Staying connected while traveling in the Philippines is extremely important to have the best experiences in today’s digital age. Travelers have many options for accessing the internet, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we’ll explore mobile internet in the Philippines and provide tips for choosing the best connection option for your needs and budget.

Mobile Internet in Philippines

I. Mobile Internet coverage and speed in the Philippines

The Philippines is known as the “Land of a Thousand Islands”, so marine tourism in this country is very developed thanks to beautiful natural landscapes and very well-protected coastlines. However, good mobile network coverage and speed are also important for travelers here to enhance the experience.

1. Philippines Mobile Internet Coverage

Philippines Mobile Internet Coverage.
Philippines Mobile Internet Coverage. Source: Opensignal

Some important information about mobile internet in the Philippines:

  • Globe: Leading with a score of 7.10, it can be seen that Globe has the best overall coverage. Globe has a 3G and 4G network that covers about 95% of the Philippine population. In large cities like Manila, 4G speeds can reach over 20 Mbps. Coverage may gradually decrease in remote rural areas, remote areas or some offshore islands, but the speed is still assessed to be quite stable.
  • Smart: This is the network with the strongest 5G coverage. Strong coverage nationwide. For activities that require the use of marketing data, Smart is the most optimal choice
  • DITO: Compared to the above two carriers, DITO’s coverage is still growing. The best coverage is still in densely populated cities. Connections in suburban local areas may not be good.

Overall, mobile internet coverage for travelers in the Philippines is very adequate, with all major carriers offering widespread 4G/5G networks in urban and coastal areas. Travelers who want to stay connected seamlessly should use Globe and Smart carriers for the best phone and basic data nationwide.

2. Philippines Mobile Internet Speed

Mobile Internet in Philippines - Median Speed.
Mobile Internet in the Philippines – Median Speed. Source: Speedtest

Based on the Speedtest Global Index, the average mobile internet speed in the Philippines is probably average compared to other countries, with download speeds in February 2024 of around 29.65 Mbps.

National Ranking:

  • Philippine mobile Internet speeds have improved in rankings and speeds over time as carriers expand 4G/LTE coverage and connectivity improves nationwide
  • The Philippines is only ranked 4th in Southeast Asia after Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, however with an average speed of 29.65 Mbps it can be considered quite fast enough to stream HD videos, make video calls, download large files, etc.

City Ranking:

Top 3 cities in the Philippines in terms of average mobile speed

  • Manila – With an average speed of about 34.36 Mbps, ranking 159th globally
  • Quezon City – With an average speed of about 28.15 Mbps ranking 223rd globally
  • Cebu City – With an average speed of about 25.56 Mbps, ranking 273rd globally

To experience fast and stable Internet, visitors should use Globe, with the widest coverage in the Philippines. According to independent speed measurement reports, Globe’s average download speed is rated slightly higher than Smart’s. This will help travelers communicate and access information conveniently, and optimize their travel experience in this unique country.

II. Mobile Internet in the Philippines: Connection options for tourists

When visiting the Philippines, travelers have four main options for connecting to the internet on their mobile device: use free public WiFi, buy a local SIM card, use an eSIM plan, or continue to use their carrier’s international roaming service. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so careful evaluation based on your specific needs and travel plans is important.

Connectivity OptionProsConsPrice Range (USD)
Free WiFiNo costSlow speeds, limited data, security issues$0
Pocket WiFiPortable, fast speedsDaily/weekly rental fees, damage fees$10-25/day; $50-100/week
eSIMConvenient activation, no SIM swapLimited availability, extra app/site fees$15-30 for 1-2GB data
Local SIMWidespread coverage, pay-as-you-goUpfront SIM cost, local currency needed$5-10 for SIM; $5-20 for 1-2GB data
RoamingSeamless international useExtremely expensive rates$5-10/100MB; $50+/1GB for data-only plans

Overall, local SIM cards are the best available connectivity option in terms of price, convenience, and data security for travelers who want reliable mobile Internet access during their stay in the Philippines.

