Telcos Fail to Meet Key Performance Indicators for Network Quality: PTA

The Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) have failed to meet the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set in their license and applicable regulations with respect to webpage loading time and latency, revealed the independent quality of service (QoS) survey carried out by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The PTA has issued instructions to the operators to take corrective measures to ensure improvement in the service quality according to the licensing standards.

The authority has carried out an independent QoS survey in nine cities of Punjab and Sindh during the 3rd quarter, i.e., July–September 2022, in order to measure the performance and quality of CMOs’ services being provided to their customers. In order to measure the performance and service quality of CMOs, an independent QoS was also carried out on thirteen motorways and highways.

The QoS survey was carried out using the Automated QoS Monitoring and Benchmarking Tool, i.e., “Smart Benchmark.” Drive-test teams selected survey routes in such a manner as to cover main roads, service roads, and the majority of sectors/colonies. During the survey, mobile handsets for voice calls and SMS were kept in auto-detect mode, whereas in the case of data sessions, the mobile handsets were kept both in auto-detect and locked modes.

As per QoS Regulations 2021, licensees are required to meet a webpage loading time threshold of 5 seconds. However, CMOs failed to comply with this KPI in cities as well as on motorways and highways.

Further, licensees are required to meet a threshold of 75 milliseconds of 4G/LTE technology and 150 milliseconds of 3G technology in terms of latency. However, operators missed this KPI by a wide margin in the cities, as well as on motorways and highways, with more than 200 milliseconds.

During the survey, while conducting data tests in technology auto-detect mode as well as locked mode, 4G/LTE signal strength samples were recorded on survey routes. As per Next Generation Mobile Service (NGMS) licenses, licensees are required to meet the threshold of -100 dBm or above of Reference Signal Receive Power (RSRP) with a 90% confidence level. However, in most cases, operators missed this KPI.

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