• Friday, June 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Consumers see gains as Smile’s voice bundle slashes call rates by 27%

Smile Communications
Smile Communications, a provider of 4G LTE mobile broadband across Africa, will save consumers at least 3 kobo per second on voice calls through its latest SmileVoice data bundle.
The lowest call rate charged by telecommunication firms in Nigeria for voice calls is 11 kobo per second, excluding rental charges. However, SmileVoice bills 8 kobo per second, which is 27 percent less.
Speaking at the launch of the product in Ikeja, Lagos, Godfrey Efeurhobo, Smile’s new managing director, said there were no charges attached to the 8 kobo call rate, adding that this was applicable to local and international calls.
“Without rental charges, consumers can save about 3 kobo per second, but if these charges are added, they can save as much as 6 kobo per second,” Efeurhobo said, in response to questions.
“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. That is the Smile innovation,” he stated.
“On the Smile network now, whether with our SmileVoice or a Volte compatible phone, you can make calls to any network in Nigeria at local rate, which gets as low as 8 kobo per second on the SmileVoice ONLY bundle plan (below N5 per minute). This is unprecedented,” he said, adding that this innovation had destroyed roaming.
Consumers in Africa’s largest economy have been boxed into a tight corner lately, as inflation has grown at an average of 11.5 percent between the months of February and June 2016.
Household consumption expenditure contracted by 8.66 percent in the first three months through 2016 following soaring food prices and the depreciation of the naira to the dollar.
Efeurhobo was convinced the new product would ease the pressure on waning household spend.
“It is the lowest call rate. People can now communicate at any time without necessarily bothering about how badly it hurts their pockets.
Secondly, the roaming tariff shock people get when they travel abroad is eliminated because all they need to do is to latch on to a Wi-Fi and you will make calls at local rates whether home or abroad,” Efeurhobo said.
He said the Smile Voice app was like having a second SIM card on a phone, adding that customers could make calls without having to bother about high roaming rate, as they would be charged at the local rate.
“The superiority of this has made people think we are just an ISP, but we have differentiated ourselves from ISP and positioned ourselves as a full-fledged communications network in Nigeria. We are today where every other communications company would like to be. With Smile, you are at the cutting edge of telecommunications technology,” he stated.
 “We are in eight cities and we are planning to expand to more cities so that people can enjoy our services,” the MD said.
ODINAKA ANUDU & LOLADE AKINMURELE