[Battle of the Brands] Globe vs Smart: Which is the Better and Faster Mobile Network?
Published: June 17, 2021 | Updated: July 21, 2021 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Personal Finance
It’s either you’re a Globe user or a Smart loyalist—that’s the reality many of us have faced for the longest time. After all, these two telecommunications juggernauts are the only ones dominating the game.
Globe Telecom, which is owned by the Ayala Corporation, is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most profitable companies in the country. As of 2020, it has more than 76 million subscribers. PLDT-owned Smart, on the other hand, rallies behind. Yet, it racked up 72 million users last year.
But things are certainly about to change with the entry of DITO Telecommunity, the third major telco player. It has already launched its data and basic text and call services, and it may start offering broadband services come 2022.
But for now, let’s just focus on the duopoly of Globe and Smart. This edition of the Battle of the Brands will compare the two networks’ prepaid and postpaid mobile services. This comprehensive Smart vs. Globe guide will help you decide whether it’s much wiser to stick with your current network or make the switch.
Additionally, we’ve also looked into the travel SIM packages offered by these companies to help OFWs/balikbayans and foreign tourists decide which service is much better for them.
Table of Contents
- Smart vs Globe Prepaid Services
- Smart vs Globe Postpaid Plans
- 4G Availability
- Smart vs Globe: Mobile Data Connection Speed
- Smart vs Globe Travel SIM
- Smart vs Globe: Final Thoughts
Smart vs Globe Prepaid Services
|Services||Smart Prepaid Rates||Globe Prepaid Rates|
|Calls to the same network||PHP 6.50 per minute (including TNT)||PHP 6.50 per minute (including TM)|
|Calls to another network||PHP 7.50 per minute||PHP 7.50 per minute|
|Calls to landline (nationwide)||PHP 7.50 per minute||PHP 7.50 per minute|
|International calls||USD 0.40 per minute||USD 0.40 per minute|
|Text to the same network||PHP 1||PHP 1|
|Text to another network||PHP 1||PHP 1|
|Text roaming||PHP 20 (but rates may reach up to PHP 30 depending on the country)||PHP 20 (Asia, Middle East, and America) / PHP 25 (Europe and Africa)|
|Mobile internet||PHP 5 per 15 minutes||PHP 5 per 15 minutes|
When it comes to prepaid offerings, both networks have almost identical services. They differ only in terms of text roaming rates. Globe has fixed rates per continent/region. Smart’s text roaming rates, on the other hand, depend on the country you’re sending your text to; rates can reach up to PHP 30 per text.
Call and Text Promos
|Price||Smart All Out Surf Promos||Globe GoUNLI Promos|
In this area, Globe clearly has a competitive edge over Smart. This is because all GoUNLI promos have unlimited texts and calls to other networks (yes, to all networks). On top of that, their promos come with data. Some GoUNLI promos are even valid for 15 and 30 days. These promos are ideal for those who are looking to maximize their peso.
Smart All Out Surf promos, on the other hand, are valid for only seven days tops. While Smart promos have unlimited texts to all networks, unlimited calls can be made only within the Smart network (including Sun and TNT).
|Price||Smart GIGA VIDEO / GIGA VIDEO + Promos||Globe GoSURF Promos|
Globe has a wide range of surf-only promos, starting from PHP 15 to PHP 2,499 with validity reaching up to 30 days, depending on the promo. Subscribers won’t only enjoy the network’s main data service. They also receive additional data allocations for their choice of apps, such as YouTube, Netflix, and some mobile games. On top of these, subscribers can enjoy 1GB of GoWiFi, which they can access at malls, transport terminals, and airports.
Smart’s surf-only promos, on the other hand, start from PHP 50 to PHP 649 with validity reaching up to 30 days, depending on the promo. Its data-only promos are a big advantage for people who always watch videos online. This is because they come with a daily 1GB data allowance for video streaming.
Read more: 9 Apps That Can Help You Save Mobile Data
Both Globe and Smart offer promos that combine call, text, and data.
Globe’s GoSAKTO lets prepaid subscribers choose a promo that suits their needs and budget. GoSAKTO promos start from PHP 70 to PHP 140 and are all valid for seven days. These are inclusive of data, unlimited texts to all networks, and unlimited calls to Globe and TM (for GoSAKTO120 and GoSAKTO140 only). To avail of the promo, subscribers just have to access the *143# menu or text the chosen promo code to 8080.
Meanwhile, Smart’s call, text, and data promos come in fixed packages (ranging from PHP 50 to PHP 649) that suit different types of mobile data users. For video streaming enthusiasts, Giga Video promos include 1GB daily for YouTube, iflix, iWant TV, NBA League Pass, or Cignal TV.
Unlimited calls and texts can also be bundled with data that is allocated for the following apps: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Kumu, Grab, Lazada, Shopee, Viber, Microsoft Teams, and G Suite, among others.
The two network’s combo promos suit different types of prepaid subscribers. Globe’s GoSAKTO promos cater more to budget-conscious consumers, while Smart’s Giga promos appeal more to heavy users of video streaming, gaming, or social media apps.
Smart vs Globe Postpaid Plans
If you’re going to compare Smart vs. Globe postpaid plans, you will easily notice that they are in a neck and neck race. Both offer postpaid services that are SIM-only or can be bundled with a mobile device.
