Mobile network quality: What is the truth?

optel

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Nov 16, 2009
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Why not make the same amount of calls from each network?
 

Origin248

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ICASA is smoking some seriously good stuff. Only using Gauteng to draw samples is questionable in by itself, but then also to only draw little over 130 calls is just ridiculous. This is at best anecdotal evidence
 

eltherza

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A weekend ago here are my stats for vodacom with signal strength > 50%:

Calls made: 5
Drops: 4

Calls recieved: 3
Calls dropped: 1

Ive experienced a 62% drop rate on vodacom. It's better there after though.
 

BrandOfRiva

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ICASA needs to have a more clear testing methodology here imo which includes multiple area's, and considerably more calls. Another valid test imo is a moving test - phone when you get on the highway at JHB CBD, test up to Pretoria/etc. For myself and many others thats pretty much when I make the most calls.

Also regarding dropped, how long did it take to drop the call? Did they wait the same amount per call for each network etc. This testing seems pretty inconclusive (or maybe just the parameters are not clearly stated to us). Either way - the sample size is far too small.
 

Matsepane

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Figures not realiable at all.I know of many rural communities with no network coverage at all.0% coverage.
 

kaaskop

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Well, even if ICASA test 10 000 calls nation wide and the operators fail, what are they gonna do about it?
 

jmak

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It sounds like drive tests, not stationary tests. The possibility of dropping a call while driving is much higher for a number of reasons, but the most important one the fact that the cellphone must change cells while moving and your chance of dropping a call while performing a handover between cells is much higher. Since most calls (by far) is done while stationary or walking these types of tests is really skewed while trying to evaluate network wide performance.

The statistics used for evaluation of KPIs can't be jippoed by operators, although the question remains on the vendors and their equipment since they have very strict SLA's on their performance as well, and it is their equipment that is creating the stats. Most of their stats is almost impossible to verify so the operators can only trust that the vendors equipment sais what it does.

There are also typically at least two locations where data can be compared for site performance, one on the vendors own equipment (which operators can't change, only view) and then also the stats retrieved from their equipment. This once again makes it impossible for operators to "fix" their stats to comply with KPIs since it can easily be audited by comparing to the stats on the vendors equipment.

So, in summary, if the vendors provide accurate statistics the operators KPIs are correct...
 

Asterix_T

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Mar 7, 2008
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I cannot remember when last I had a dropped call, then again, I'm never on a call while mobile. If you are in a fixed place like outside or in a building, dropped calls should not happen. If you are moving around, especially in a building the signal strength can be effected by many things out of the control of the operator. So, rule of thumb, want to make or take a call, relax, go take a seat, have a cuppa. Life’s too short to be rushing from one place to the other. If driving, turn onto silent, put some music on, calls can wait till you are back in the office. No dropped calls and not frustration.
 

McCrazieGoalz

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The reason why I will continue being with MTN is because they are the only company that actually provides broadband in my place.

It is a shame because this test was not done for broadband network availability. I bet there would be some interesting results there.

I look forward to the one that measures network availability for the current financial period - esp. with Vodacom having its problems.
 

msm

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Jul 8, 2008
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IMO, these stats are pretty much worthless as it all depends on your location, time of day, etc, etc.

Been carrying both a MTN and VC phone for the last 2 years, and I've definitely experienced more problems with VC in the Centurion/Midrand areas, but all this is rather subjective.
 

Hummercellc

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Try use Vodacrap here in good old Richmond! it takes about 5 tries to get a call through everytime.... MTN & Cell C 100% perfect.
 

SteveO

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ICASA needs to do more drive tests.130 odd calls is nothing. A decent drive test should have 1 or 2 "long calls" as well as starting a new "short call" every 5-10 seconds of the drive. Average drive should be around 2hrs. Do the math.

....and drive tests are probably the best way of testing the NW, especially hand overs. Stationary tests are useless...

RPM, ask ICASA to get professionals to do the tests....
 

jmak

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ICASA needs to do more drive tests.130 odd calls is nothing. A decent drive test should have 1 or 2 "long calls" as well as starting a new "short call" every 5-10 seconds of the drive. Average drive should be around 2hrs. Do the math.

....and drive tests are probably the best way of testing the NW, especially hand overs. Stationary tests are useless...

RPM, ask ICASA to get professionals to do the tests....
So in your opinion the 1-5% of calls made while driving is much more important for a network than the other 95%-99% of calls made while sitting and walking? Or using your words, 95%-99% of consumers are useless compared to the people driving around of which probably 75% are anyway illegal since they are not using a headset?
 

Electron1

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So in your opinion the 1-5% of calls made while driving is much more important for a network than the other 95%-99% of calls made while sitting and walking? Or using your words, 95%-99% of consumers are useless compared to the people driving around of which probably 75% are anyway illegal since they are not using a headset?
The reality is that people do use their phones while on the move - more than 5% of calls that you estimate, as when travelling by car, bus, taxi or train to work and back is a good time to catch up on calls that cannot be made at work. By the way a call made in a car could be made on a hands free device by the driver or by passengers so your logic does not apply.

Moving tests are an important measure of hand over between towers. Seems you have a vested interest as you know how bad the handover failure rates are. :mad:
 
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SteveO

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So in your opinion the 1-5% of calls made while driving is much more important for a network than the other 95%-99% of calls made while sitting and walking? Or using your words, 95%-99% of consumers are useless compared to the people driving around of which probably 75% are anyway illegal since they are not using a headset?
Its not that straight forward. While you may be sitting in your office and making a call, there are many others who make calls while driving. The scenario where you are not moving is pretty simple in terms of how the NW works, basically you will be attached to one tower and once the call is setup and connected there should be no way in which the call can drop. So what a stationary call tests is actually the CSSR and not the rest of the important KPIs.
Drive tests on the other hand access the overall quality of the NW, the accessability and retainability over many sites. It also allows the operators/vendors to pick up any discrepancies in the setup/configuration of the site. It is overall a much better test of the NW.
 
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