Smile vs Spectranet: A Comparison of Coverage, Speed, Pricing, and Customer Support

AtlanticRide Team

This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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Smile vs Spectranet: The choice between Smile and Spectranet involves evaluating your specific requirements, including coverage, speed, pricing, and customer support. By carefully considering these factors, you can select the provider that best meets your internet needs, ensuring a satisfactory online experience.

Nigeria has witnessed substantial growth in digital communications, powered by an increasing demand for reliable and fast internet services. The choice of Internet Service Provider (ISP) can and has significantly impacted our daily activities, be it work, education, or leisure. 

According to recent report, internet penetration in the country has reached 43.53% as of March 2024, highlighting the increasing demand for reliable internet services. This demand has paved the way for various internet service providers to compete. 

Smile Communications and Spectranet have carved out reputations for providing reliable broadband services, extensive coverage, competitive pricing, and innovative service offerings. But how do they stack up against each other? This comprehensive review looks into the offerings of both providers to help you decide which might be the best fit for your internet needs.

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Historical Context and Overview

Smile Communications was established in 2007, launching first in Nigeria and expanding its services to several other African countries. It delivers affordable, high-quality, easy-to-use broadband access and communication services to African customers. 

smile network

Smile is at the forefront of using technology to develop creative solutions that allow everyone in Africa to access advanced communication services at a reasonable cost. 

Smile’s vision is to enable its customers to “do and achieve more,” a promise backed by its state-of-the-art network infrastructure and a focus on customer satisfaction.

In 2012, Smile Communications made headlines by being the first to launch a commercial 4G LTE broadband network on the continent, providing SuperClear voice service and superfast, high-quality and reliable access to the Internet, setting a high standard for internet speed and connectivity in regions with coverage.

To find out more about how this 4G LTE broadband is empowering Africa, visit www.smilecoms.com

Spectranet, on the other hand, is headquartered in Lagos and offers management consultancy and technical collaboration with the Infrastructure Development Company Group, which is based in Singapore. It is one of Nigeria’s top leaders in the Internet Services space, with services available in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Ibadan.

spectranet

It was awarded a license from the Nigerian Communications Commission in 2009 to promote Internet services in Nigeria. It is also among the country’s pioneers of 4G LTE technology.

Known for the slogan “pay light to download heavy”,” Spectranet is focused predominantly on providing fast and affordable broadband internet services tailored to satisfy the needs of both home and corporate users. It boasts a wide range of flexible plans and packages.

Smile vs Spectranet

Smile vs Spectranet: A Complete Review

Although both brands provide 4G-LTE broadband services, there are several distinctions and similarities. We will examine Smile vs. Spectranet under the following topics of discussion; Coverage and Accessibility, Costs, Speed and Reliability, and Customer Service. 

In terms of customer service, Smile Communications and Spectranet both strive to provide satisfactory support to their customers, but the quality and responsiveness of their services may differ. 

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1. Bold Coverage and Accessibility

One of the primary considerations when choosing an internet service provider is the area of coverage. Customers prioritize a strong network and an excellent internet experience. Smile Communications and Spectranet have made significant strides in expanding their network coverage across Nigeria, but their reach and quality of service can vary significantly.

Speaking of Smile vs. Spectranet, both offer extensive coverage but in slightly different areas. Smile has a vast network, focusing on urban and semi-urban areas, especially in major cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Ibadan, Benin City, Kaduna, Onitsha, Asaba, and Kano. 

According to Smile, its 4G LTE network covers over 90% of these areas, providing consistent and reliable internet service. Its 4G LTE network promises high-speed internet with substantial bandwidth capacities. However, coverage in rural areas still needs improvement, which can be a drawback for customers outside major cities.

Like Smile Communications, Spectranet provides extensive coverage in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Ibadan. The company has also announced plans to expand its services to more cities, aiming to increase its footprint and reach a broader audience. While Spectranet’s coverage in urban areas is robust, rural coverage is still a work in progress, which mirrors the situation with Smile Communications.

2. Price Comparison

Pricing and data plans are crucial consumer considerations when selecting an Internet Service Provider. Regarding Smile vs. Spectranet, both offer several options to suit different user requirements and price points. 

Smile and Spectranet have competitively priced their plans to attract different market segments. 

Smile often includes value-added services such as voice calls and SMS packages, which appeal to small businesses and individuals who prefer an all-in-one service provider. 

Also, Smile Communications provides a range of data plans, from daily and weekly options to monthly and yearly subscriptions. 

The plans are designed to cater to light, moderate, and heavy internet users. For example:

Daily Plans: These plans start from as low as ₦330 for 1GB and are designed for users who need internet access for short periods.

Monthly Plans: Prices range from ₦1,000 for 1.5GB to ₦21,780 for 130GB, providing options for different usage levels.

Yearly Plans: Smile offers long-term plans like the 15GB annual plan for ₦9,900 to 1TB for  ₦132,000, ideal for users seeking consistent internet access throughout the year.

For Spectranet, its pricing strategy is tailored more towards heavy data users. They offer larger data bundles that are cost-effective for families and businesses that consume significant amounts of data monthly. 

Spectranet also offers cheaper bundle options across both Multiuser and Mifi devices, with a Multi User device preloaded with data. An example is the Freedom  MIFI device option of 70 GB for N23,000. 

