By Emeka Aginam
TELECOMs subscribers nationwide are set to enjoy even cheaper services as Smile Communications Nigeria Limited, a leading broadband service provider, stormed the market with the introduction of the lowest call tariff that allows subscribers make calls at 8 kobo per second to any network from within and outside the country at the same rate, using SmileVoice App.
The company announced this at a news conference in Lagos last Wednesday, saying “the SmileVoice allows thousands of Nigerians to enjoy seamless, SuperClear voice and video calls to their loved ones to and from anywhere in the world.” Unveiling the app at the conference, Managing Director of Smile Nigeria, Godfrey Efeurhobo told a gathering of stakeholders and the ICT press that the world-first free mobile app gives customers the opportunity to have access to SuperClear voice calls over 4G LTE network, without the need for a VoLTE handset.
“I am proud to announce the lowest call rate in Nigeria, using the very latest 4G LTE technology. Yes Nigeria! It is true. You can make calls at 8 kobo per second to any network in Nigeria. You can also make and receive calls at the same rate from any country in the world,” Efeurhobo said, adding: “That is the Smile innovation! That is the Smile promise!!”
The app is structured to function exactly like a SIM card in a mobile phone. “Having the SmileVoice app on your mobile is like having a second SIM card in your phone,” Efeurhobo said, and added: “Our customers can use their data plan to make SuperClear voice, video calls and send SMS to any number locally and internationally. There is no need for the recipient to also have SmileVoice”.
Interestingly, the new app has come to wipe the era of “Roaming Bill Shock” that hitherto makes it impossible for Nigerians to make calls with their local numbers abroad. What that means is that registered subscribers on the choice network can now make undisrupted calls anywhere in the world at the unprecedented rate of about N5 per minute.
“If home is where the heart is, you never have to be far from home again! On the Smile network, you take home with you everywhere you go,” said Efeurhobo while stating that registered customers can now do video calls and send SMS using the SmileVoice App. It doesn’t get any better. Smile had made the first ever Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call in Nigeria during the beta testing of its voice service in October last year.
In order to access SmileVoice, a VoLTE phone or the free SmileVoice App is required. The SmileVoice App is the first 4G LTE voice App launched in the world – another first for Smile. To enjoy the SuperClear calls at 8k/sec that connect the first time, Smile’s Group Head Corporate Communications and Marketing (South Africa), Nicolene Vanzyl said customers are simply required to use a VoLTE handset with their Smile SIM card or download the free SmileVoice App to their mobile phones.
“SmileVoice ONLY plan is available at N1,000 with 200 minutes at 8k/sec – again another industry first,” she said. The new innovation is a milestone for the telecom company because it has a SuperFast Internet access on the go with a 4G LTE network that delivers fastest Internet, available anywhere. It “significantly faster call setup times than on a 2G/3G network,” she said.
Among other distinct features, the app has the flexibility to use one data bundles for calling & messaging; ability to have two numbers on one mobile phone – you select which one you call from, while the subscribers can “use data bundle for what you need – SuperFast internet, SuperClear voice, SMS.” The app can make HD high definition calls when calling from Smile’s network to another Smile person on Smile’s network.