Wi-tribe rolls out first ‘tri-speed’ pre-paid Internet connection

In a move aimed at boosting its subscriber base, Internet broadband provider wi-tribe formally announced on Monday that it would now start offering its “4G” wireless Internet service in pre-paid.

Edmund Pike, head of products at wi-tribe, during the launch on Monday
Wi-tribe, which is jointly owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel) and San Miguel Corp., previously offered its WiMax service exclusively in post-paid.

The service, the company pointed out, is “the first in the Philippines or perhaps in the world” to give pre-paid subscribers the ability to choose from “three speeds” for their connection in a single device.

Under the program, pre-paid users can have unlimited surfing on three options: one day at 512kbps for P25, 2Mbps for P45, or 6Mbps at 145. The company also offers seven-day and 15-day pre-paid Internet service at the same speeds.

The tri-speed service is so unique that the company does not – at least not yet – offer it for its post-paid subscribers, according to wi-tribe head of products Edmund Pike.

Subscribers can initially apply for the service at wi-tribe concept stores where they can get the USB dongles or terminals. The company said it is also setting up a reloading network where subscribers can buy their pre-paid credits.

Pike, during a media launch at the wi-tribe concept store in Ayala Avenue in Makati City, said it took them 11 months to study and develop the service as they made sure that there was market demand for it.

Since the company has already eliminated the broadband cap which it earlier imposed in its offerings, the broadband firm admitted that it implements the “Fair Use Policy (FUP)” which other telcos have also adopted.

The FUP means that once a user is detected to be hogging or using too much of the network’s bandwidth, he will be throttled so as not to affect other subscribers.

Such users, Pike said, merely comprise just one percent of wi-tribe’s subscriber base.

With the pioneering service, Wi-tribe officials said they expect the firm’s subscriber base to climb from the current 80,000 to 100,000 by year-end.

Amer Sunna, the newly named chief operating adviser of wi-tribe, said Qtel and San Miguel have already plowed around $150 million for the company’s network infrastructure alone.

Wi-tribe chief operating adviser Amer Sunna
Sunna told Newsbytes.ph that the company is also set to start its operations in the Visayas, particularly in Cebu, before the year is out.

“We’re already on the final stages of our test deployment so we should be rolling out the service soon,” said Sunna, a Jordanian national employed by Qtel.

Referring to the broadband cap, the expat said they scrapped it altogether since it was not working in a country like the Philippines. “Moreover, the bigger telcos would always say they have unlimited offerings, so subscribers would go for that instead of one which has a cap,” Sunna said

via newsbytes


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