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 Monday, 16 June 2014
Cuba’s state-owned monopoly fixed line and wireless operator Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) has revealed that it is in the process of deploying 80 new cell sites to improve capacity and relieve network congestion. A report from local news portal Cuba Si says that the firm has carried out traffic management work in Havana and other areas due to an increase in traffic caused by the introduction of new services. New offerings include mobile e-mail, which was launched on 3 March this year under the brand name ETECSA operates a nationwide 900MHz GSM network and is expected to launch further mobile internet services in the coming months.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 16 June 2014 07:42:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MTN Group has earmarked investment of over USD3 billion for the upgrade and expansion of its Nigerian business over the next three years, in a bid to improve the quality of its services amid rapid subscriber growth, Business Day reports. The Nigerian market is South Africa-based MTN’s largest by revenues and subscribers, but the company has been penalised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to meet minimum standards of service quality, while it also faces attacks on its infrastructure in the north by militant Islamist group Boko Haram. MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa acknowledged that the firm has challenges with quality of service driven by the ‘high demand’ in Nigeria, adding that the company will ‘continue to invest at this rate in the medium term, and make sure the overall quality of service is acceptable’. At 31 March 2014 MTN Nigeria’s subscriber total stood at 57.2 million, up 12% from 51.3 million twelve months earlier and making it the market leader by some margin. The cellco expects its customer base to exceed 60 million by the end of the year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 16 June 2014 07:34:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 01 May 2014

Mauritian telecoms regulators the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) and the Information Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), are reportedly working on the development of a quality of service (QoS) guide for internet service providers (ISPs) in the country, Agence Ecofin reports. According to the article, the QoS guidance will impose a minimum speed threshold for broadband access, with ISPs likely to be required to indicate all relevant service specifications in a customer’s contract.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:18:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 06 March 2014

None of the four Kenyan mobile networks met their Quality of Service (QoS) requirements in the 2012/13 financial year, according to a report released by CCK today. Overall, performance by the four mobile operators shows a general downward trend with none of the operators having achieved the minimum Key Performance Indicators (KPI) compliance target of 80%.

Telkom Kenya Limited had the highest QoS score of 62.5%, while the three other operators - Airtel Kenya Limited, Essar Kenya Limited and Safaricom Kenya Limited - each managed 50% out of the set minimum score of 80%. 

The QoS assessment framework is based on eight (8) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and a well-defined assessment methodology that were adopted in 2008/09 after an elaborate and exhaustive consultative process. The eight KPIs are completed calls rate, call set up success rate, dropped calls, blocked calls, speech quality, handover success rate, call set up time and signal strength.  Of the eight KPIs, five were enhanced during the period under review and this may have contributed to the outcome.

All the operators met the KPI targets in respect to Signal Strength (RX Level), Call set up time, Handover Success Rate and Call drop rate in the current assessment period.

The KPIs that have not been met by any of the operators in the current assessment period included call block rate, completed calls and call set up success rate (CSSR).

Read the full report.

Source: CCK Mobile.

Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:44:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 21 February 2014

Danish telco TDC is scrapping the ‘up to’ marketing of its broadband packages, with its new broadband products now offering guaranteed down/uplink speeds of 20Mbps/2Mbps (priced at DKK255 [USD46.83]), 30Mbps/5Mbps (DKK269), 40Mbps/10Mbps (DKK289) and 50Mbps/10Mbps (DKK299), effective 17 February 2014. Rene Brochner, director of TDC Residential, said: ‘With this initiative we want [to show] how communication to broadband customers can be further improved. With the new products we now offer we guarantee that the speed is always [as advertised], for example, the 40Mbps/10Mbps speed is always 40Mbps/10Mbps.’

Further, TDC has announced that two-thirds of the country’s households will have access to broadband speeds of 20Mbps/2Mbps (down/upstream) by mid-2014, with more than 750,000 households guaranteed a 50Mbps connection, due to investment in ‘fibre protruding points and pair-bonding of copper’. TDC will also launch Vectoring technology in 2015, which can theoretically allow speeds of 100Mbps to be achieved over a copper network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 21 February 2014 15:59:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 15 July 2013
The Argentine government is developing new regulations for the telecommunications sector which are designed to improve the quality of fixed and mobile telephony services in the country. Decree 681/2013 directs the Secretaria de Comunicaciones (SeCom) and the Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investments and Services, together with the support of other agencies, to issue within the next 30 days ‘a new regulation establishing quality standards for the provision of telecommunications services.’ In a press release on the ministry’s website, Planning Minister Julio De Vido is quoted as saying that the new rules will set quality of service parameters to help evaluate the performance of telecoms operators and encourage competition in the sector. Last month a new decree published in the Official Gazette empowered SeCom to tighten regulation of telecoms service standards in the country, CommsUpdate reported. The new legislation authorises the body to implement ‘appropriate measures’ aimed at ensuring operators’ compliance with quality of service requirements; such measures include forcing operators to suspend the marketing and activation of new mobile lines. The decree followed the recent appointment of a new SeCom head, Norberto Berner, who has ordered an inspection of the investment plans of the country’s mobile operators, including America Movil-owned Claro, Movistar (a unit of Telefonica of Spain) and Personal, the mobile arm of fixed line incumbent Telecom Argentina.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 15 July 2013 07:37:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 02 July 2013

Europeans consumers are not getting the broadband download speeds they pay for. On average, they receive only 74% of the advertised headline speed they have paid for, according to a new European Commission study on fixed broadband performance.

Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes says: "This is the first time the difference between advertised and actual broadband speeds is confirmed by comparable and reliable data from all EU Member States.” There are significant differences in the European national markets, most likely due to advertising practices. Kroes says “Consumers need more of this sort of data to help make informed choices, so we will repeat the exercise. And we take these first results as further proof of the need for a real connected single market."

Key findings in the study include:

  • Cable has the most reliable download speeds: The European average of 74% hides significant variation in the performance of different technologies. xDSL based services achieved only 63.3% of the advertised headline download speed, compared to 91.4% for cable and 84.4% for FTTx. (see annex).

  • In absolute terms, the average download speed across all countries and all technologies was 19.47 Mbps during peak hours. FTTx services achieved the fastest speeds at 41.02Mbps. Cable services achieved 33.10Mbps, whilst xDSL services lagged far behind at 7.2Mbps on average.

  • The upload speeds are closer to their advertised speeds. Across Europe, the average upload speed was 6.20 Mbps, representing 88% of advertised upload speeds. FTTx services achieved the highest speeds by far, at 19.8Mbps. This is because many FTTx services provide an upload speed far closer to the download speed. Cable and xDSL services achieved a modest 3.68Mbps and 0.69Mbps respectively.

Source: European Commission.

Tuesday, 02 July 2013 07:26:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 June 2013
Mobile operators in Japan have unveiled plans to cooperate on the introduction of industry-wide standards for mobile network quality, in a response to recent consumer complaints. The scheme is expected to be up and running by next year, according to a report from The Nikkei. Number one operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo has already set up a programme to monitor its own network quality, but this plan represents the first time that all of the country’s cellcos have united to create and implement sector-wide standards.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 03 June 2013 08:24:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Chilean telecoms watchdog Subtel has set new standards for wireless Quality of Service (QoS), increasing the minimum percentage of successful call attempts and completed calls to 97% in urban areas and 90% in rural areas, splitting a previous national total into regional values. The decision follows a study conducted by the regulator in H1 2012 investigating the service standards of the nation’s cellcos. The report found that in Q1 Entel had 94.8% successful calls, Claro 93.0% and Movistar 92.5%, which improved to 97.6%, 96.0% and 96.0% in Q2. Newcomers to the market Nextel and VTR had successful call rates of 97.6% and 96.5% respectively. In terms of completed calls Entel had success rates of 93.4% (Q1) and 96.1%, Claro had 91.7% and 94.8% whilst Movistar fell behind with 90.9% and 94.2%. Nextel and VTR customers completed 96.8% and 95.3% of calls.

Commenting on the changes, the secretary of state commented: ‘The decision to upgrade the standard of quality of service for mobile phones, from a national average to a regional standard, aims to improve the performance of networks in each city and guarantees users good service where they live. This regulatory change will increase the demands for companies that will even out the quality of their networks throughout the country.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 08:47:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 08 January 2013

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s five principle mobile operators – Africell, Airtel, Orange, Oasis (Tigo) and Vodacom – along with fixed line operator Standard Telecom, have come under fire from telecoms minister Tryphon Kin-Kiey Mulumba over their poor network quality. Agence Ecofin reports that Mulumba is pressing for financial penalties to be applied to the companies as censure for their lack of network improvements. His grievances also include the ‘chaotic’ distribution of SIM cards by street vendors, which in his opinion conspires to ‘distort’ the satisfactory identification of mobile users.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 09:02:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Brazil telecom regulator Anatel on Friday ordered TIM Participacoes, the nation's No. 2 wireless carrier, to stop selling a flat-rate promotion plan with unlimited calls per day because of concerns about service quality.

It was the latest in a series of regulatory setbacks for the Brazilian unit of Telecom Italia. In July, Anatel banned TIM's sales in 19 states for nearly two weeks until the company presented an investment plan to improve service.

TIM started selling its "Infinity Day" promotion on Monday, allowing customers to make unlimited phone calls within the carrier's network for a flat rate of 0.50 real ($0.24) a day.

The plan could bring "potential instability" to the company's network and "hurt the quality of service for all TIM customers," Anatel said in a decision published on Brazil's official gazette.

TIM was not immediately available to comment on the regulator's decision. The company intended to sell the plan to prepaid customers on a promotional basis until Jan. 15.

TIM has 30 days to provide Anatel with a study on the impact of the plan on its network and to make the necessary adjustments to ensure its service meets the agency's quality standards.

