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Thursday 8th June, 2023


MTN Joins Smile To Reinvigorate VoLTE Service



Since the famed telecommunications revolution in Nigeria in 2001, the telecommunications sector has remained pivotal to national economic growth and development.

It has also remained outstanding by the innovative products and services which its leading lights like Airtel, MTN, Glo, 9mobile, nTel, Swift Networks and Smile have made second nature.

One of the most cherished innovations from telcos is the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) introduced in Nigeria by Smile Communications in 2016 and enlivened six years later by the recent launch of the service by MTN in April 2022.

In gifting Nigeria its first VoLTE service via a test run in 2015 and full-service commercialization early in 2016, Smile ensured that Nigerian subscribers were availed of up to three times more voice and data capacity than the existing older 3G UMTS and up to six times more than 2G GSM.

Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) is a LTE high-speed wireless communication standard for mobile phones and data terminals, including Internet of things (IoT) devices and wearables. VoLTE calls are voice calls made over the 4G LTE network.

Apparently, with its eyes partly on VoLTE offering, Smile launched West Africa‘s first 4G LTE network in Nigeria in 2014.  The historic launch evidently revolutionized the way people access the internet in Nigeria.

VoLTE provides superior audio quality to regular phone calls made over the standard voice network and enables the consumer to talk and use 4G LTE data simultaneously. It is also enabled for up to six-way conference calls.

At its introduction in Nigeria in 2016, Smile pledged to, through the Voice over LTE (VoLTE), give Nigerians the best speed in voice and data connectivity. The company noted the rapidly growing Nigerian market that is moving much faster in the broadband direction and pledged to offer voice quality that will definitely beat the existing benchmark in the Nigerian market.

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Six years after, Smile has not fallen short of its promise as Nigerians now experience SuperClear voice calls on its 4G LTE network. Designed to delight its subscribers to no end, the Smile Voice is cheaper than normal voice calls.

To enhance an inclusion that extends numerous benefits at a nominal fee, Smile customers can use one Smile Data Bundle for SuperClear, Reliable voice, video calls and SMSs to call anyone on any network, anytime, anywhere, using the SmileVoice App or putting a Smile SIM into a compatible VoLTE phone.

The uniqueness of Smile Voice also allows customers to make calls from their data bundle, which can be shared both for calls and data browsing.

Assured of extensive usage and unrestricted range, Smile customers do not need to worry about roaming abroad, for even when travelling internationally the customer can still enjoy local call rate when he calls home.

All that is needed is to connect the mobile to a local WiFi or data network service and call home at a local per second call rate. In essence, Smile Voice can be used in any country using the data in one’s Smile account.

Similarly, the MTN VoLTE service is said to enable a subscriber to make very clear voice calls with reduced background noise on the 4G LTE network. The MTN VoLTE call service will be charged at regular call rates.

It will be available to all customers with VoLTE-enabled devices such as Tecno Phantom X, Infinix Zero X and Infinix Zero X Pro smartphones. Other device models from Samsung, Nokia, Apple and Tecno will be supported soon. The company is hopeful that with VoLTE, it will continue to enhance Nigerian lives with innovative technology.

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The Smile earlier offering and the recently launched MTN offer speak to an innovative streak that is gradually becoming synonymous with the telecoms sector.

Invariably, the stellar performance of the telecoms sector stems from a viable market provided by Nigeria and Nigerians, effective regulation provided by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and impressive service provided by the major operators skippered by Smile and MTN.


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Liquid Dataport Launches Shortest Fibre Route

The much anticipated 3,800km route marks a new era in East-West connectivity on the continent, adding to Liquid’s One Africa Digital Network, which now spans 110,000 km

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Liquid Dataport, a business of Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a pan-African technology group, has launched its newest fibre route connecting Mombasa, Kenya, to Muanda on the west coast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

This is the shortest route connecting East to West Africa, reducing data transmission latency by 20 milliseconds, with the much anticipated 3,800km route marking a new era in East-West connectivity on the continent, and adding to Liquid’s One Africa Digital Network, which now spans 110,000 km.

The fibre route connects Kenya and DRC, passing through Uganda and Rwanda and bringing more reliable and affordable broadband connectivity to over 40 million people living and working in all the major cities along the route.

The latest route complements Liquid’s earlier achievement, already a first, in 2019, linking Dar Es Salaam to Muanda on the West Coast of DR Congo via Zambia.

Hardy Pemhiwa, President & Group Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Intelligent Technologies, said, “The real challenge today is closing the access-usage gap in Africa so that more Africans can use the internet technologies available to them, now and in the future.

“This East-West route which complements our existing Pan Africa fibre network is significant because it is helping to solve that problem – it not only brings global traffic to the continent but also improves the cost economics of Africa’s broadband Internet access.”

The new East-West route enables Liquid’s customers to take advantage of capacities ranging from 1Mbps to 100,000Mbps. It enables cloud supplier redundancy with access to multiple data centres and cable landing stations, ensuring maximum uptime. This is hugely beneficial to the many businesses in East, Central & Southern Africa that are embarking on their digital transformation journey.

