Enterprise

Converge ventures into cable TV and streaming service with Freedom

An add-on for existing subscribers

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After having pure fiber internet, Converge subscribers now have the option to watch live TV and stream cable channels whenever they wish with Converge Freedom. In a nutshell, Freedom is like your usual cable TV subscription with a few extra features. For as low as PhP 299 per month, users will be able to watch cable TV on their phones, tablets, or TVs using their fiber internet.

Converge Freedom gives access to both free-to-air and premium cable channels. Subscribers can watch and replay shows through the Converge Freedom app (available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store) or they may avail of a set-top box to directly watch from the TV.


To set it apart from the usual cable TV subscription, Converge Freedom lets users watch previous episodes up to seven days back, rewind or pause live TV, and watch on multiple devices simultaneously.

The service is available for existing Converge FiberX, Fiber Xtreme, Microbiz, and iBiz subscribers. Since this is basically an add-on, it’s not available for non-Converge clients. Also, due to licensing restrictions, the Freedom app can only be used when connected to Converge’s network.

More information about channels and subscription fees are available on Converge Freedom’s portal. Converge subscribers may avail of a free 30-day trial until April 30.

SEE ALSO: Converge introduces faster fiber plans starting at 35Mbps

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Comparison: Globe ThePLAN vs Smart Signature Postpaid Plans

The postpaid game is heating up

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Are you getting a new plan soon? Or maybe you’re up for renewal.

Smart recently unveiled their new Signature postpaid plans that give larger data allowance and better call and text offers. How does it stack up against Globe‘s ThePLAN? Here’s a comparison.


Globe and Smart offer standard contracts for each postpaid plans with either a 6- or 24-month lockout. The terms and conditions may vary as well if you’re getting a promotional offer.

Both telcos offer postpaid plans with and without devices.

SIM-only Plans

The advantage of having a SIM-only plan is the bigger allowances for data, calls, and texts. Although, as its name implies, the telco will only provide a SIM card and it doesn’t come with any phone.

This type of plan is ideal for those who prefer to keep their old phone or for those who already purchased a brand new device somewhere else. SIM-only plans have a commitment period of six months on both networks.

Globe ThePLAN

Smart Signature

Plan 599 1.5GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 799 6GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 999 8GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
10GB data
100 minutes calls to all networks
Unli calls to Smart/Sun/TNT
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 1299 12GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 1499 16GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
20GB data
200 minutes calls to all networks
Unli calls to Smart/Sun/TNT
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 1799 19GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 1999 21GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
30GB data
300 minutes calls to all networks
Unli calls to Smart/Sun/TNT
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 2499 26GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 2999 60GB data
600 minutes calls to all networks
Unli calls to Smart/Sun/TNT
Unli texts to all networks

The new Smart Signature plans have been upgraded to have more data allowance and better call and text bundle. All of the telco’s plans offer unlimited calls and texts within their network. If you have to contact peers from other networks, you have an unlimited text service and a generous number of minutes for voice calls.

Globe, on the other hand, offers a wider range of choices. The telco has more options to choose from based on your budget; however, the included data and voice call allowances don’t match Smart’s offer. Still, Globe has freebies for its subscribers including Spotify Premium, DisneyLife, iflixVIP, and Amazon Prime Video subscriptions.

With Device Plans

Of course, both Globe and Smart also offer their postpaid plans with the latest phones available. The catch is, the plans that come with devices have lower allowances and a longer contract period of 24 months.

Additionally, the bundled device will either come for free or with cashout depending on the cost of the device and the postpaid plan.

Globe

Smart

Plan 599 2.5GB data
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 799 1.5GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 999 4GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
5GB data
50 minutes calls to all networks
Unli calls to Smart/Sun/TNT
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 1299 6GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 1499 8GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
10GB data
100 minutes calls to all networks
Unli calls to Smart/Sun/TNT
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 1799 11GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 1999 16GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
15GB data
150 minutes calls to all networks
Unli calls to Smart/Sun/TNT
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 2499 21GB data
Unli calls to Globe/TM
Unli texts to all networks
Plan 2999 30GB data
300 minutes calls to all networks
Unli calls to Smart/Sun/TNT
Unli texts to all networks

Again, Smart’s new Signature plans beat Globe’s current offers. Smart has bigger data packages (except in Plan 1999) with a better bundle for calls and texts. Moreover, Smart’s plans are more suited for those who have a lot of contacts on other networks because of the allotted minutes of voice calls to any networks including PLDT.

Globe’s plans still offer great value, especially if the majority of your friends and colleagues are within Globe’s network. You could still message people from other networks with unlimited texts to anyone. Also, the freebies included in Globe’s SIM-only plan are included here.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, Smart offers the best value postpaid plan today. Thanks to the new Signature plans, Smart gives its subscribers bigger data with the most flexible call and text allowance. The ability to call somebody on any network without the high cost is the game changer here.

In the end, you’ll have to choose based on your needs because the unlimited offer is still “limited” within each telco’s network.

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Globe launches Southeast Asia’s first 5G service backed by Huawei

Ultra-fast internet coming to homes first

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Image credit: Globe

Local telcos have been telling Filipinos that the Philippines will not be left behind in the 5G race. True to their promise, Globe Telecom launched its 5G broadband service. The word 5G might be new to some because it’s just making its way to select countries. The Philippines is now the first one to have commercial 5G service in Southeast Asia.

