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Wi-Fi providers raise competition in Internet market

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The increasing number of people using mobile browsing devices such as tablet computers have raised the competition in the Internet market. Service providers are exploring new cutting-edge services or price cut to expand market share.

The service providers, especially those that specialise in Wi-Fi technology, are introducing different incentives to make their brands more compelling. But the common selling point adopted by different brands in the relatively new but fast-growing industry is the 4G Long-Term Evolution.

When Smile Communications launched high-speed 4G LTE in Ibadan, Oyo State, in 2013, its executives said they were the pioneer of the technology in West Africa. Two years after, most WiFi service providers pride themselves as 4G LTE providers.

Each company claims it offers the fastest and cheapest Internet services on its webpage. And each of them has, at least, a plan that meets a specific demography. There are also plans for certain hours of the day such as night and other odd hours.

On its homepage, Spectranet, a company that was licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission in 2009, claims it is the “fastest 4G LTE Internet provider in Nigeria.”

Spectranet, like its competitors, has offers for clients to browse only at night. The operator, apart from its services, has a Live Traffic Feed, which enables visitors to view other individuals who are surfing on its site. Perhaps, it is the company’s way of saying it is, indeed, technology-driven.

On the webpage of Swift Networks, which also claims to have the highest speed available in the Internet market, visitors can view coverage areas and do many other things that would have required a customer service attention.

Customers of Swift could do several other things such as data purchase, password recovery and several others online.

Beyond its promise, there is a web-based speed-test option, which is obviously a design by the company to gain a competitive edge. Its unique offers are residential, business and enterprise.

Swift may have been involved in offline advertising. But the website appears to be its biggest advertising platform, with the window designed to give the information a visitor needs while announcing different advantages it has over other brands.

Smile’s sensational entry into the market two years ago has not stopped. Today, it is offering different promotional offers to sustain the innovative offer it gave when it first opened for business in Ibadan.

Its launch in Lagos was considered as a change factor in the city’s Internet market. Its home page does not suggest it is giving up on its initial promise, whether it has met that expectation or not.

At the Lagos launch it announced that its 4G LTE network would run on 800 MHz spectrum in both Ibadan and Lagos.

Its Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Tom Allen had said, “The 4G LTE broadband solution is the latest, and most advanced global technology standard for wireless data communications. It represents a major paradigm shift from the older 3G and 3.5G technologies.

“Our goal is to provide Nigerian broadband Internet users with speed, quality, reliability and simplicity. Our vision of becoming the broadband Internet provider of choice in Nigeria, has guided us in everything, from selecting our people and partners to choosing the best technologies and creating innovative and relevant services.’’

Social media channels, perhaps, are Smile’s most visible marketing platforms. The platforms are not only used to post new offers and company’s news but to also relate with the public, sharing life-changing ideas.

While others boast smart Internet, Smile says its speed is “superfast”. And its posts on social media also come speedily, almost on minute-by-minute.

Amid growing competition in the Nigerian Internet market, many people still complain that charges are relatively high while services are poor. On social media, these are some of the regular complaints the service providers receive from subscribers.

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