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In order for African enterprises to expand continentally and compete with their global counterparts, they need stable, reliable connectivity with low latency and access to numerous digital tools to optimise their businesses.

“We have a significant number of wholesales, enterprise and hyperscale customers along this route, and we fully support them in operating their global networks.

“The availability of our latest and shortest East to West route brings many proven economic and social benefits – from providing access to online educational resources to creating more jobs and driving the adoption of new technologies,” said David Eurin, Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Dataport.

The Mombasa-Muanda route will help global organisations looking for Internet resiliency avoid the Red Sea and Europe routes which have become bottlenecks for global Internet traffic and will provide faster fibre connectivity to landlocked countries on the African continent, creating significant attractiveness for growing connectivity hubs in Kenya and DRC.

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AMS-IX, MDXi Launch New Internet Exchange For Lagos, Nigeria



AMS-IX, one of the largest Internet Exchange operators in the world, and MDXi, an Equinix company, have announced the launch of a new Internet Exchange in Lagos, Nigeria. 

The new Internet Exchange, AMS-IX Lagos, is situated in the carrier-neutral data center of MDXi, an Equinix Company.

Under the terms of the partnership, MDXi will serve as the commercial partner of AMS-IX and the regional sales and marketing arm for AMS-IX Lagos.

AMS-IX will run the technical and operational management of the exchange.

AMS-IX Lagos aims to become an important content hub for West Africa, enabling regional and local ISPs, carriers, and Internet Exchanges to aggregate content from large global Content Delivery Networks, hosting companies and application providers.

In the coming months, MDXi, an Equinix Company and AMS-IX will focus on seeking alliances with local telecom operators and IX’s and supporting local ecosystems.

AMS-IX Lagos will launch with over 25 connected networks as AMS-IX and MDXi, an Equinix Company migrate and onboard the existing connected networks of West Africa Internet Exchange (WAF-IX) in the coming month.

Connected networks at WAF-IX include large CDNs and application providers such as Cloudflare, Microsoft and Google.

Peter van Burgel, CEO of AMS-IX said, “We intend to add value to the local carriers and IXs by attracting even more content players to the region and supporting the local connectivity community.

“This is a very exciting project for us as we see it as an important stepping stone for bringing low-latency affordable Internet available for the West-African region.”

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Funke Opeke, Director MDXi, an Equinix company states “This partnership enables MDXi to deliver value to the rich ecosystem of network operators, carriers, content providers, cloud services providers, and enterprises that we have present in the data center.

“The AMS-IX partnership will help MDXi consolidate its role as a content hub not just for Nigeria, but for Francophone and English-speaking West and Central Africa.”

AMS-IX (Amsterdam Internet Exchange) is a neutral member-based association that operates multiple interconnection platforms worldwide.

Its leading platform in Amsterdam has been playing a crucial role at the internet’s core for almost 30 years and is one of the world’s largest hubs for internet traffic with over 11 Terabits per second (Tbps) of peak traffic.

Connecting to AMS-IX ensures customers such as internet service providers, telecom companies and cloud providers that their global IP traffic is routed in an efficient, fast, secure, stable and cost-effective way.

This allows them to offer low latency and engaging online experiences for end-users. AMS-IX interconnects more than 1000 IP networks in the world.

AMS-IX also manages the world’s first mobile peering points: the Global Roaming Exchange (GRX), the Mobile Data Exchange (MDX) and the Internetwork Packet Exchange (I-IPX) interconnection points.

MDXi, an Equinix company is West Africa’s leading data centre company, boasting carrier-neutral data centres with a combined capacity of 5 MW across the key markets of Nigeria, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. It provides access to all leading internet exchanges, network providers and ISPs in the West African region.

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Smile Offers Customers Free Streaming Data



Smile Communications, Nigeria’s foremost and leading mobile broadband provider has introduced a new offer to its teeming customers.

The new offer allows for FREE Streaming data for consumers to stream their favourite content on YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video absolutely FREE.

Abdul Hafeez, Chief Marketing Officer, Smile Nigeria, said of the offer, “We are giving our customers so much more when they purchase any of our select Bigga plans with FREE streaming data, so they can have fun engaging with their favourite entertainment and social media services for longer.”

All Smile customers who recharge a Bigga plan, from 1.5GB to 20GB, priced from N1,000 to N5,000, will get an additional 3GB to 5GB FREE streaming data to use between 11 pm and 6 am on YouTube, Netflix, and Prime Video.

Smile said in a statement that with this offer, consumers get access to FREE Youtube, FREE Netflix, and FREE Amazon prime video when they subscribe to any of the select Bigga plans from Smile.

“We are still a consumer-centric organisation that understands the huge financial responsibilities associated peculiarly with the first quarter globally and want to cushion these effects with extra value for our consumers while encouraging other Nigerians to get on the Smile network to enjoy this and many other goodies from Smile,” Hafeez concluded.

Smile communications led in voice call acquisitions in the past year and are poised to enter new markets, as well as deliver several firsts within the telecommunications operating space as the year progresses.

Industry watchers are of the opinion that Smile is a brand to look out for in 2023.

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