Smile Communications Launches 4G LTE

1 [L-R] Thibaud Weick, GCCO, Kenneth Esenwah, GM Sales, Allen, Obiejesi, Lee-Ann Cassie, service manager and Kamar Abass, MD, Ericsson

Smile Communications Nigeria Limited launches its first true 4G LTE broadband internet service in Lagos

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Mar. 31, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

SMILE Communications Nigeria Limited on Thursday, March 13, launched its first true 4th Generation Long-Term Evolution, 4G LTE broadband internet service in Lagos. The company said the launch followed more than two years of extensive testing and development, which culminated in the launch in 2013 of its network in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

Smile also noted that its network coverage would expand to Abuja and Port Harcourt before the middle of 2014. This would be followed by further network expansion covering most parts of the country in the next few years. The company also promised to create more than 400 highly specialised jobs this year with more to follow as it expands its network throughout the country.

Tom Allen, group chief operating officer, Smile, said the goal of the company is to provide Nigerian broadband internet users with speed, quality, reliability and simplicity. He said the 4G LTE is the latest most advanced and most flexible global technological standard for wireless data communications, and represents a sea change compared to older technologies like 3G. “Our vision of becoming the broadband internet provider of choice in Nigeria has guided us in everything from selecting our people and partners to choosing the best technologies and creating innovative and relevant products and services. We are confident and excited, and we are ready to share the promise of digital citizenship with millions of Nigerians,” he said.

[L-R] Weick, Esenwah, Allen and Obiejesi
[L-R] Weick, Esenwah, Allen and Obiejesi

According to Allen, Smile’s Nigerian customers are already experiencing world-beating speed and quality. “Our customers will experience average speeds of excess of six megabytes  per second and some customers are already running at average speeds in excess of 20 megabytes per second, which is substantially faster than the speed that can be achieved in other parts of the world, including the United Kingdom. The experience is so much faster and better than anything our customers are used to that some customers initially use a lot more data than they expect. Live television streams without delay, high-definition You Tube videos load without buffering, sites are available almost instantly and downloads happen in a blink of an eye. It’s the kind of problem we enjoy dealing with, and our customers fall in love with the experience immediately.”

On his part, Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, chairman of the company, said he was excited about the possibilities in the Nigerian market, but was cognisant of the challenges. “Nigeria is one of the most dynamic markets in the world, and mobile broadband will play a crucial role in the transformation and development of the country. Unfortunately, Nigerians are still too often let down by slow unreliable services, and have been disappointed too many times when operators promise more than they can deliver. Smile will not repeat their mistakes, we have the technology, people and partners to ensure that we deliver what we promise and more,” he said.

The introduction of Smile 4G LTE broadband internet in Nigeria represents a considerable investment, and reflects Smile’s confidence and commitment to the development of the country. Among other innovations, Smile’s network is designed to be ‘plug and play,’ allowing Smile to respond to changing demand patterns by installing fully operational base stations in a matter of days, avoiding the loss of speed, quality and reliability associated with overloaded base stations on traditional networks.

Smile Nigeria is a subsidiary of Smile Telecoms Holdings, which has operations in Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, and an associate company in South Africa. It was founded in 2008 with the transformative objective of using the best and most innovative technologies to provide its customers with high quality, easy-to-use and affordable communications services.

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