When Globe Tattoo was kind to me

Give credit where credit is due.  The Globe Tattoo has good times and  bad times.  When it’s bad, it’s at its worst.  But when it’s good, boy is it at it’s best…

I think I wrote in a previous article that Globe Tattoo, if anything, was not “fast, consistent, reliable”.  In my own experience, the Tattoo broadband kept disconnecting, the speeds crawled even in 100% signal strength, and most of the time you are at the mercy of current bandwidth.  I also heard there’s a download cap for Prepaid?   Anyway, you can always try some tricks on how to make Globe Tattoo faster.  The results, though, are still variable at best.

That is not what I wanted to write about.   For all its faults and flaws, Globe Tattoo is still the best broadband service I have the experience of having.   I’ve tested Smart Bro, and other users also attest that the Tattoo is faster.   Globe Tattoo has the best of times, and the worst of times.  I came here to write about one of the best ones.

Give credit where credit is due.

The story starts with a search.   I was looking for a certain Chess instructional video on Google.  All I kept on seeing were 200mb downloads, but most of them had been taken down.  I could always pay for it, but it would take too long and the delivery charges are high.  I tried to use Torrent, but there were no seeders (its primary tracker was Demonoid, and we all know what happened with that).

So my search finally lands me on a forum that sends me to where I can download the file.  It’s more than 1GB.  To make things easy for me the user divided it into six 200mb files.   I thought this would take a few days (since in my DSL it usually takes two to three hours to finish a 200 mb file).

I start downloading the first file using my Globe Tattoo broadband.   I think a bit of exposition is necessary:  where I was downloading was far underground.  I worked one floor under the ground, and the location was enough that GPS and radio frequencies do not work.   We do have Globe and Smart nodes(?)—they’re roundish with a nipple-like figure at the center—on the roof which gives us signals for our cell phones.  But I’ve used Globe tattoo here before.   And the signal that’s strongest is EDGE (that means Dial-up slow).  3G or HSDPA (when forced) has only one or two bars.

So I start.  I’m not using Torrent, I’m directly downloading.  I know that at any moment, the Tattoo could disconnect and I have to start all over again.  Or it crawls at 7kbs or .5 kbps.   However, I’m pleasantly surprised that today it starts at 36kbps.   Better, it goes up to 56kbps.   Within the hour I’m finished.  I begin my next download, thinking that by this time it would start crawling.  I could call it a day and download the next day.

39kbps. Not bad.  Another hour and a half passes and I’m finished.  My experience with Tattoo is that although sometimes it’s fast, eventually it slows down.  To painful speeds.    Third download.   This is where my eyes start to deceive me.  60kbps?  70kbps?   The download finished in a half hour.

The next download continues: 70kbps, and it reaches 50-60 kbps.  It’s a consistent fast speed.   I check the Globe signal: HSDPA, full bars.   I couldn’t believe my luck.   It was the second half of the day, afternoon.  Usually it begins to slow down.

The fifth download?  It reaches to 90, then 100kbps.  I was beside myself with delight.   What was going on?  Was the bandwidth good that time?  How many people did not use Globe at the time?  Why was I getting a good download speed?

This and the last download finished at half hour each.   I wanted to download more, but I didn’t want to press my luck.  In fact, when I reconnected my Globe Tattoo later on, the speeds went back to 20kbps to 30kbps.   And the familiar 1 to 2 bars of HSDPA.

There is no moral to the story.  I actually want to believe that Globe is the best out there, that I misjudged it, and that if I want Internet, I go get Globe Tattoo.   But sadly, that’s not the truth.  Globe Tattoo is not consistent with its network connections.   That’s the long and short of it.

However, Globe Tattoo does have its moments.   When you’re at the mall—like, for example, SM North EDSA (in one of the coffee shops)—you can check the Globe Tattoo speeds and it’ll jump to 200kbps.  I am in Bulacan and when I go outside my house, outdoors, I get up to 80kbps speeds.   It crawls when I go inside (20kbps?  5kbps?).  I also suspect that the cable extension worsens the network connection of the Tattoo.   But I am in an FX, I get full bars HSDPA signal.  And fast speeds.

So you are blessed on using it outdoors.   No question.  But most of what you do is inside, right?  When you work, when you read or lounge at home.  You lounge inside.  (I’m briefly reminded of the reaction the agent of Globe Customer Service when I told them where I was using it: “oh, you’re using it indoors…”)   My point is, although Globe could be so frustratingly slow at many times, at golden moments it is wonderful.

That is all.