Are you planning to visit the Philippines soon, check our guide Best Philippines SIM Cards for Tourists: Updated Price and Where to Buy to get more useful tips!

In addition, eSIM is one of the extremely convenient and smart options, because the connection only requires scanning a QR code, but make sure your device is compatible before buying. You can check if your phone is in the list of eSIM-compatible devices.

Our recommendation: Get internet connected in the Philippines with Philippines eSIM, an eSIM provider that offers flexibility, competitive pricing, excellent customer support. Reliable Globe network, wide nationwide coverage, easy activation. You can check detailed information at the Philippines eSIM website.

Plan that may interest you

Philippines eSIM 10 Days Plan
Philippines eSIM 10 Days Plan
From $11.00
Philippines eSIM 15 Days Plan
Philippines eSIM 15 Days Plan
From $11.50
Philippines eSIM 30 Days Plan
Philippines eSIM 30 Days Plan
From $12.00

III. Mobile Internet Philippines Rating

Mobile internet costs in the Philippines are quite diverse and there are many options based on the network provider, package type, and usage time. The table below is an overview of the price range of different options for your reference:

OptionPrice Range
SIM Card~ $3 – $7 for 3-10GB, 14 – 30 days
eSIM~ $9 – $12 for 3-20GB data, 3 – 30 days
Roaming~ $2 – $15 per day for limited data
Public WifiFree – $5 per day
Pocket Wifi~ $5 – $15 per day for unlimited data

IV. Best mobile operators in the Philippines

To choose the carrier that provides the best mobile service, you need to carefully explore your personal needs to evaluate the options between mobile carriers. Below is a comparison table between 3 major service providers in the Philippines: Globe, Smart, and DITO.

DataGiga promos: Data allocation for a certain periodGoSURF promos: Customizable data plansVarious data offers with different validity periods
Key PointsReliable network, many additional featuresFlexible and diverse data plansAffordable, data-centric
ProsExtensive network, data rollover, free calls/texts to network subscribersCustomizable data plans, attractive data offersCompetitive prices, good coverage in major cities
ConsDefault plans may not be suitable for everyone, prices may be higher than DitoComplicated app interface, the network speed can be unstable at timesNetwork coverage is not yet nationwide, and limited customer service
Best forUsers who frequently make calls/texts to network subscribers need stable dataUsers who want to customize data plans, like data offers for appsUsers who prioritize affordability, mostly operate in major cities
Additional FeaturesFree calls/texts to network subscribers, data rolloverFree calls/texts to network subscribers, data offers for partner appsWide network coverage

Deciding on the best carrier depends on your needs.

  • For the economical option, only stay in the big city: DITO
  • For the need for a stable connection, there is an additional perk: Smart
  • For the  flexible, data-rich offers: Globe


Do SIM cards have data limits?

Both prepaid and postpaid plans usually have data caps, after which the speed gets reduced. You can upgrade your plan or purchase additional data packages.

How much is the monthly SIM maintenance fee?

There is no monthly maintenance fee for prepaid plans. Postpaid plans are usually from $1.73-5.18/month.

Can I use my old SIM when returning to the Philippines?

Yes, you can continue using your old SIM when returning. Just top up to continue usage.

Will mobile data speeds be limited if I use a VPN?

No, Philippine mobile networks do not throttle speeds when using a VPN.

Do I need a postpaid plan for reliability?

Prepaid plans from Smart and Globe provide reliable basic connectivity in most areas. However, postpaid plans may offer more consistent speeds thanks to less congested access. Postpaid also provides the option to save unused data to use next month.

VI. Conclusions

Internet service in the Philippines is growing more and more every year, meeting all needs whether you are a tourist or a local. Thanks to the wide coverage range, you can easily stay connected whether you are in the city center or relaxing at beautiful beaches. Dubbed the “Land of a Thousand Islands”, using a prepaid SIM with flexibility in data packages is a smart choice. Remember to check the price and criteria to suit your needs before choosing any SIM package.