Like I already did one year ago comparing mobile plans in France and in the UK, I am now writing a little review of my experience of mobile internet plans in the Philippines compared to France. Once again, you will see that France fails, and French people have good reasons to feel like cash cows sometimes…
For my comparison, I will consider “SIM only” prepaid plans, which means you just pay for your actual internet connection and not include the price of the device (phone, 3G stick or personal hotspot).
Let’s say it from the beginning, the comparison is — oh — painful for French consumers… This is what Orange (France) and Smart (Philippines) offer for unlimited surf, for prepaid plans and excluding the price of any device:
|Orange (France)||Smart (Philippines)|
|Offer name:||Mobicarte (prepaid)||Smart Bro (prepaid)|
|Unlimited internet 1 day:||6 euros||50 pesos (0.83 euros)|
|Unlimited internet 2 days:||10 euros||100 pesos (1.66 euros)*|
|Unlimited internet 5 days:||26 euros*||200 pesos (3.32 euros)|
*prices are in proportion of the actual offers. To be accurate, Orange offers two unlimited options: 1 day for 6 euros, or 2 days for 10 euros. On the other hand, Smart offers two unlimited options: 1 day for 50 pesos (0.83 euros), or 5 days for 200 pesos (3.32 euros).
Let’s take the most advantageous case for Orange, which is the price for 2 days of unlimited internet, and let’s see that France is just 6 times more expensive than the Philippines.
I understand that the cost of living is no comparison between France and the Philippines. For knowing both countries, I know that the biggest difference comes from the labour cost. For the physical goods, you can find everything. Computer hardware and european cars are almost same price in the two countries, whereas food is about 2 or 3 times cheaper. Nevertheless, I will never believe that Orange is not taking advantage of the lack of competition in France to not maximise their profits excessively, at the expense of consumers.