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Smile launches new 4G LTE mobile services

Smile launches new 4G LTE mobile services

Smile Telecoms has announced the availability of two first-to-market services, namely SmileVoice and SmileUnlimited in all markets where the telco operates.

The telco owns and operates 4G LTE mobile broadband networks in the 800MHz band in Nigeria, and in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands in Tanzania and Uganda.

The rollout comes after Smile's announcement six months ago that it had raised US$365- million of debt and equity funding, the first tranche of which has been applied to significantly expand Smile's existing 4G LTE mobile broadband networks.

According to the company, its coverage is now comparable to the largest 3G network in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, with coverage in the DRC to be announced soon.

Irene Charnley, Chief Executive Officer at Smile Group explained the reasons for the company's latest move. "With the introduction of SmileVoice and SmileUnlimited, we are once again demonstrating our commitment to the advancement of the people of Africa."

SmileVoice is a world-first free mobile app that enables customers with any Android or Apple iPhone device to make SuperClear voice calls over Smile's 4G LTE networks, according to the company.

"Having the SmileVoice app on your mobile is like having a second SIM card in your phone. SmileUnlimited provides customers with unlimited access for 30 days over Smile's SuperFast 4G LTE broadband network."detailed Smile in its announcement.

Smile says it has become the first mobile provider in Africa to offer Voice over 4G LTE to customers with VoLTE-capable handsets and the first mobile operator to launch a free SmileVoice App to enable customers who do not have access to VoLTE-capable handsets to access its 'SuperClear' voice services.

"We made our first Voice over LTE calls in Nigeria during beta-testing in October 2015 and the feedback from our existing customers since our soft-launch early February has been extremely positive. Thousands of our customers now make national and international voice calls using their data bundles," says Charnley about the Nigerian market.

SmileVoice will also provide customers with the ability to use their data bundles to make 'SuperClear' voice, video calls and send SMSs to any number locally and internationally.

All SmileVoice calls are charged in MBs to an active data bundle and equated to a local per second call rate according to the telco.

Charnley explained that any unlimited offering, as in the case of SmileUnlimited, is subject to a fair usage policy (FUP) which ensures that connectivity will be maintained throughout the 30-day period, albeit at declining speeds once the generous FUP is reached.

It also provides for the speed to be increased again by the simple purchase of another data bundle.

The roll-out of SmileVoice and SmileUnlimited in Nigeria will be followed by similar offerings in Tanzania and Uganda. In addition, Smile is set to launch its services in the DRC in 2016.

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