Mobile Internet in the Philippines

A dinner somewhere in Manila. The food has been served and eaten and the empty dishes have been taken away by the waiter. And the dinner conversation continues as an assortment of dessert and coffee are being served. Among the dinners one or two seemed to be in a trance and detached from the conversation. If you watch them it would seem as if you had awakened someone from a sleep or a drug induced trip of a trance.

Elsewhere this phenomenon is repeated. In coffee and tea shops, fast-food centers, parties, offices, homes and even in automobiles and trains. All because of the technology of mobile devices and the Internet.

Something Star Trek did not foresee? Spock and McCoy debating using text or sms through their communicator. Or James Tiberius Kirk checking his Facebook or twittering.

The Communicator or the Cellphone has certainly evolved. With the new and recently new cellphones any one with enough money and tech-savvy can do ten things –

(i) Call,
(ii) Send a text message,
(iii) Send a picture message,
(iv) Send a video,
(v) send an email,
(vi) Capture, store, edit and view image, sound and moving images,
(vii) Write, Edit and view text documents, spreadsheets and databases
(viii) Surf the Web
(ix) Play Games
(x) Shine across the darkness with a flashlight

Frankly, I love the last bit of function the most. Quite useful when you go into dark places or during brown outs.

Going out of an actual place and activity and putting oneself in the cellphone is quiet common in the globe today. Aside from allowing conversation it allows the user to be shielded from the conversation or lack of it. It as though by activating the cellphone one puts on the a force field. And this force field has been enhanced with the marriage between the cellphone and Internet producing the mobile Internet.

And with Mobile Internet what would be the most thing people would do? In the Philippines – in Metro Manila one observes that Mobile Internet are most commonly used for the following:

Twitter – microblog and Social Media Network
Facebook – social media networks
Blog – Social Media
Foursquare – Geographical Social Media Network
Plurk – microblogging, photo and video sharing and Social Media Network

In other words still (i) communication – but a more enhanced and personalized form of communication. For sure there are users who (ii) download and play games or (iii) use Google Maps or online service to find and locate a place. And Mobile Internet is also used to (iv) create content ( more infamous would be Saddam Hussein’s execution). A testimony to its practical nature – you can bring it anywhere. It is truly mobile.

While it is true that many still do not fully use the cellphone for its mobile Internet technology. It is increasing. If one were to take a survey. Most likely you will find that there would be a greater number of cellphone users than netbook, notebook and desktop computer users in the Philippines.

And perhaps that is why you a great competition in the Telecoms Companies for dominance – Smart Communications just offered last Friday a one day free Internet service for all postpaid subscribers while Globe Telecommunications is running a number of contests giving away android phones (one of the more interesting can be seen here) with the details below:

To get a chance to win that Super Phone, follow these steps:

1. Post an entry on your blog about the question, “Who is your Super ONE and why?”

2. The entry should include a photo OR video of you and YOUR Super ONE.

3. The entry should also include links to this blog post and to the Super One page (that’s

4. Leave your blog post URL as a comment on this blog post for us to validate your entry.

5. Deadline of all entries will be on August 8, ONE PM.

6. Entries will be judged according to this criteria:

Use of Photos or Video – 20%

Uniqueness & Originality – 20%

Theme & Content – 30%

Creativity – 30%

7. The winner will be announced on August 9, 2010!

Up for grabs is an Android Phone.

Even in Face Book Smart and Globe seem to be like two suitors eagerly wooing the market. Today in Facebook Smart page has 107,000 +++ likes while Globe has 55,000 +++ likes. And the battle continues.

The competition is not limited to the Telecoms but extend also to the cellphone makers as well. A few weeks the local cellphone company Cherry Mobile celebrated its anniversary – read more about it at TechyKid and PinoyTrends.

Business seems to be good. With cellphones priced between 5,000 to 10,000 and some of them wifi capable its not hard to imagine why Cherry is celebrating.

On the other hand we see Nokia is also making cellphone for mobile Internet Technology more readily available with the release of its Nokia C3. A qwerty phone cellphone designed to give its user easy access to email, Facebook, twitter and chat (Gtalk) priced at 7,295.00 pesos. Last Saturday, the C3 went on sale for that day costing around 6,295.00 pesos [See more about the launch and C3 at].

Excerpts from the Press Release of Nokia regarding the Nokia C3:

Built for the social networking butterfly in mind, the Nokia C3 offers instant access to favorite sites straight from the homescreen, allowing people to easily chat, tweet, follow, unfollow, view entries, post photos, like statuses, comment on videos, and update their profile’s status. Writing messages is quick thanks to its full QWERTY keyboard. lus, email and chat accounts can be set up straight from the device, without the need for a PC. With its 2 megapixel camera, the Nokia C3 is awesome for taking pictures and videos which can be instantly shared online, straight from the device, via GPRS or Wi-Fi. You can also store up to 8GB of pictures, music and videos by upgrading to an optional memory card.

The Nokia C3 comes in 3 cool colors — hot pink, slate grey, and golden white and will be available at all Nokia Stores and authorized Nokia Solution
Partners nationwide.

With developments like this … it is not hard to believe that more and more people will buy cellphones or plans that would enable them to use Mobile Technology.

But it will not replace the computer yet. And this is because of size – screen size. Its advantage making it pocket-size, while practical when traveling is not so p[practical when sitting down and creating things. One still needs a proper screen in order to do stuff. Then again a few years they were showing a screen that could be folded or rolled up. Will we see digital scrolls in the future? Will the Kindle or I-Pad be designed to be scrolled or folded so that it can fit the pocket? Who knows.

But as sure as the Moon is drifting away from the Earth. Slowly the stumbling blocks like: (i) battery life, (ii) security (for the C3 settings can be set so as to make your profile and access to the websites secure even if the phone is lost or stolen), and (iii) cost are being addressed or solutions found. Mobile Technology is here and growing and will enhance and complicate our lives. Whether it be good or bad who knows.

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