The ComWorld Series team engaged with Tom Allen, COO, Smile communications ahead of the NigeriaCom conference and exhibition, taking place at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria, 17-18 September. We found out a little more about the activities of Smile as a new LTE player in embracing the Nigerian market. Here are some insights from Tom ahead of the event.
ComWorld Series: How is your company positioned in Nigeria and what are its future objectives?
Tom Allen: Smile is planning to be the Broadband provider of choice and at the end of this year we aim to be in 12 cities.
ComWorld Series: What do you think are the top 3 major trends that are affecting your business in the region in 2014?
Tom Allen: The demand for data services, OTT challenging the Telcos from voice to video, Capacity on networks are the major limiting factor.
ComWorld Series: What are the remaining challenges in terms of connectivity and quality of services in the region and which technologies are most likely to resolve these issues?
Tom Allen: Capacity is an issue, manifested by poor quality; Quality of service beacons will emerge such as Smile with much better networks. With the lack of fixed infrastructure then only 4G LTE services can provide the quality and capacity needed.
ComWorld Series: How are smartphones/tablets and cloud services impacting mobile/internet service providers in Nigeria?
Tom Allen:The wave is just starting, capacity is self limiting these. Smile will bring these to life with much better quality and speeds. Tablets (or large format Smartphones) will become dominant with these can already providing local personal hot-spots for wider usage. Simple OTT offerings will start to emerge and will dominate.
ComWorld Series: In your opinion, which companies are spearheading innovation in the region and what can be learnt from them?
Tom Allen: The issue is making more capacity available – poor networks stifle innovation. Smile is a challenger.
Find out more at www.comworldseries.com/nigeria. Tom Allen will be speaking on Day 1 at 12:15 on the session “LTE Showcase: Breakthrough and impacts of 4G/LTE for Nigeria"