Sunday, May 16, 2010

You Are Being Used as a Cash Cow—The Real Scoop on Smart Bro

As a user of Smart Broadband's SmartBro, I am very much frustrated of SmartBro's speed, performance and reliability. SmartBro is claimed to reach speeds of up to 2Mbps yet I'd be very happy if I could get even a quarter of that. Upload speed is even more problematic. Most of the time, 5Kbps is all you can ever get. This is frustrating if you ever need to upload something—like a photo—on sites such as Facebook and Flickr. Even simple web browsing could result in a connection timeout because of this slower than slow upload speeds. And surfing the Web, it seems like I'm not the only one having problems with SmartBro. The number of anti-SmartBro posts is significant but the multitude of comments thereon is even more telling.

Smart Broadband's Smart Bro Share-It, Plug-It and SurfTV broadband Internet are all based on HSDPA so I searched around for information about this technology and why SmartBro, which is based on it, is so slow. I found that HSDPA is a protocol in the HSPA family and is not slow per se. Using this technology, down-link speeds of 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and 14.0 Mbit/s (Mbps) could be realized. So, if HSPA is not slow and SmartBro is based on it, then why is SmartBro's speed so slow? Smart Broadband will not give you a straight answer here so here’s an interesting theory.

Obviously, to properly implement HSPA, you need to have the proper equipment and infrastructure and I imagine that these equipment and their installation do not come cheap. The lack of these equipment and the insufficiency of Smart's infrastructure could only be the reason why SmartBro is so slow even if you are just 50 meters away from a tower in an area well-covered by HSPA signal. The potential speed of HSPA networks could not be realized if one does not properly implement them.

But the fact that Smart Broadband cannot properly implement HSPA is not the problem. No one can fault them. Like I said, these equipment are probably expensive. The problem is that they mislead the public into thinking that they have the capability to deliver speeds of up to 2Mbps and charge accordingly. Now this is fraud.

The reason Smart Broadband is doing this could only be because they reckon that by selling a poor product for the price of the real thing using flashy promotion and marketing, they will soon have the cash they need to hopefully fully implement HSPA and customers would be none the wiser.

Let us say that I am Smart Broadband. It would roughly go about like so: Hmmm. This HSPA thing is amazing; maybe I can make lots of moolah if I offer this service in my network and call it SmartBro. But it seems like I need plenty of money to buy all the stuff to make this happen. Oh, I know! I don't have to buy all the stuff in one go. I would just have to buy enough to make HSPA work even if it is just slow and unreliable (because it is still incomplete). Of course, it won't attain true HSPA speeds of 2Mbps—more like dial-up speeds. However, I'll just pretend it'll reach 2Mbps and use obscure language like "up to" to cover for me. Anyway, those dumb people won't know the difference and as long as I market it real good, have a nice jingle and hire celebrities, they'll come rushing in with their money. Now, since I charged them for a Mercedes while actually giving them a Hyundai, I will use the difference to fully implement the service. Gosh, these people are building my business for me at zero cost. Am I a genius, or what?

Smart is using you as a cash cow to finance their business so that they will be richer and you, poorer. You were made to pay a fee that would cover the cost of a fully operational HSPA network. But since theirs is half baked, their actual cost is way lower. The difference is what would allow them to slowly build up their network. They are milking you.

In away, you are like a bank loaning them money; only, the bank earns interest and has a security—you don't. You get problems instead. It could also look like you are an investor investing money in Smart; only, you neither earn dividends, have voting rights, perks nor even a small stake in the company. Sorry, but you simply got punked.

I don't know if your are okay with being being used by large, rich corporations to further enrich themselves. I'm not sure if you are willing to close your eyes on expensive, inferior products so long as they are aggressively marketed and promoted by popular celebrities. You can simply continue patronizing SmartBro even after knowing how much of a fake it is. If you are a Smart Broadband employee, you can even go on tweeting about how great SmartBro is even if you know deep inside the falsity of such a claim. But you can also stand up and refuse to be used. Show them that you are not as dumb and gullible as they thought you are.

Tell your friends and acquaintances just how bad this service is. Put up a blog, tweet about it, mention it in Facebook. Tell people the truth. Do your part in preventing and ending shady business practices such as this. In truth, this service is hardly distinguishable from a scam. Do everything in your power to end this.

30 comments:

  1. So are you planning to change your ISP? Lemme know if you do.

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  2. i agree with you hundred percent smartbro is terribly slow i am very frustrated it looks like i could only use my load of 100ph once and then i have to reload again just to be connected. right now am just doing it because i don;t have any other way to connect to the internet since i don't have other means. it's really very frustrating. am sorry to say that i have cursed them a thousand times because of frustrations.

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  3. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=551538053#!/SmartCommunications

    they do have a FB page... and they are fast in giving you ticket number since they are afraid that many will learn about their poor service

    Also found this post about Terminating your subscription without paying the remaining months of the lock in period.

    http://www.smartwifi.org.ph/announcement/want-to-cancel-your-smart-bro-subscription/#comment-298139

    the post by Marc May 13, 2010

    alrick13

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  4. @Yaiboy, changing ISPs is not that easy because of SmartBro's Lock-in period about which, you can read here.

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  5. @anonymous, yes, SmartBro really is frustrating.

