Wednesday, February 3, 2010

wi-tribe 4g - new ISP in the philippines

wi tribe website

There has been a lot of buzz about this but the website itself has few details. Special thanks to the tipidpc wi-tribe thread here, otherwise we would have few details. Well actually, there are more details now feb 3, 2010 compared to 2 days ago. For example, they now have a page where they give the price and speed (see below).

For reference, this is the pakistani version of wi-tribe.

This is the modem they offer, a Motorola CPEi 150 802.16e wimax modem.

Based on the PDF specs of the modem which you can DL from the wesbite above, it is a modem only. No wifi. Only 2 ports, an ethernet port and a power port. No provision for external antennas. The internal antennas are high gain and have a up to 2km range. I'm sure many people will want to hack this to place a bigger antenna anyway.

Wi tribe calls it the boom modem <link>.

The pakistani website clearly shows a usb modem so maybe in the future wi-tribe will offer it too.

So is this 4g? Probably not. The modem is wimax-E or 802.16e. Only LTE Advanced standardized by the 3GPP and 802.16m standardized by the IEEE are considered full 4g, see here. 802.16j is the latest and 802.16m is not released yet. LTE advanced should be out 2010. So maybe technically this is only 3.9g. Well, its close enough.

Looking at their website, at the moment they only offer 1 plan . 998 pesos a month, 1 mbps. 24 month lock in or pay an extra P 5,000 for a 12-month lock in period and P 2,500 for a 6-month lock-in period. That has to be a typo but thats what the website says. Anyway, 1 mbps is ridiculously slow for 4g. 1% of full 4g speed. I can get inconsistent actual speeds of 1-1.4 mbps with my 3.5g smart bro share it.

update: no info yet as to why the throttling is so bad. I'm guessing they are afraid of network congestion and cant afford to upgrade their equipment.

Actual users in the tipid pc wi-tribe thread are reporting speeds of 300-1200 kbps. So it seems this ISP is not immune to the "up to" disease prevalent in philippine ISP's. we are left wondering what will happen to the speeds if a lot of people sign up and network congestion occurs.

This is their fair Usage Policy.
Theres a lot of depressing stuff in the fair usage policy, specially for heavy users.

I have no idea if they use a shared, static or dynamic IP.

Oh, one big drawback a 3 gigabyte per month cap. After 3 gigs, you get throttled to 256 or 512 kbps (not realy sure which it is at the moment). AFAIK its nowhere in the official website but the 3gig limit is in the unofficial website.

See the 3 gigs under "capacity"?? Capcity is a euphemism of cap.  Look at the higher caps in pakistan, 7-17 gigs. The euphemism used is "volume".

IMHO the fact that they did not mention the cap in their official website reeks of dishonesty.

In the tipidpc wi-tribe thread, one poster claims that there will be other plans with higher price that have either higher or unlimited caps. Well, there are no details either in TPC or on the official website. Maybe the other plans are not out yet. There are other unconfirmed reports that you can pay a small amount to have your cap raised for that month only.

The modem is usable anywhere in the philippines with a signal (its not area locked). But unfortunately, again, the wi-tribe website does not give us covered areas.

update: there seems to be a 1-2 week trial period. Cant confirm it yet.

update: I always support a free market but this dishonesty and secrecy is coming from this new player in the philippine ISP market is very disheartening. I hope they learn from their mistakes


isel said...

Thanks for the info. I had a friend who has been raving about it and I got curious so I tried googling for it. Turns out its mostly just hoopla. Really disappointing news.

Vince said...


Always research before buying something. Get all the pros and cons.

FLiTz Ferdinand said...

thanks for the info. I'm planning to switch ISP. this is a big help

Anonymous said...

wala kwenta may limit sa capacity 3G/month lang hehehe isang araw lang wala ka na connection kasi over na sa 3G usage mo hehehe.... Download ka movie dalawa lang ubus na...

and remember download upload pa ata ang bilangan dito hindi lang download

Benjamin said...

Its now 6 GB a month pero still very small. Upon consuming 6 GB speed goes down to 500 kbps (as claimed) but if you check it, its way below that. If you consume more than 8GB, speed goes down to 250 kbps as claimed but again in reality its only 150 kbps. The 6GB is refreshed every 1st of the month but they're very slow in restoring the 6GB. Tried calling customer service & they'll reply its being processed pero middle of the day na wala pa! Wi tribe is so bulok! I should have just sticked with my previous ISP. For those plan n ing to switch- BEWARE!

Anonymous said...

pano kaya mahack toh?
may IDEA kayo....

ako meron there is a DNS server u can change it... pero di ko pa natry... hanap pa koh ng DNS na gumagana parang wap lng yan.... hahaha

Lea Martin said...

Sobrang okay yung Wi-Tribe! Siguro mga 4 months na kami gumagamit ng internet, mabilis naman. Maayos yung download speed at nahaharvest ko agad crops ko sa farmville. Sobrang sulit yung paglipat naman sa Wi-Tribe!

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Anonymous said...

Wi tribe sucks... Its the slowest most decieving net provider in the country..Im using it right now,downloading a game client will take you up to a week...

the only thing you can do with this wi-tribe is playing facebook (mini-games)..

Anonymous said...

pa hack nga po nito ...

ang bagal ng net ko e

Vince said...

I doubt hacking can help you

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