Mobile operators struggle to reach quality targets

Phone Mobile operators struggle to reach quality targets

Cell-C and Vodacom also did not attain the Drop Call Rate (DCR) targets in the KwaZulu-Natal Region.

Vodacom, Cell C and MTN have failed to meet Quality of Service tests across three provinces, says the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

According to the report by the regulator, Vodacom did not meet the Call Setup Success Rate (CSSR) target in the Eastern Cape Region, while Cell-C and MTN failed to meet the same targets in the Western Cape.

Cell-C and Vodacom also did not attain the Drop Call Rate (DCR) targets in the KwaZulu-Natal Region.

The tests were carried out by ICASA and the focus of the drive-test was on network performance in terms of accessibility and retention of voice calls.

Quality of service is the collective effect of service performance which determines the degree of satisfaction of a user of the service - the capability of a network to provide a quality service to selected network traffic over various technologies such as Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM).

“The Authority would like to point out that the reported level of QoS results represents only a sample of the mobile service provider’s network performance based on specified routes, at a particular time of day and a particular type of handset. Consequently, the results may not match the consumer’s own experiences at a given time and locale,” ICASA states.

The QoS monitoring exercise conducted in the four provinces emanates from the Authority’s legislative mandate to independently ascertain the quality of service provided by various Electronic Communications Services (ECS) and Electronic Communications Network Services (ECNS) licensees and verify data provided by these licensees. The End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations require all ECS and ECNS licensees to submit Quality of Service reports on a regular basis to the Authority.

The Authority would like to improve its reports and encourages all consumers to continue engaging service operators in relation to network coverage and failures; and to further refer their complaints to the Authority should they be dissatisfied with how operators have dealt with their network and service deficiencies. This will enable the Authority to cross-check data provided by the operators with data provided by consumers.

The purpose of publishing these reports is to identify short-comings in the services offered by the three major mobile operators, and thereby promote redress in the public interest. It is hoped that, in future, when the Authority has a more substantial budget and requisite monitoring equipment, it will be able to provide a full view of consumer experience of the services offered by mobile operators and thereafter refer matters of non-compliance to the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC).

The Authority will continue consulting the SABS TC74 Working Group - which draws the participation of operators towards developing an agreed measurement methodology for quality of service on the access network - and may, in the long term, report on agreed parameters such as Coverage, Accessibility, Retainability and Speech Quality.

It should be noted that Telkom Mobile was not included in this round of monitoring of quality of service levels but will be included in future test samples once it has increased its mobile coverage.

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