I’ve been kind of playing musical chairs over the past couple of months when it comes to cell phones. The past week or so has been particularly frustrating and also somewhat comical. The whole story starts back in February, during my birthday. Let me see if I can tell you what all happened during that time.
My old cellphone was over 3 years old, and was quite outdated in the technology, so I really wanted a new phone. Not only did I want one, but I needed one. I could do a few things, Internet-wise, with my old phone, but very limited. Because my businesses are Internet based, the Internet is a major part of my life, and I really wanted to have better access to the net than what I was able to do with my old phone. One of the things I loved with my old Phone was that it was a dual-sim model, in other words that single cellular phone had two phone lines. I had one line from Sun Cellular, which I primarily used for family and close friends. For business, I used Globe Telecommunications. Both lines were on the same phone, and could be used simultaneously. It really gave me a lot of flexibility.
Back in February, a friend had shown me his Smartphone, a Samsung Model, which I really liked. He showed me how he had full Internet Access and lots of cool features. I decided right away that I wanted one. Problem was, all of the Samsung Smartphones were single-sim only models. I was disappointed, but my desire to have a Smartphone overrode my desire for two sims, so I broke down and told Feyma I wanted a Samsung Galaxy Y Smartphone for my birthday, which she bought me. I fell in love with it immediately. The absence of the second sim did cause me frustration, but I did my best to adjust.
Just a few weeks after I got the new Galaxy model, something happened… Samsung came out with a Dual SIM model of the same phone! That was it, I had to have it! I felt a bit bad that I had a brand new phone and was going to change again, but I gave the “old” new phone to my son, Aaron, and I got the new Samsung Galaxy Y Duos, Dual SIM phone. I loved the old Galaxy Y so much, and was surprised when I found that the Dual SIM model had new features, and was frankly, much better than the old one. I was even more in love.
One of the nice things that this phone has that my “old, old” phone did not have was WiFi coverage, so if I was around the house, or out in a coffee shop or somewhere with WiFi Internet, I could get on the Net, take care of my e-mail and such, and not have a single problem. But, if I was away from WiFi, I still wanted Internet. That is where the comedy of errors started, I suppose.
My first inclination was to try Sun Cellular for Internet Service on my phone. When I went to their office I was told I had two choices:
- I could get fast broadband Internet on my phone, but could not call or text. Huh? It was a cellphone, and I certainly wanted to use it as a phone, so this just was not an option for me.
- If I wanted to call and text on my phone using Sun, I could only get what they called “slow Internet.”
Well, I decided to test the “slow internet” and see what I thought. I subscribed to it for just 3 days to try it out. After 3 minutes I already knew that I had no interest. Not only was it slow, it was like pouring molasses on a cold winter day! It was terrible. Frankly, it was unusable. Scratch that.
Next, I decided to try out the Internet on Globe, which I already had a SIM card for. I subscribed to it for a few days to test it out. After a minute or two, I found out that it did not work. Nope, not a single byte or bit. I could see that my phone was sending data out, but never receiving any data. I thought it might be a bad SIM card, so I bought a new SIM card. Did I get Internet on the new SIM? Nope.. not a lick. No Internet! Scratch Globe. I went to the Globe Center at the mall, and they were unable to help me at all, so I decided that it might be time to move on.
There was basically only one other Cellular choice left… Smart Communications.
So, I pulled out a Smart SIM that I already had, from a USB dongle that I used to use for temporary Internet access when needed. Frustration went to a max. Whenever I would issue commands to Smart to subscribe, or to do this that or the other… I would never get a reply. I was really getting frustrated, and frankly I was getting pissed. But, guess what happened…. I did nothing, and suddenly my Smart Mobile Internet just started working! Oh, the joy I felt when I saw data start streaming in on my phone! And, because I had done nothing, I’m not sure exactly why or how it started working, but I only know that it made me very happy when that data started trickling in! To be honest, I should not say that data was trickling in, because it was actually quite fast! Not quite as fast as if I had used my WiFi DSL network at home, but close to that speed, and plenty fast enough to give me a positive Internet experience.
So, now, I am really using the mobile connectivity! Believe it or not, I probably handle at least 30% of my e-mails via my cellphone now, and I am enjoying the freedom that it gives me to take care of business on the go!
Mobile connectivity is liberating, especially for somebody like me who is really tethered to the net much of the day! I feel like I’ve moved into the future! And… I’m happy to be in the future!
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.