Call quality: how SA's operators stack up - TechCentral

Call quality: how SA’s operators stack up

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has published the long-awaited results of its quality-of-service tests for South Africa’s three largest mobile networks, Vodacom, MTN and Cell C. Their networks were tested in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and each failed to meet key measures in one or more provinces.

Quality of service was measured using the Tems investigation tool, a network testing standard. The focus of the test was on network performance in terms of setting up and maintaining voice calls. The metrics used were the “call setup success rate” and the “dropped call rate”.

In terms of call setup success, Vodacom did not meet the target in the Eastern Cape. Cell C and MTN, meanwhile, failed to meet call setup targets in the Western Cape. For dropped calls, both Cell C and Vodacom failed to meet the target in KwaZulu-Natal.

Icasa says the samples represent only mobile operators’ network performance on specific routes at particular times of the day using a particular handset and therefore may not represent consumers’ own experiences.

The testing forms part of Icasa’s mandate to determine the quality of service provided by operators and other electronic communications network service licensees.

Icasa says it would like to improve its reports and encourage 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 allow it to cross-check it with data provided by the operators.

The reports are intended to identify where networks are failing to deliver the services they should be while encouraging them to improve.

“It is hoped that, in future, when the authority has a more substantial budget and necessary 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 noncompliance to the complaints and compliance committee (CCC).”

Icasa says Telkom Mobile/8ta was not included in this round of monitoring but will be included in future test samples once it has increased its mobile coverage.  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

Download the Icasa quality of service reports here (as PDFs):

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