Here’s a Smart vs Globe comparison review to help you choose the better postpaid service provider for you.
SIM-Only Postpaid Plans
|Monthly Fee||Smart Signature||Globe GPlan|
|PHP 999||20GB data||SIM-Only|
|PHP 1,499||40GB data||SIM-Only|
|PHP 1,999||60GB data||SIM-Only|
SIM-Only (All Data)
|PHP 2,999||120GB data||N/A|
Evidently, Globe offers more SIM-only packages, starting from PHP 599 to PHP 2,499. Smart, meanwhile, has only four offerings, starting from PHP 999 to PHP 2,999.
While Smart’s SIM-only packages offer have generous amount of data (up to 120GB), Globe’s packages have more value-added services, such as unlimited texts and calls to all networks, free 3GB of GoWiFi, and free subscription to KonsultaMD, a telehealth service provider. Those who are looking into Globe’s SIM-only postpaid plans also have the liberty to get a data-only plan, which offers much bigger data.
Postpaid Plans with Device
|Monthly Fee||Smart Signature||Globe GPlan|
When it comes to Smart vs. Globe postpaid plans with a free mobile device, the two offer almost the same services except for a few key ones.
On top of data and unlimited texts and calls to all networks, all GPlans come with free 3GB of GoWiFi and free subscription to KonsultaMD.
On the other hand, Smart’s Signature plans with device offer 50 to 300 mins of calls to PLDT (depending on the plan). Two of its plans also come with 4G and 5G data.
But if you’re leaning towards practicality, Globe is the clear-cut winner.
More than the prepaid promos and postpaid plans, a good measure of a mobile network’s performance is its 4G signal availability.
According to the April 2021 Mobile Network Experience Report by Opensignal, Smart appears to have a more reliable 4G connection compared to Globe. The study found that Smart subscribers with a 4G device could connect to 4G signal 86.1% of the time, which is higher than Globe’s 82.6%.
Read more: The Current State of LTE in the Philippines
Smart vs Globe: Mobile Data Connection Speed
Internet connection speed is an all-important factor for smartphone users today—when you compare Globe vs Smart, this is where Smart outperforms Globe. Overall, Smart mobile subscribers enjoy faster connection speeds than Globe.
The latest Opensignal report shows Smart winning in four different matrices on 3G and 4G connections: video experience, download speed, upload speed, and games experience.
Mobile Video Experience
This matrix measures load times and stalling occurrences. Smart users experience generally fast loading times and only occasional stalling. It must be noted, though, that the experience might be quite inconsistent across users and some factors, such as video providers and resolutions.
In terms of download speed, Smart is obviously miles ahead of Globe. The report says that Smart’s Download Speed Experience Score rose from the 11.4Mbps seen in its previous report to 14.8Mbps.
Opensignal reports that Smart has won this category once again with a score of 3.8Mbps. This is a slight downturn from its previous score, which is 4Mbps. Nevertheless, it’s still ahead of Globe.
In Opensignal’s previous report, both Globe and Smart shared the Games Experience award. But this year, Smart managed to snatch it alone. In this category, Opensignal tested the following games: Fortnite, Pro Evolution Soccer, and Arena of Valor.
So, is Smart Faster than Globe?
If you’re basing the answer on the data we’ve provided, then yes. Opensignal’s most recent report even showed that Smart has won all the categories, from video experience to 4G coverage experience.
Smart vs Globe Travel SIM
|Price||Smart Tourism SIM||Globe Traveler SIM|
In this area, Smart has more offerings compared to Globe. And it’s noticeable that Smart’s offerings are packed with value-added services.
The price of Smart Tourism SIM starts from PHP 349 to PHP 1,999. Each SIM is inclusive of open access data (4GB to 36GB), additional 1GB data for social and chat apps, and unlimited texts and calls to all networks. The services are valid up to 30 days, depending on the plan that you avail of.
On the other hand, Globe’s Traveler SIM only includes data and free data allowance for Facebook and Instagram.
What is the Best SIM Card to Use in the Philippines?
If you’re a balikbayan or an OFW who is just planning to stay in the country for a week or more, Smart makes a better choice since it’s packed with data, and it comes with practical features, such as unlimited texts and unlimited calls to all networks. Such services are necessary for reconnecting with your families and friends.
Smart vs Globe: Final Thoughts
In this Smart vs Globe comparison review, you might have noticed that each network has its own strengths. With its wide range of offerings and data packages, Globe has clearly dominated the prepaid promos and postpaid plans. On the other hand, when it comes to data speed and reliability, Smart is at the top of its game.
However, after tallying the scores, Smart emerged as the victor of this edition of Battle of the Brands.
So, are you going to stay with your network or make the switch? Remember that everything will depend on your budget, needs, and mobile usage (i.e., the number of apps you use and how often you use data). You must also consider the network provider of the people you frequently communicate with.
But if you want to test things yourself, why not use both networks? After all, most phones can carry two SIM cards.
-  Globe 4Q20 Quarterly Results Press Release
-  PLDT Annual Report 2020
-  DITO May Start to Offer Home Broadband Services in 2022 (BusinessWorld, 2021)
-  Opensignal Mobile Network Experience Report 2021
Venus is the Head of Content at Moneymax, with 15+ years of experience in digital marketing, corporate communications, PR, and journalism. She invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Outside of work, she’s crazy about cats and Korean dramas. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.