First Impressions: Smile 4G LTE broadband internet in Lagos

While all of you were having glasses of champagne, dancing, taking walks, or rolling in the sack with your Val on Friday evening, I was on the job getting a Smile 4G MiFi device to review. My Val cake was at home waiting for me, and my Val herself..yes; she was waiting too. Anyway, I got the pack, got finger-printed, signed the forms, and headed home at about 9.39pm.

Smile 4G MiFi pack

The Smile 4G MiFi is a cute and robust unit that stands out from others in the market, but I am sure that you are not reading this to find out how nice it looks. While the Smile 4G service has not gone commercial in Lagos yet (they kicked off in Ibadan), the network is in place and active already.

Smile 4G MiFi

By yesterday evening, my line was active. It would have been active earlier, but for some delay from my end (it was a super hectic day for me). Anyway, I charged the thing up and turned it on after activation, and voila, full bars with the 4G icon displayed. At the time, I was at the venue of the Mobility Rave party where participants had tons of fun. I drove around some parts of Lagos a bit, keeping an eye on the display, and from Ikeja to Surulere to Ojodu, it registered full bars for the most part.

At my location towards Alagbole, the signal faded away and rested between zero and one bar. Yes; that felt depressing: seeing heaven everywhere else and getting home to find out that you were on the fringes. But, hey; I am smart. What I did was place it on a cabinet, which gives me a steady one bar, and sometimes shooting up to two. The results? Much faster internet service than my Glo or Etisalat 3.5G connections at full bars.

Here is a screenshot of a Speedtest result I ran on my Lumia 1520 at 10.49pm last night:
Smile on Lumia Red
7 Mbps was a new download record for me. But it got beaten pretty quick. Here is another test result at 6am this morning on PC:

Smile Speedtest

I clocked 12.58 Mbps in download speed for the first time ever in my life! *overwhelmed and weeping* If you are reading this from South Africa, Europe or North America or Japan, excuse my tears. I know you get much better speeds. This is a breakthrough for me.

Okay, jokes aside….yes; I didn’t weep. Thank you. So, jokes aside, 12.58 Mbps is good, but still far from the theoretical maximum download speed of 37.5 Mbps that LTE promises. Perhaps in this case, being on the fringe of Smile’s 4G network and locked on to just one bar of signal is good enough to give the benefit of doubt. I will surely re-run my speed test at locations with much better reception, and at peak periods too.

This is just a first impression post. The MiFi unit seems solid and certainly looks gangster. It is too early to comment on battery life, and that will be interesting, considering that I am locked on to one bar here. First impressions are good. Web pages fly open. Downloads and updates zip. I could get used to this.

Please fire away your questions!

45 comments

    1. you can get your hands on one by visiting any smile shops or kiosk either at city mall opposite tafawa balewa square or ikeja, sururele, silverbird galleria..fastest internet in Nigeria, now at ur fingertips

  1. You said you drove sound Lagos: Surulere to Ojodu and to Agbado; how about the island? Ikoyi, Obalende, VI, Lekki, Ajah, Sangotedo?

    1. we have coverage over those area at full bars..so with smile you are fully covered around obalende, victoria island, ajah, shongotedo e.t.c.. you can call these number to purchase 08093011661

    1. Yes they start out like this cause they dont have load on their network yet. Plus I have seen more than 12.58mbs before. Anywhere I can share my screen capture?

    2. Hi Awikonko,
      kindly contact me on 07057140588 or 08093011661 to purchase one(or more 🙂 )

      cheers!

  2. I was out on the streets of Ibadan last week when I saw this SMILey office. Carefully studied the read-me-screaming-banner outside the office and gave a straight ‘yimu’ when I saw the 4G LTE tag.
    Now, I’m somewhat convinced by this article.

    4GB Mifi router with 5GB data for N16,000…. Sounds pretty!

  3. Mr Mo, even with the fact that the server you chose for the speedtest is located in Nigeria, you got that record. I usually recommend London; london web.

    Cool stuff eh?

    1. Please i have the Smile 4G Mifi,but i have no signal or network here in Ikorodu….its fuck i have to hold back for another monthly subscription since i move down here…….pls help

  4. When swift 4G lte launches In lagos I was getting 28+ mbps for the first few months… I don’t know if it’s gone down since I left lagos

    1. yeah it could @Akin, if you are close enough to one of our BTS in the area. Where exactly in Ogun State are You?

  5. I will like to know how effective would it work at Alagbado area of Lagos state. I will like to have one @Temi should I be guaranteed that it would work fine

  6. I stay at arepo after Berger ….please before getting one how do I know the network strenght will b okay here….plssssss reply

    1. you can know if it is okay by going through our website http://www.smile.com.ng to check if your area is fully covered but were in berger do you stay..you can call dis numba for more info or purchase 08093011661

  7. Hi. Thanks for the review.

    Please who knows if there is network coverage at Alpha Beach Road, along Lekki Epe Expressway (6th roundabout)?

    1. Thanks for your interest Maureen. We are not there yet, but as soon as we have presence, we will contact you.
      Cheers

    1. Thanks for your interest Rasheed. We are not there yet, but as soon as we have presence, we will contact you.
      Cheers

  8. Please my Mifi wouldn’t come up, if it’s not plugged to Light.. and when I plug it? And switch it on, nd connect to d Mifi with my iphone 5s.. it goes off.. and disconnects.. please I need your help…

    1. We are sorry for the inconvenience. Kindly visit the nearest Smile Shop or Office, so a member of the Technical Support staff can take a look.

      Thank You.

  9. Please, smile network is poor in my area though which I always have at least one bar of network signal but the smile mifi disconnects me from internet like every 3mins which I have to reconnects before i will be back online. Please whats the possible cause of this?

  10. I live at Abraham adesanyo Ajah Lagos.
    I like to know if the smile network covers this region and i also like to get your pricing because I want to buy it.

    Thanks.

  11. These things are good but not with Smile, it’s expensive for nothing! Better that the Mifi is unlocked. Still looking for a way to unlock it! Please help!

  12. Please i just got your smile parck but. Not working at Arepo in Ogun state .Let me know solution, but it work outside once am at Berger ,ojodu



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