Does Converge ICT Provide The Best Value For Your Money?
It has always been the standard feedback by any subscriber that Internet in the Philippines is slow compared to neighboring countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. However, if you look at broadband plans of most internet providers, you will notice that although most still offer 2Mbps or 3Mbps speeds at ₱999 to ₱1,299 a month, a number of them have been offering fiber internet.
The advent of fiber connection have given Filipinos another option since it can transfer a huge amount of data seamlessly and deliver speeds over longer distances without being susceptible to electromagnetic interference. One drawback though is cost since most plans offered are between ₱3,000 to ₱10,000.
Fortunately, one industry player, Converge ICT, is offering a connection of 25Mbps for ₱1,500 a month. Though only available in select areas, Converge ICT have changed the game in terms of price per mbps.
Here’s a quick look at Converge ICT’s packages:
|Lowest package||Highest packages||Best for||Why we like it?||What’s the drawback|
|Plan 1500||Plan 7000||Online gamers, video conferencing users and online movie buffs||Currently the cheapest unlimited broadband in the market||Limited coverage area|
Lightning fast wireless home internet connection20 Mbps unlimited internet
Speed and pricing
Converge’s major appeal is that their rates are cheaper for much faster speeds compared to other available broadband services in the country.
Converge ICT’s entry-level plan is called Plan 1500. It has a connection that can go up to 25Mbps (Megabits per second) for ₱1500 a month without a data cap. The plan is an upgrade from their older 20Mbps/₱1500 a month connection. Users who are already subscribed to the said plan will receive the 5Mbps boost to their connections.
For the higher-end home market, Converge launched FiberXtreme plans: 300Mbps/₱4500 a month and 500Mbps/₱7000 a month. The company also offers 50Mbps/₱2500 a month and 100Mbps/₱3500 a month plans – all of which do not have a data cap.
For small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), Converge offers iBIZ plans designed for heavier loads than the typical home needs. For large enterprises, they offer Converge Enterprise, a package that includes a connection with speeds of up to 1Gbps and other services such as disaster recovery and managed data center services.
|Up to 25Mbps||₱1,500||Low||Unlimited||YouTube, downloading, file transfer, video conferencing & online gaming|
|Up to 50Mbps||₱2,500||Low||Unlimited||YouTube, downloading, file transfer, video conferencing & online gaming|
|Up to 100Mbps||₱3,500||Low||Unlimited||YouTube, downloading, file transfer, video conferencing & online gaming|
|Up to 300Mbps||₱4,500||Low||Unlimited||YouTube, downloading, file transfer, video conferencing & online gaming|
|Up to 500Mbps||₱7,000||Low||Unlimited||YouTube, downloading, file transfer, video conferencing & online gaming|
Unlike other ISPs, these plans have unlimited volume allowance, so you can definitely take advantage of your fiber speeds.
Installation and cancellation
All plans of FiberX and FiberXtreme are subject to ₱2,500 installation fee, an advance security deposit of ₱1,500, and a lock-in period of 24 months. And, just like other ISPs, they have a disclaimer: they promise 30% minimum speed at 80% service reliability, which means the average speed that you’ll get is 30% to 80% of their advertised speed.
|Early contract termination penalty (under 24 months contract)||You will be billed for the full amount of the remaining months of your contract.|
|Other Fees: Advance security deposit||₱1,500|
Take note that if you desire to rescind your contract before its maturity, then you will be billed for the full amount of the remaining months of the same. That said, if you applied for the entry level plan which is ₱1,500 per month, and if you decided to end your subscription within a year, then multiply the monthly fees by 12 months: ₱1,500 (12 months) = ₱18,000. That will be your Early Contract Termination Fee.
Lightning fast wireless home internet connection50 Mbps unlimited internet
When trying to decide on a fiber broadband service, the first thing you need to check on is whether the broadband service you are eyeing is providing Internet access in your area. If your area is not covered, then it is obviously not an option for you.
While cheaper, Converge is at a disadvantage in terms of its coverage area. So far, it has laid out 4,800 kilometers of fiber optic reach and is targeting to spend around ₱1.5 billion this year to expand its broadband network to 6,000 kilometers by year end to cover more areas in Luzon.
It’s mostly available in Metro Manila and some parts of Luzon with the farthest from Manila being Baguio up north and Batangas down south. Currently, they plan to put up networks in Nasugbu, Batangas and San Fernando in La Union. They plan to be able to cover 100% of Luzon in 3 years, after which they’ll begin expanding to Visayas and Mindanao.
For its expansion in the Visayas, a company official has said that they are looking at the current plans of the government as the company seeks to maximize operations at the least cost. With the approval of the establishment of a national broadband system by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last March 6, the Department of Information and Communications Technology favors that the government apply a “hybrid” system for the project, meaning it will put up a “working physical infrastructure” which it intends to use to reach parts the countryside or “missionary routes” not serviced by commercial telcos.
Globe, PLDT and Skycable reach more areas than Converge right now, but Converge promises to keep its fiber optic network growing. They currently have the third largest fiber internet backbone in the country, just next to PLDT and Globe. To know if your location is covered, it is best to contact Converge ICT through firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.convergeict.com.
Converge ICT’s status as a disruptive player in a field of established titans, and their desire to deliver a solid customer experience in the hopes of encouraging word-of-mouth referrals is all good for consumers.
All in all, Converge ICT presents a good alternative to the bigger industry players in terms of speed, price, and bandwidth. However, limited coverage is not just a drawback for them, it is also a bane for a large number of Filipino internet users who would not have the opportunity to use the connection for now.