Congestion of Cellular Networks

Eid festival, flood, earthquake, national emergency or in case of any other public event, we have seen our cellular operators performing below average in terms of call connectivity and voice quality.

In case of traffic spikes, cellular subscribers face network congestion of mobile networks and most common user observations are:

  • Calls not connected (international and sometimes local calls as well like in peak hours)
  • Cellular Network not available
  • Local “Powered Off” tapes are running, while you call international numbers
  • You might also face “Powered Off” tapes running suddenly during the call.

PTA conducts Quality of Service Survey for Cellular Mobile Operators and results of 7th CMTO’s QoS survey were as following:

From these results, it’s obvious that Call completion Ratio is quite low, particularly for mobile operators having large scale subscriber base in PTA defined zones.

We know that PTA has issued show cause notices based on the survey results, however, masses still face network congestion issues, which are still attention requiring towards the improvement of network quality with network penetration.

Thousands of cell sites installed throughout the country may determine the reach of these operators however it can’t guarantee the quality of service. Maybe the race is about “Covering whole Pakistan & becoming largest network provider of Pakistan” instead of becoming “Best Quality Network of Pakistan”.

Moreover, as per experts, following are other reasons for network congestion:

  • Improper network planning
  • Showing favoritism for site acquisition instead keeping network optimization in mind
  • Low cost equipment selection, primarily due to low ARPUs
  • Bad maintenance
  • Power crisis, etc

This is a time when cellular operators must dig into network tweaking techniques such as:

  • Traffic Engineering.
  • Radio Resource Management Algorithms.
  • Congestion Control Systems for managing demands dynamically.
  • Artificial Intelligence for Network Traffic.

Final Thought:

Network overcrowding or mobbing is resource-sharing problem, which will upswing whenever resources are not enough to meet users demands. There are lot of other factors involved too, which may cause network congestion like Network traffic overload and list goes on!!

There may be some particular preliminary steps from PTA that needs to be completed by cell site installers before installing cell sites.

But PTA needs to get more focused on network traffic management rules and regulation for each cell site in designated area with definition of methods / techniques that must be applied to diminish such issues in future.


  • ZUBAIR

    Yes, I am using ufone network.
    i was facing same problems in Eid’s 3 days.
    zubair

  • Usman

    To be hones tht elevel of service quality is very good considering, a) people doing missed calls on the network

  • Usman

    this is not too bad considering the fact that people get free service like missed calls, no electricity, floods and everyone trying to send calls all at the same time when we have a problem like a flood or earthquake. i think in fact that this high level of service should be charged at a higher rate considering how much the operators have invested in todays qualitity. if you want to drive a rolls royce you have to pay for the privilage

    • Ahmed

      There is different between driving an expensive car and a communication system to stay connected with the world, you can’t compare the both.

  • Fater

    Above Stats are last year. this year stats are still not published, we should wait for latest observations taken by PTA.

  • Ufone Is Great Service Is Karachi.

  • khurram

    this was an old statistics…..this nothing to do with current network performance…..

  • Ali

    There will be no change in the new stats as well. because just check last 5 years statistics , slight changes observed in every year for improvement.

    wealthy recommendations, like Aopen has its own network management solution.

    likewise , in other parts of the world many operators are using dynamic intelligence systems to manage traffic loads on particular sites with real time monitoring..

  • Salman

    I just calculated the averages for the survey. Ufone & Warid ranked the highest on Service Accessibility with 98.84% & 98.83% respectively. In call completion and maintainability Warid ranked the highest with 97.83% followed by Mobilink (97.79%). In voice clarity, Mobilink ranked the highest with 2.31 followed by Warid at 2.29 although the survey was incomplete for Ufone as they had no result for Abbottabad. Overall, on an average, Warid ranked the highest on all services making it the best service provider

  • Rafay

    In hyd service retainibility 100% of Mobilink thats pure B.S.
    Mobilink doesnt have have proper signals majority of areas i.e. very poor indoor service even zong has better signals then ufone then On top is warid.

  • Saadi

    @Rafay: Brother,Retaianbility means the continuation of your call i.e. once your call is established, it continues until you deliberately end it. What you are talking about is poor indoor signal strenghth which comes under accessibilty or call connectivity terminology.

    As far as the network congestion is concerned, I have been a part of this industry for quite a while now and I seriously believe that the Telecom Operators should reolve their legacy issues like battery banks,gensets etc keeping in mind the outages faced by the major parts of the country. Moreover I believe that 70% of the congestion problems can be resolved if we get rid of the the severe WAPDA outages once and for all.

    There is no point tweaking around with the optimization paramters if a highly congested area has most of it sites fluctuating and undergoing severe outages.