Their plans include:

Do more Plans: Prices range from ₦3,700 for 8GB, ₦4,200 for 10GB, ₦5,900 for 15GB, and lots more. All are valid for one month, and additional night browsing data is available from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m., catering to different usage patterns.

Unlimited Plans: Spectranet offers unlimited plans that provide larger data allowances for multiple users, such as the plan with 125GB for ₦21,000, 300GB for  ₦26,000( both with data speed of 6Mbps).

Other plans include Kulele plans and kulele+plans. They also provide mini plans ideal for users who prefer affordable daily or weekly data plans starting from ₦299 for 1GB,  ₦499 for 2GB,  ₦999 for 4GB, and lots more! 

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Both Internet Service Providers aim to offer competitive pricing, but the choice between Smile and Spectranet often depends on the customer’s specific data requirements and usage patterns.

3. Speed, Performance and Reliability

The speed and performance of an internet connection are paramount to a user’s experience. In this section, we compare the internet speeds offered by Smile Communications and Spectranet based on user reports and independent tests.

Both providers shine with their 4G LTE capabilities. However, tests and user reports frequently show that Smile vs. Spectranet offers different experiences. 

Smile Communications’ speeds are impressive, particularly in areas where their network is most robust, and they excel in upload speeds, which is a boon for content creators and remote workers. 

The company claims to offer download speeds of up to 21Mbps(Megabits per second) and from 5Mbps up to 310Mbps, depending on your needs. However, like all wireless networks, the speed can vary depending on location, network congestion, and other factors.

Similarly, Spectranet boasts peak speeds and offers remarkable consistency and reliability. Their service is less likely to suffer fluctuations, which is crucial for streaming, online gaming, and other bandwidth-intensive activities.

Depending on the chosen plan, the provider claims to offer download speeds ranging from 5 Mbps to 20 Mbps. User reviews have shown that Spectranet’s speeds are generally reliable and consistent, though occasional fluctuations have been reported. 

Spectranet’s speeds are competitive compared to Smile Communications, and many users find the performance satisfactory for personal and professional use.

4. Customer Service

Adequate customer support is essential, and both providers have room for improvement. Regarding Smile vs. Spectranet, both have received mixed reviews regarding their customer service. 

Smile Communications has a robust support system that can be accessed via phone, email, Live chat, and social media. 

The company also has physical service centres in major cities where customers can receive in-person assistance, and their response times are generally commendable. 

However, issues related to billing and service disruptions need quicker resolutions.

Spectranet similarly offers multiple channels for customer support, including a responsive online chat feature. The company also operates service centres in key locations. Spectranet’s customer support has received mixed reviews; while many users commend the helpfulness and responsiveness of the support team, others have experienced delays and challenges in resolving their issues.

They tend to handle technical issues swiftly but sometimes struggle with customer follow-up, especially during peak complaint periods. While the effectiveness of Spectranet’s customer support varies, the company continues to improve its service quality.

5. Additional Features and Services

Apart from basic internet connectivity, Smile vs. Spectranet and how both stack up against each other can be seen in the additional features that enhance their attractiveness and user experience. 

Smile provides a unique feature with their SmileVoice app, which allows users to make voice calls over the Internet using their data Smile number on any smartphone, adding convenience and flexibility. This service is beneficial in areas where mobile reception is poor.

Another value-added service provided by Smile Communications is the Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) which allows customers to make high-definition voice calls over their 4G LTE network. They also offer unlimited data plans for heavy users, but they come with fair usage policies to ensure network stability.

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Spectranet, on the other hand, offers a loyalty program that rewards long-term customers with bonuses and discounts. This can enhance customer satisfaction and retention. Spectranet also provides parental control features, making it a favourable choice for families.

In addition, Spectranet offers a range of additional services, including:

Spectranet Voice: Using the new All-In-One Magic Box, a portable mobile/desk phone from Spectranet that connects to the Internet and can make and receive voice calls, users of Spectranet Voice can make and receive voice calls over the Internet, much like Smile’s VoLTE service. It functions as an Internet modem and may connect up to ten devices at once to the Internet. When making calls, the Spectranet WITEL Device provides you with crystal-clear, high-definition (HD) voice.

Data Rollover: Unused data from specific plans can be rolled over to the next billing cycle, providing better value for money. However, unused data can be rolled over if the consumer renews it on or before the expiry of the GRACE PERIOD.

Router Bundles: Spectranet offers bundled deals with routers and data plans, making it easier for new users to get started with their service.

Final Thoughts

The choice between Smile vs. Spectranet ultimately depends on individual needs and priorities. Both providers offer robust 4G LTE services, but distinct differences may make one more suitable than the other for specific users.

Smile Communications is an excellent choice for users who want to prioritize high-speed Internet, reliable performance, and additional features like VoLTE and the SmileVoice app. The company’s focus on customer satisfaction and wide range of data plans make it a strong contender in the Nigerian ISP market.

Spectranet, on the other hand, appeals to users looking for competitive pricing, flexible data plans, value-added services like data rollover and voice calls, night data plan benefits, etc. While its coverage primarily focuses on urban areas, Spectranet continues expanding its network and improving its service quality.

Ultimately, the choice between Smile vs. Spectranet comes down to evaluating one’s specific requirements, including coverage, speed, pricing, and customer support. By carefully considering these factors, users can select which best meets their internet needs, ensuring a satisfactory online experience. Thanks for reading!

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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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