Doesn’t that sound funny? It’s a landline, but it’s wireless. Well, let me explain what these wireless landlines are all about and give you a few examples. Most importantly, let me tell you how OFWs and their families can benefit from using a wireless landline.
It’s time to re-think your perception of getting a landline in the Philippines.
What is a wireless landline?
First, it is “wireless” because it is not connected to a phone-jack on the wall. You can bring it along with you. Some wireless landlines look like a desk telephone with an antenna. Some look like a cellular phone.
Second it is a “landline” because it uses a similar pricing scheme as a regular (wired) landline. It gives users low call rates when calling landlines. This is in contrast to higher rates when calling from cellphone to landlines at around P8-P12.
Thus, a wireless landline gives you many of the good landline call rates while allowing you the mobility of being wireless.
What is the service like?
When the wireless landlines were re-launched in 2007, the service generally took the form of a post-paid subscription as described below:
- One-time purchase of a wireless landline handset
- 2-year lock-in subscription
- Instant installation of the landline. No need to wait for months or years to get your landline.
- “unlimited” calls for the local area (e.g. if you purchased the wireless landline in manila, calls within manila are free; calls to Cavite are charged NDD rates)
- After a certain number of FREE minutes per month, subsequent calls are charged on a per-minute basis.
- Can be used anywhere within the area subscribed i.e. within the same area code. Cannot be used outside the local area.
- Can call mobile phones (~P8), landlines in other provinces (~P4) and other countries (~$0.40)
- Unlimited incoming calls from landlines or mobile phones – this is the key reason why the wireless landline is important for OFW families. More on that later.
What wireless landline services are available in the market?
I know of three wireless landline companies. I have flyers for two of these companies. And I am a user of one. I’ll describe all these as much as I can in this article.
Mango is the wireless landline service of Digitel.
I inquired about Mango last year. At that time, my area of residence in Cavite was not covered by the Mango network yet. What I learned about the service at that time was that I would not be able to use the Cavite-subscribed Mango wireless landline when I went to Manila.
For more information, see http://home.digitelone.com/products/mango.htm
Bayantel Wireless landline
This service saw a huge marketing campaign last year. They currently have a promo that offers free P100 for cellphone and NDD calls with the P699/month unlimited talk time.
Some features of the unlimited wireless landline service
- P699/month VAT inclusive (Metro Manila, 1 year lock-in period)
- Unlimited calls to any BayanWireless landlines and bayanPhones nationwide
- Unlimited calls to any landline within the same area code
- Unlimited texting
- Internet access
- IDD, NDD and calls to mobile phones
- Money-back guarantee – if you’re not satisfied with the service, you can ask for money back within 15 days from service activation.
- Handsets range from P1,495 to P1,995 with easy-to-pay installment plan.
For more information, visit www.bayan.com.ph
PLDT landline plus
The PLDT landline plus offers a different subscription package that leverages on a supposedly clearer signal and a wider network of subscribers.
When I inquired last year, the PLDT landline plus offered a number of free minutes for each post-paid subscription. As far as I can recall, the smallest subscription gave the user around 40-hours of free outgoing calls to PLDT landlines. After the free minutes, calls were charged on a per minute basis.
This year, PLDT introduced a new variety of the wireless landline called the PLDT landline plus prepaid. It’s a prepaid landline that can be re-loaded with airtime.
It does not need a special wireless landline handset. It uses any ordinary cellphone. In fact, when you buy the prepaid landline, what you purchase is a SIM (subscriber identification module) just like when buying a prepaid cellphone.
“What’s the difference of the pre-paid wireless landline and a regular pre-paid cellphone?”, you may ask.
It all boils down to the call rates. The prepaid wireless landline still uses call rates similar to landlines: (almost) free and (almost) unlimited calls to local landlines.
The PLDT landline plus prepaid is very easy to buy at P100 only. No need to buy a handset, because you can use your existing cellphone.
To activate the prepaid landline for the month, you can choose between a P300 plan or a P600 plan. Each plan has corresponding call rates and inclusions. You can load the prepaid plan with additional airtime when you’ve consumed the plans’ free minutes.
For more information, call 101-328 from any PLDT phone.
Why an OFW family must consider getting a wireless landline
Why would an OFW family use a wireless landline when they already have a cellphone? What’s the difference?
Here’s the key difference: When OFWs abroad calls the Philippines, it is cheaper for them to call a landline than a cellphone.
OFWs can get almost twice as much talktime when calling a landline compared to calling a cellphone. That’s a lot of savings and a lot more time with family, enough to invest in a wireless landline.
How to choose a wireless landline service
With the many services available, here’s a guide on choosing the wireless landline that’s right for you.
- Signal – Ask your neighbors who already have wireless landlines. Ask them if the signal is strong enough for a clear conversation. More likely, your signal will be similar to theirs. Also consider where else you’ll use the wireless landline (e.g. at your workplace, at the kids’ school while waiting for them, at the biyenan’s house).
- Subscription plan – estimate the number of minutes of outgoing calls you will make per month. Choose the smallest plan that matches your estimated usage. By the way, expect the usage to change after a few months. It’s easier to upgrade than to downgrade a subscription.
- Postpaid or prepaid? – It depends on your usage. If you’re going to make a lot of outgoing calls (e.g. more than 10 hours per month), go for postpaid. If you’re using the phone mostly for incoming calls, go for prepaid.
Again, my rule of thumb is: “Ask your neighbors”. Find out whether they are happy with their wireless landline service. Find out the good, the bad and the ugly. If you’re ready to have a similar experience, go for it and subscribe to the service that best fits your needs.
Message for OFWs and their families
How much do you spend in calling the family per month? $20? $50? $200? Are you spending all those dollars calling your family’s cellphones? Wouldn’t it make sense to cut that spending by calling a landline instead of a cellphone?
It’s a whole lot easier to get a landline since you left the country a couple of years ago. It’s about time you consider getting a wireless landline.
More dollars saved, more time spent with family.
All worth it.
eOFW is not related in any way to the companies featured in our articles except otherwise specified. We feature different companies for the information of our readers to help them better find services that suit their needs.
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