Smart now offer a plug ‘n play prepaid home WIFI solution, powered by LTE. Ideal for those who can’t get DSL or Fiber, or those trying to avoid lengthy contracts and monthly costs associated with fixed-line internet options.
The Smart Prepaid home WIFI kit sells online for a one-off cost of P1995 and includes 10GB of data to be used within 7 days. After those 7 days, you can buy load to redeem SurfMax, GigaSurf or Flexitime packages like you would with your regular Smartbro pocket WIFI.
This is in the very early stages but I’ve started work on an unofficial monitoring and control app for the Evoluzn Home WIFI.
Who is it good for?
This is more suited for light users or those who want a backup for their primary DSL/Fiber connection. Because the LTE WIFI router supports 700 MHz, it’s especially suitable for those living far from a cell tower or surrounded by buildings that are making it difficult to get a stable signal.
What is 700 MHz LTE?
Lower frequencies like 700 MHz can travel further and penetrate buildings easier, but they cannot carry as much data.
If you’re close to a cell tower, the router will use higher frequencies which can provide higher speeds. If you’re further away or there’s a lot of obstructions between you and the tower, the router will use 700 MHz which can travel further and penetrate buildings easier, but provides a slower internet connection.
Upgrading of cell towers to support 700 Mhz is ongoing. I recommend checking with Smart to know if your local towers have been upgraded already.
What about heavy users & downloaders?
This is not suitable for heavy users that want to download a lot of movies, games and that kind of thing. Although there are prepaid packages like allnight20 which offer bulk uncapped data between 11PM and 3AM for just 20 pesos.
Why don’t I just use the hotspot feature on my phone?
The hotspot feature on your phone might be okay for 10 or 20 minutes but any longer and it’s probably going to get hot enough to fry an egg and the battery will quickly drain.
Why not use a pocket wifi instead of this home wifi?
A pocket wifi has the benefit of being portable and if you buy one that supports 700 MHz you’ll get basically identical speeds as this new home wifi offering from Smart.
The advantage of the Home WIFI router is that it’s designed to be always-on and better handle multiple users at the same time. You won’t have overheating issues like you might with a pocket wifi that’s left on-charge 24/7.
Details about the LTE WIFI Router
The router is branded ‘Evoluzn USA’ with model number FX-ID3, but it’s actually the D864 manufactured by AsiaTelco Inc in China.
Inside the router you’ll find a MediaTek MT7620 which is essentially a 802.11n router-on-a-chip. The WIFI and LTE antenna are essentially the same size as those found in a regular pocket wifi.
For power, it takes a 12V 1A DC input. In my testing, it consumes 3-7 watts depending on the load.
It has a 10/100 ethernet port and a basic on/off switch and reset button. It does not support external antennas.