Phones and Internet in the Philippines

people using smartphones
Updated 2023-07-06 17:16

When moving to the Philippines, the first ‘essentials' is telecommunications; Getting a local sim card and getting online.  This article will give you everything you need to know about staying connected in the Philippines.

Like most Asian countries, the Philippines has a developed telecommunications network, including several landline and mobile phone service providers. The Philippines is considered to have one of the world's highest rates of daily social media usage, so Internet service providers offer various types of packages to keep up with the demand. Presently, the two biggest market players are Philippine Long Distance Telephone Inc. (PLDT), SMART and Globe Telecom, Inc.

Internet for your home in the Philippines

Internet signal in urban areas in the Philippines are usually quite good compared to some rural areas.

Based on the speed test global index released by Ookla in April 2023, the Philippines ranked 86th out of 138 countries when it comes to average mobile internet speed. On the other hand, it ranked 42nd out of 180 countries in terms of average fixed broadband speed.

Although there are lots of Internet service providers in the Philippines, the three best ones are PLDT, Globe Telecom, and Smart. Monthly packages for your home start at php1200/ USD 217. Make sure to check the signal strength in more rural parts. In areas and small islands where there is no signal, then a ‘Starlink' device is needed. Starlink provides satellite Internet access, and the devices cost between php 2,600/ USD 47 and php 30,000/ USD 543 per month, depending on the area.

If  you would like to install broadband Internet in your home, here are some plans to choose from:

  • Converge ICT - with pure fiber-optic offering of limited volume allowance with speeds of up to 500 Mbps with a monthly rate of php 7,000/ USD 126.

  • Globe Broadband - their fastest broadband plan is up to 500 Mbps with a 3TB monthly volume allowance and a cost of php 7,499/ USD 135.

  • PLDT Home - they offer their fastest plan for around php 1,799/ USD 32, with 200 Mbps.

  • SKY Broadband - their premium plan of 200 Mbps and costs php 2,299/ USD 41 with a high-speed modem and free installation.

Make sure to choose wisely according to your needs and budget. To apply for an Internet connection in the Philippines, the standard requirements are:

  • original proof of identification;

  • original proof of address; and

  • a deposit (amount to be confirmed with the service provider you have chosen).

Additional documents may be requested by the provider if deemed necessary.

Good to know:

It is not compulsory to visit the service provider's branch to apply for a connection. In fact, the request can also be made online on its website, by phone, or at an authorized dealer's shop.

Landlines in the Philippines

In general, Filipinos prefer to use mobile phones. But landlines are still available, and you can definitely apply for one as soon as you have settled in your new home. To date, PLDT is deemed to be the best, but other providers exist, such as Bayantel, Globe, and SKY Cable. To apply for a landline in the Philippines, the following are to be produced:

  • original proof of identification;

  • original proof of address; and

  • proof of financial capacity (i.e., payslip, certificate of employment and compensation, credit card statement of account, or recent income tax return).

Good to know:

The international dialing code of the Philippines is 63.

Mobile phones in the Philippines

There are plenty of mobile networks in the Philippines, all of which offer both prepaid and monthly (mostly known as 'postpaid' in the Philippines) plans. If you prefer to keep your own mobile phone, make sure to have it unlocked before traveling to the Philippines so that it can connect to local networks. Otherwise, these networks also offer mobile phone plans with postpaid accounts.

The Philippines has three mobile operators and four Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) offering prepaid services easily accessible to travelers:

Choosing a postpaid mobile phone plan in the Philippines will mean that you have to settle your phone bill every month. You will also be entitled to a number of hours of calling time, as well as extra airtime and text messages from time to time during promotional periods. To apply for this type of plan, you have to visit your favorite service provider's branch with the following:

  • original proof of identification;

  • original proof of address; and

  • proof of financial capacity (i.e., payslip, certificate of employment and compensation, credit card statement of account, or recent income tax return).

Registering your SIM card in the Philippines

A new law (R.A. 11934) requires SIM card registration by all phone users in the Philippines — including foreigners and pre-paid account holders. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) urges mobile phone users in the Philippines to register their SIM cards or face deactivation. 

By law, all phone users must register their SIM cards within the given window.  Only 65.15 million subscribers have so far registered their units as of April 12, 2023, according to the department.  The agency warned subscribers to register only through official Public Telecommunication Entities in order to avoid scams and identity theft.

Subscribers can also get assistance and air complaints through the hotline 1326 and their official numbers (SMART: 0947 714 7105, GLOBE: 0966 976 5971, DITO: 0991 481 4225), according to the DICT.

Useful links:




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