In the first part of our experiment with Smile 4G’s unlimited internet promo, we raised the question of whether the service was truly unlimited, and so far, it seems so. Our reviewer has not been cut off yet. However, it might just be that Smile has bandwidth throttling in place for this promo.
Bandwidth throttling is the intentional slowing of Internet service by an Internet service provider. It is a reactive measure employed in communication networks to regulate network traffic and minimize bandwidth congestion. Many ISPs that offer “unlimited” service throttle your connection after you cross a fixed threshold. It appears that this threshold for Smile’s promo is 45 GB.
Our reviewer has reported that since crossing 45 GB sometime on the evening of Boxing Day, his connection speeds have dropped below 1 Mbps. He has called customer care to find out if there was a network error but was assured that they wasn’t any. Also, we had him test the service at various locations around Lagos. All of them returned speeds below 1 Mbps. Have a look at screenshots of our speedtests in the last 24 hours::
Now, video streaming is much choppier with a lot of buffering and everything internet based is significantly slower. It has been over 24 hours of this phenomenon. Our man hasn’t once experienced a return to regular Smile 4G speeds of between 7 and 15 Mbps since Boxing Day evening when this started. As far as we can tell, it looks like Smile 4G throttles the unlimited promo after the user hits 45 GB usage. Incidentally, 26th was also 14 days after he subscribed, so perhaps there is a chance that the threshold is time-based e.g. half a month? If we get any further updates from our reviewer or from Smile, we shall put it up on this page.