One phrase: absolutely heavenly! See that photo up there? That’s me deliriously happy. That is what it feels like to still be able to use internet even when your bundled data has finished.
My Smile 4G data got depleted yesterday afternoon and I immediately got a notice to that effect. But remembering what Smile officials had said to me about SmileON, their new feature that allows users on 5GB plans and above to continue to have limited access to basic internet services till the end of their validity period even after their data has finished, with some trepidation, I tried out Gmail. It worked. My tensed muscles eased a bit. You see, I was broke. There ain’t no money to renew right now.
Then I tried out Facebook. It worked too. I smiled a bit, then tried out Twitter, Mobility, GSMArena, and Instagram. They all worked! Oh; I was doing backflips in my head.
My Lumia was hooked up to the same Smile hotspot. So, I picked it up and tried sending a BBM message. It went. WhatsApp too: check. Twitter app: check. I threw my laptop in the air, flung my beloved smartphone against the wall, stripped and ran out into the streets dancing Skelewu! Oh happy day! Life couldn’t be better mehn!
So, what am I missing during this extended usage period? Downloads. Things that involve heavy downloads do not work. Like software updates both on PC and on mobile. If you do torrents and the like too, that won’t work during this extended period. I also noticed that while I am able to access the homepage of some sites, that is as far as I can go. Examples: tribune and CrackBerry. I can imagine that lots of news sites will be affected like this. Still, not quite bad.
So, till my 30-day validity ends, I still have access, albeit limited. And if I buy a 20GB plan, I get a 365-day validity, meaning I can browse free for a full year. *Downs some whiskey* Now, who can I rob of N17,000 to get that 20GB plan?
And yes; SmileON is free. You do not get a reverse or negative billing of the extra usage when you renew.