Category Archives: Travel

Update to my Manila SUN Cellular Experience

My earlier post was basically highlighting that if you are purchasing a Sun Cellular prepaid SIM for internet usage, you’ll have to get it activated before trying to apply and SBW load. Otherwise the load will be wasted, which was what happened to me.

The follow up experience to that was that I did get my GPRS (data) access activated within the 48hrs as mentioned by the call center help agent. There was no automated notification, I just had to keep trying to send “activate” to 2300. When it works, it will reply with the activation message.

Then I applied the SBW50 load and I was immediately online. The next thing I tried was tethering with my iPhone 3GS. The tethering didn’t work. In fact, the tethering option disappeared from the iPhone menu.

So what I did for the rest of the trip was to just use my E5830 to provide Internet access to my laptop and phone over WIFI.

I noticed for the E5830, in most places, there are good 3G signal, but for some reason the device will fall back to a slower speed. So I just forced the device to only use WCDMA to keep to the constant good speed. The drawback on this is when the 3G signal quality was bad, Internet access will be miserable.

SUN Mobile Prepaid SIM Service in Manila, Philippines

Here on a business trip, I decided to try out a local prepaid mobile service. This is from Sun, one of the 3 local mobile service providers.

The experience is pretty straightforward, and cheaper, compared to Singapore.

There are 2 types of prepaid SIM services, Sun Cellular & Sun Broadband. The former is for voice and the latter dedicated to data only. I bought both, as I was advised at the shop that Sun Cellular does not support data connection. This I have found to be not totally accurate.

For a heavy internet user like myself, opting for the time based internet access does not work for me. What works for me will be the unlimited day pass (SBW50) I can get for P50 (approx, S$1.42, US$1.14). The easiest way to activate this service is to buy a SBW50 Load card, scratch the card to get the code to activate the service. Here”s what I’ve realized, the SBW50 service CAN be applied to a Sun Cellular service.

The catch… which I was caught is you need to first activate data usage on the Sun Cellular SIM. Do this by sending a text “ACTIVATE” to 2300. It failed for me, and I called the customer service number 200, and there was some back end processing required first. Once that is done, then I can use data. I have already loaded the SIM with a SBW50, but too bad, it’s wasted.

Other than the hiccup above, I’m pretty happy with the performance I’m getting. It’s not super fast, but it works decently. I’m using the data SIM with my Huawei e5830.

Overall, I’m pleased with the solution I’ve checked out, and is saving me quite a few dollars!