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  6. @Alrick13, welcome back and thanks for the link. However, I already had loads of tickets but still without a solution in sight. Terminating your subscription without paying The Fee is only theoretical. Sure, they had a procedure. But that would take ages to happen. By then, you'd be past two years anyway.

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  7. I concur. Smartbro sucks during the day. it only works well at really wee hours of the night.

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  8. f****ng smartbro

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  9. smartbro unreliable piece of sht

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  10. SmartBro used to be reliable. But not anymore. I am still bound by the contract till August 2011. Nuts. I used to be able to download well but now, I can't even manage to open my email without the internet connection slowing down to a turtle speed. So next year, I might try WiTribe, considering that I've tried Sun, Globe and Smart.

    Sun is OK for areas that they have signals. But they really block Torrents. So it is not a good thing to use for downloading stuff if you are into that kind of thing.

    Globe is SELECTIVELY ok too in areas that they are strong.

    So anybody here can give me an idea about WiTribe?

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  11. i submitted my complaint to them and hopefully they will increase my speed even if I know that's gonna be only for 2 to 3 days and back to its old crap.

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  12. I think there are hundreds of us who are dissatisfied with smart, if only someone could organize us to voice our concern, perhaps a one day strike with media coverage,:)even if we got nothing in return, just knowing that we have forewarned those who have not signed up yet, then we will help others so as not to suffer the same fate...

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  13. That is a great idea. My friend thought of putting a petition online before but pressing schedules prevent him from doing so.

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  14. That solution they are offering is crap! bring back the money and terminate - isn't that easy? They want your money and that's all.

    No wonder they are earning big: they get your money, pay their employees poorly and they simply suck.

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  15. my smartbro internet connection is really bad... especially whenever after the last typhoon...

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  16. You should post some ads here like adsense. Thanks for your blog, I will click your ads for your helping counter the lies of DUMB BRO.

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  17. That is quite interesting article & provide a great knowledge. Regards for this.

    Point to multipoint

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  18. High pings on Garena HoN while my friends(PLDT myDSL) aren't having any problem. I wanna change ISP to MyDSL on the end of contract if this is not fixed. Ping was not a problem before, it just came in the end of 2011.

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  19. This is typical of local "broadband" providers. They promise the moon but customers would be lucky to get to the top of an ant hill.

    No point transferring to Globe or PLDT since they also suck. Local telecoms is a cartel and they hold customers' balls. This is why we need the likes of Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Vodaphone and other international global telcos to give them competition.

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  20. got A NEW LAPTOP..DECIDED TO USE SMARTBRO SNCE IT POPULAR..GOODNESS SERVICE SUCKS..I HAVE TO WAIT LIKE 10YRS TO LOAD ..WTS GOOD ISP THEN..WTS DSL??

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  21. neither the globe, both of them really sucks, and this lock in period really suck.. what do they want us to do? continue paying for the whole 24 months and sit around and just get nothing? and get frustrated and pissed off everyday? geez, that's more than to much..

    they really sucks, hope they will remove this lock in period thing. if people enjoys their connection, people will stay, if they are not giving enough subscriber is free to go without paying any penalties for breaching, in fact they are the one who are breaching. 7.2mpbs? couldn't get even 15kpbs, geez.

    company nowadays.

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  22. I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your site!!
    domain sorgula

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  23. As I want to change ISP there is no choice in our area. Our area have a limited ISP which is our is force to use Smart Bro. If there is any good ISP you know within Bulucan please let me know and we will change ISP as soon I get the information.

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  24. You are correct... the Smart 3G network is way overloaded.
    Something needs to be done here.

    Isn't WiTribe 4G/LTE?
    If it is it should support speeds up to 150Mbit
    I got 4G here in sweden and i measured up a top speed here at 74Mbit with my HTC One.

    I dont understand what Smart is doing here but they seem to stay alive with a heavily overloaded network... 3G should support up to 32Mbit with the right technology or at least 16Mbit with old tech.
    I guess its about what you say... Extremly overloaded network.

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  25. why not create a facebook page for pros and cons on different internet connections on facebook. post if there already is one that compares the different connections that exists in PH

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  26. Its simple they are selling their band width and dont care about you the customer!!!!

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  27. i feel the same way too... smart is slower than slow!!! they dont have any other reasons... same old, same old web traffic... i hate smart!!! thank you for your post. now i know im not the only person experiencing a problem from smart!!!

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  28. Smart bro con scam updated.

    I just paid the extra to get the so called 20 mbps with smart bro plug it and its the biggest BS I have ever encountered. All over the paper work and box is free 10 days but guess what..they only give you 7 days! I busting my brain trying to figure out why it will not work but when i test loaded it with 20 peso wow it worked.

    Just blatant scammers. Then the speed never changes on my laptop at 21 mbps! but cant watch a single video! So I test it online and its O.18! I mean cant we file a class action lawsuit these crooks?!

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  29. Like any Mobile Service Provider it's about capital equipment and backhaul. So many of them use too few towers, rarely upgrade equipment except in urban areas and then clog up their network from inadequate backhaul (once connected to a tower the tower to Internet backbone is has either too many users connected or the bandwidth is too small to handle many connections).

    No matter where you live we're paying way too much for way too little bandwidth.

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