The service quality of telecom industry is always been in discussions, no matter whether we talk about network quality parameters like: Voice Quality, Call connectivity, GPRS/EDGE connectivity or speed issues in EDGE services available from all mobile operators.
It’s always been a “HOT Topic” in customer interactions for having the best network coverage quality on the network which they are using.
Voice Quality & Call Connectivity:
The voice quality / call connectivity has remained an issue; sometimes it goes well otherwise it can go mad too. The main reason known for the voice quality issue is “Loads of traffic”, “Spillover Network Coverage”, “Cell Sites technical issues”.
The most common reason for voice quality and call connectivity is loads of traffic by which voice quality drops due to high bandwidth usage on the same channel and customer has to suffer with voice Echo’s, low voice, sometimes noisy voice or no voice at all or network busy messages.
Traffic Load Management is a remedy for jotting this issue down with help of expansion of cell sites in the same area instead of spreading cell sites all over Pakistan but with no service quality.
“Alternative Cell sites” plans can also help and play pivotal role in managing the bandwidths on different channels without suffering any cause of network issue. Like these cell sites can only be activated when required.
We know that there are very experienced teams for network optimization in cellular companies, however, what we observe is lack of quality. Installing towers ask for investment, however, if managed well, meaning that routed well by RF department, network quality betters to some extent.
Response team is also responsible for taking any particular cell site back to work if it gets down, for any reason.
We can’t confirm it, however, it is heard that tower installation involves favoritism, so that annual tower rental goes into the pockets of friend and families. This may produce an imbalance in the network coverage and ultimately a compromise on quality.
GPRS / EDGE connectivity :
There is phenomenal increase in the usage of GPRS/ EDGE service while on the go by customers. On the other side, mobile operators have come with bundle and unlimited packages for providing GPRS / EDGE connectivity. It has been reported that customer can only avail 5 kbps via these 2.5G connected channels of EDGE. Some common issues that customers come across are:
Your calls might get suspended during an EDGE connectivity session. Or if not suspended then there could be chances that you might need to connect GPRS/GPRS again while you are during a call on your phone. This reconnection does cost the customer.
You can receive SMS some times and sometimes even it can be suspended as well.
Unstable Edge Speed.
It seems like GPRS / Edge segment growth has got less attention by the mobile operators intentionally or un-intentionally. 3G deployments are one of the reasons for not having much attention, but question still remain un-answered if they cannot provide better EDGE services then how they gonna handle the 3G spectrum.
I think the common answer is that an high speed spectrum will solve every issue, but quality can only be managed by continuous improvement. Service Quality has different dimensions;
We have only discussed network coverage issues related to service quality by mobile operators. In second part of the article we will discuss other service quality concerns like call centre service quality, customer service centre quality and a other concerning issues which need attention in telecom industry.