That's what Smart is offering to prepaid subscribers now with its Freedom Plan.
|My Smart Freedom Plan sim|
For the next few months, I will be testing out this plan.
The facts: I'm a prepaid subscriber on both Globe and Smart (and I used to be one with Sun too). Many friends ask me why I have stayed prepaid all these years although I was a postpaid subscriber when I was still fully employed. I tell them that with prepaid, I can monitor my mobile spending based on how much I load (very important for one with no full-time job and is on a tight budget). I have the freedom to choose what telco and even what plan I will enroll in from day to day (I use my home wifi most times and only need internet when I am mobile). I am free of bill shock risk. When they tell me that postpaid subscribers get a free phone, I just shrug and tell them that the phone I want usually comes with a monthly plan (which is too inflexible for what I need) so I'd rather just buy the phone I really want and use a prepaid sim.
I really enjoy my prepaid freedom and won't just give it up and be tied to a network or postpaid plan unless I enjoy the same or better flexibility I now enjoy as a prepaid mobile user.
So when Smart invited me to try out their Freedom Plan, I agreed to give it a test run. Here's what the Freedom Plan is all about.
* No fixed monthly fees (you start from ZERO)
* No lock-in period (you just get the SIM. No phones are bundled with the plan.)
* No documents to submit if you stay within the default credit limit
* No bill shock - Each SIM is ready with a P600 credit limit. You can mix/match the plan's "postpaid buckets" for the month until you reach P600.
Available Postpaid Buckets
You can use a combination of any of available postpaid buckets (up to the credit limit of P600) in any month, depending on your planned usage. Just use the corresponding keyword and send to 9990.
For example, you decide to choose this combination:
Trio Talk 150 + All Text 200 = 150 minutes of Tri-net (Smart, Sun, Talk 'N Text) calls + 2,000 texts to all networks + 150MB internet surfing
That will only cost you P350. Since you're well within the P600 monthly limit, you can still avail of another postpaid bucket worth P250 within the month.
What if you are close to or hit P600 limit before month is over?
You can do either of the following;
1. Pay what you have already used up so you can free up the credit limit and allow you to subscribe to more buckets. Payment is available in many ways: through Smart Store, online banking, Smart Money, etc.
2. You can always apply for a higher monthly limit. Smart will just require some additional documentation from you.
Rates when not on Postpaid Buckets
When you are not subscribed to any of the Freedom Plan postpaid buckets, the following rates will apply:
Voice calls per minute (to Smart, Talk 'N Text - P6.50
Voice calls per minute (to other networks) - P7.50
SMS/MMS to all networks - P1.00/SMS
IDD per minute (to any country) - US$ 0.40
International texts (to any country) - P10.00/SMS
Mobile surfing - P10 for every 30 minutes
Current Promo for New Freedom Plan Subscribers
For new Freedom Plan Subscribers up to January 15, 2013, you can enjoy a 10% rebate on the first 6 months of your subscription under the following conditions:
1. You have a paid bill of at least P300
2. You paid your previous month's bill completely
Rebate is applied on your next bill.
How to Apply
1. Just visit any Smart Store.
2. Present just one valid school or company ID.
3. Pay a P250 application fee.
4. You get your Smart Freedom SIM on the spot. Within 24 hours, you can begin availing of the Freedom Plan.
While the initial target market of the Freedom Plan is yuppies in their 20s to early 30s, on a tight budget because they are just establishing their careers, I already see that there are other markets that will want this kind of plan. Senior citizens who may be living on pension are also on a tight budget and want to stretch their load and cap it at a predictable amount.
I am eager to test this plan for several months and see how this would fit the budget needs of my own kids, some of whom are fresh out of college and fall within this target market.
How does the Freedom Plan sound to you?