Bata at SM Makati

How (and how not) to activate a prepaid Smart Bro micro sim on the ipad

When I got my 3G iPad last year, there were no prepaid micro sims available yet at Globe or Smart so I went to one of the stalls in Theater Mall, Greenhills where they charged me P100 to cut up a standard Smart Buddy sim to micro sim size.

I discovered that Smart had this smart feature called Web Connect.

You register the sim online, fill up some info about yourself, assign a password, a TPIN (optional) and you were good to go. Web Connect allowed you to inquire about your sim balance, avail of promo packages, and get technical help when needed.

For several months, I was happy. I’d use the Pasaload feature to load up my iPad whenever i needed to go 3G. But when carriers began offering prepaid plans with unlimited surfing for a day, a week and a month, I realized that being charged P20/hour was getting costly, especially since I needed to be online whenever I was out of the house.

Mistake # 1 – Wrong Sim

When the Smart system detects that your sim is a Smart Buddy, you only see call/text promo packages on your Web Connect account! So all that time, I thought an ipad could never avail of unlimited surfing packages and had to be content with hourly rates. Yun pala, I had the wrong sim! It had to be Smart Bro!

So last week, off I went to Smart Wireless Center and purchased another sim, costing only P40. This time, I made sure it was a Smart Bro prepaid micro sim.

Mistake # 2 – Registering on Web Connect via Web

As I’m always wifi-connected at home, it was just natural for me to register on Web Connect while on my home network. Apparently, Smart’s system requires that you register by being on 3G AND using the iPad’s micro sim. Otherwise, your Smart Bro packages and other promos don’t show up on your account’s screen.

I learned this the hard way and had to communicate with @SmartCares (Smart’s Twitter account). They had to refresh my micro sim so I could register again.

I think I successfully activated my micro sim because last I checked, I could already see the Smart Bro packages for unlimited surfing options.

Just one last hirit (my suggestion) for Smart people.

The iPad has no texting function unlike a smartphone where you text a given format to subscribe to unlimited surfing. The way the Smart system is now, it appears that you need to first connect to Smart using your 3G connection (which means you get charged P10 just to connect). Then you choose an unlimited surfing option, say the P50 unlimited surfing for one day. So in effect, I get charged P60 instead of what should just have been P50 had I subscribed on a smartphone.

Can Smart please find a workaround so I can register for surfing options via wifi on Web Connect instead of spending P10 just to connect via 3G? Anyway, the account requires a password so no one else can enter the account and register for a surfing option and other packages.