Before we get too excited, it’s worth noting that Globe’s initial 5G service is limited for homes, and it’s not yet for mobile devices. Globe will soon offer fixed wireless broadband using 5G technology to deliver fiber-like speeds. Basically, Globe is keen to deliver high-speed internet to Filipino homes wirelessly rather than rolling out fiber optics cables. Truth be told, the process of laying out fiber optics are always met with drastic delays due to bureaucracy.


With Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G, the telco will offer postpaid plans starting July 2019 with promised speeds of up to 100Mbps and up to 2 terabytes of monthly data allowance. It’s not unlimited, but you practically have more than 60GB of data to play with every single day.

The plans start at PhP 1,899, which is at par with Globe’s current wired broadband services:

  • Plan 1899 — up to 20Mbps
  • Plan 2499 — up to 50Mbps
  • Plan 2899 — up to 100Mbps

Initially, the service will be available in select areas of Pasig City in Metro Manila, and in the province of Cavite and Bulacan.

Despite the privacy issues and sanctions thrown by the US, Globe has pushed through their plan to use Huawei equipment, including radios and modems, to deliver 5G broadband internet. Even before, Globe is in partnership with Huawei for its 4G service alongside with Nokia.

Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu disclosed that the company has been spending over 21 percent of its annual revenue to upgrade and expand. In 2018, the company spent PhP 43.3 billion for its broadband services. Hopefully, the use of 5G will enable more homes with a faster and more reliable internet connection.

SEE ALSO: Globe, Smart downplay Huawei ban imposed by US government

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Tech brands celebrating Pride month

LGBTQ+ rights are human rights

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a series of protests widely regarded as the historic event that ignited the gay liberation movement and the first Pride parade in 1970.

A lot of companies are joining in this year’s celebration by changing their logos or selling limited edition merchandise to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community, but being an ally doesn’t stop at plastering a rainbow on everything and using #Pride online for the month of June. Here, we have compiled a list of tech brands who have taken concrete steps in creating equal opportunities for everyone and a more inclusive culture, not just this month but all year round:


Apple

Apple released a new watch band and watch face for the Apple Watch at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year in celebration of Pride. A portion of its proceeds will be donated to LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations including Encircle, Gender Spectrum, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Apart from Pride merch, Apple has long supported inclusion and diversity by hiring and advocating on behalf of underrepresented minorities, including LGBTQ+ people. For this, the company has been receiving a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for 16 years now — a benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees.

Dell

 

Since 2002 Dell has been actively participating in and leading initiatives that support the LGBTQ+ community that the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index also deems the company as one of the best places to work for LGBT equality. The company provides healthcare benefits to its LGBTQ+ employees including parental leave, adoption assistance, and gender transition toolkit.

Dell is an active sponsor of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, a nonprofit organization that partners with Top Fortune 500 companies in building resources and hosting events to help other companies around the globe in achieving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workplace equality. This year, Dell also hosted a Pride month training for its Nashville office to help its employees become better allies to the community.

Google

June 4 Google Doodle is a celebration of 50 years of Pride, created by Doodler Nate Swinehart who says, “working on this Doodle was a very personal project for me. As a member of the LBGTQ+ community, I am very familiar with the struggle of feeling included, accepted, and that I am a ‘part’ of this world.” Google also put up Pride Forever, which aims to preserve LGBTQ+ history for future generations by extending the Stonewall National Monument from its physical location in New York City to a digital experience that anyone can access on pride.google.com.

Apart from programs that support minorities, Google has Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) comprised of LGBT Googlers and their allies called Gayglers, as well as Trans at Google that seeks to ensure that the company’s products and policy stances are inclusive of all gender identities and expressions.

Instagram

Instagram recognizes that many of its users are members of the LGBTQ+ community. To celebrate Pride this year, the platform will display relevant hashtags in a rainbow gradient including #lgbtq, #bornperfect, and #pride2019 for a month. Using the hashtags in Stories will also turn the story ring into rainbow instead of Instagram’s gradient.

Instagram is updating gender options for users as well, “to be more inclusive and reflective of how people self-identify today.” There is also an LGBTQ+ teen guide on online well-being and self-care that Instagram created with The Trevor Project.

Lyft

Like Instagram, Lyft now offers a range of pronoun options to support transgender and non-binary riders. For transitioning drivers, Lyft provides them assistance with changing the name and gender designation on their driver’s license together with the National Center for Transgender Equality. Through its Round Up & Donate feature has donated over $5 million to HRC and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Lyft also has a Gender Inclusion & Affirmation policy created by members of the company’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, LyftOUT, that lays out comprehensive protections and benefits for its employees.

Microsoft

Later this month Microsoft is releasing a Surface Pro Pride Type Cover designed with and for the LGBTQ+ community, and donating US$ 100,000 to nonprofits in celebration of Pride. For its employees Microsoft has implemented anti-discrimination policies and benefits since 1989. In 1993, they were one of the first companies in the world to offer employee benefits to same-sex partners. Microsoft is also one of the companies that’s received a perfect score from HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.

To quote Microsoft, “we’ve come far in the last 50 years after Stonewall, but we haven’t gone far enough.” In many countries where tech companies operate, being queer is still a crime and LGBTQ+ rights are still not recognized.

It takes more than just hearing voices of the community to make the world more inclusive and non-discriminatory — individual allies and corporations play a big role in amplifying the movement. Let’s celebrate Pride not just by buying rainbow products that donate to a good cause or using hashtags this month, but also by eliminating bias in everything that we do and pushing for equal rights in the workplace and local communities until we no longer have to.

Happy Pride!

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