early mornings and late evenings. In between, highly unpredictable. That has led me to ask our Purchasing Office that if we do not get the mimimum guaranteed speed will they give us a rebate? Because we do not experience it every time we turn the modem. Another thing. If you do experience the blistering speed, what o you think will be the impact on your 10Gb monthly allocation? <wink> <wink>

There is also the question if they will give us a rebate if we are connected to a 3G network because the modem cannot find a 4G network? WE paid for 4G internet access and surely you will agree that they do not cover the whole of Metero Manila will LTE base stations. Yes, they are promising increase roll-out of LTE locations but when will that happen?

SO here is the bottom line (for me at least):

1. When its fast, its really fast…for a hefty price.

2. ITs not fast every minute that you connect with the unit.

3. 10Gb per month allocation on a 1,749 peso package  is terribly low. You’ll easily use it up in less than two weeks. Me? Whenever I open the unit, I always keep an eye on the consumption. Your monthly payments will easily increase if yo do not watch it.

4. If you are getting it prepaid, you’ll be paying a lot of money just to get that speed which I think is not worth it.

My advice, stick with 3G modem until the price gets lower. OR, get an LTE plan where the monthly allocation is unlimited, one caveat is that you may experience the dreaded data cap by the telcos.

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