There are currently only two networks operating in the country, with a third promised to be ready for customers by mid-2020. Neither of the two currently operational networks boasts great speed or coverage across the whole country but most of the population is covered by one network or the other. It is not uncommon to be in an area that is only covered by one of the networks. Many locals will own and carry both SIMs with them when travelling around the country so emulating this practice might be your best bet at keeping a reliable signal during your travels. By international and even regional standards, the networks are doing a poor job at providing a good quality connection to their customers. With the world so well connected now, many Filipinos are feeling disgruntled by the service they are receiving. This has caused the President to threaten to completely open up the mobile internet market to Chinese investors if the national companies cannot improve the service they provide. Registering SIM cards is required for all customers in the Philippines and top ups are easy, just provide your phone number and pay any shop owner. Within a few minutes, you will have the credit straight to your phone. Top up cards are also available at major retailers and Sari Sari stores. In our opinion, the best SIM for backpacking in the Philippines is Smart. Read on to find out where to buy, how to top up and what the alternatives are.  The Philippines is renown for terrible internet speeds and mobile internet is no different. All inhabited islands have at least 2G coverage but due to congestion, this is not often capable of even sending WhatsApp messages! 3G is available on bigger islands and 4G is in major cities but even these 4G speeds are poor.
Best SIM Cards in The Philippines:
- Where to get a SIM: Available from most shops, sari sari stores and street vendors.
- Where to top up: Anywhere displaying the Smart logo.
- Cell network: 2G/3G/4G.
- ID Required: No.
- Bands/Frequencies: 900MHz & 1800MHz (2G), 850MHz & 2100MHz (3G), Bands 1,3,5 & 28 (4G).
- Where to get a SIM: Available in almost every shop or from any street vendor.
- Where to top up: Anywhere displaying the Globe logo.
- Cell network: 2G/3G/4G
- ID Required: No.
- Bands/Frequencies: 900MHz & 1800MHz (2G), 900MHz & 2100MHz (3G), Bands 3,7,28 & 40 (4G).
Dito TelecommunityThe Philippines third operator will be up and running by the summer of 2020 after having already invested close to 5 billion dollars into their infrastructure. They are promising internet speeds of 55mbps. If this turns out to be true they will be by far, the fastest network in the country and will probably be the best choice for locals and tourists alike.
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