Source: Reuters.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 13:35:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 01 October 2012

The French telecoms regulator Arcep is preparing to introduce quality of service (QoS) indicators for fixed internet providers. According to a report from Digital TV Europe, the indicators will be measured and made public, complementing similar measures in place for mobile networks. Arcep is also thought to be readying legislation which will impose minimum QoS requirements on broadband providers.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, 01 October 2012 12:54:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Brazil’s national telecoms watchdog Anatel yesterday ordered three incumbent mobile operators to stop selling new cellphone plans in certain states, in response to a rising tide of customer complaints over poor service quality, including dropped calls and patchy coverage. The regulator has announced that, in each of the country’s 26 states and the federal district Brasilia, the cellco with the worst service record will be barred from selling new mobile plans. The edict came into effect on Monday, it said, and will remain in place until such time as the carrier concerned presents investment plans designed to rectify the problem. ‘A growing client base needs to be accompanied by more investments,’ Anatel head Joao Batista de Resende told reporters, adding that it has been tracking a rising tide of customer service complaints for more than a year.

Following the ruling, Telecom Italia’s TIM Brasil unit has been barred from selling plans in 19 states; Oi SA has been prohibited from signing up new users in five; and Telecom Americas (Claro) has been served a desist order in three states. Only Vivo, the Brazilian asset of Telefonica of Spain, will not face immediate sanctions, but it has 30 days to present plans or face a similar fate. As reported by CommsUpdate yesterday, Brazil’s consumer protection agency Procon ordered the country’s four largest mobile operators to stop selling any more new mobile SIMs in the southern Rio Grande do Sul state capital Porto Alegre, amid concerns over poor service quality. It is understood that any carrier that flouts Anatel’s order will face a fine of BRL200,000 (USD99,000) per day.

The cellcos have reacted strongly to the measures, with TIM Brasil remarking on the ‘extreme measure’ which is feels is ‘disproportional’ and ‘anti-competitive’. Oi SA meanwhile, slated what it termed Anatel’s ‘out-of-date’ decision, noting its own plan to up CAPEX to BRL6 billion in 2012, compared to BRL5 billion last year ad BRL3 billion in 2010.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012 12:53:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 22 June 2012

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has fined telecom operators MTN, Etisalat, Airtel and Globacom, a total amount of $10.8 million, over poor quality of telecom services, according to a report by This Day.
As per the report, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had informed the Chief Executive Officers of the telecom operators via letters. The penalties imposed on the operators’ amount to $2.29 million for MTN and Etisalat, $1.71 million for Airtel and $1.14 million for Globacom.
The letter sent by the Commission said that all the operators are to pay the penalties on or before May 21, 2012 or be liable to payment of additional $15,900 per day for as long as the contravention persists. The penalties were imposed as the operators failed to meet with the minimum standard of quality of service including the key performance indicators (KPIs).
According to NCC, it monitored the performance of the operators on the different parameters, in line with the provisions of the regulation, and discovered that operators were in contravention of the provisions.
The report reveals that monitoring of the quality of service from the different operators in the month of March 2012, NCC statistics in some crucial parameters showed that Call Set-up Success Rate (CSSR) for all operators was 97.07 percent and the Commission’s target was greater than or equal to 98 percent.
Also during the period, Call Completion Rate (CCR) for all operators was 95.78 percent and the commission’s target was greater than or equal 96 percent. Drop Call Rate (DCR) for all operators was 1.33 percent and the commission’s target was less than or equal to 2 percent. The statistics showed that the four operators did not measure up to NCC’s target in certain parameters.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 22 June 2012 14:00:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 24 November 2011

Uganda’s cellcos have been warned that quality of service (QoS) will, from next year, form the basis of licence renewal applications and also represent a key condition for the issuance of future concessions, reports local paper Daily Monitor. State Minister for Information Technology, Nyombi Thembo, said that although there has been progress in the accessibility of mobile services, the government’s aim is to guarantee value for money by driving improvements in QoS: ‘There is no way we will renew a licence for a player offering poor services, that has to stop.’

As reported by CommsUpdate, the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) last week released details of its most recent QoS survey, which showed that none of the operators were meeting the target for blocked and dropped calls. MTN Uganda dismissed its poor performance in the survey – roughly on par with rivals Airtel Uganda, and Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) – saying: ‘We don’t agree with the report. We have commissioned our own studies, some of which we shall soon share with the public.’

In response to the comments, Thembo remarked: ‘The habit of telecoms [operators] denying and dismissing the findings should stop. We do not want the survey to victimise a particular provider. It is for their benefit because we want them to improve.’

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, 24 November 2011 15:11:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Uganda’s telecom companies have reportedly been issued a warning that the licence renewal applications will be considered on the basis of the quality of service (QoS) offered. According to reports, Nyombi Thembo, State Minister (Information Technology), has said that there is no way they will renew a licence for a player offering poor services. He added that the government’s aim is to guarantee value for money by driving improvements in the quality of the services offered to the customers.

As per sources, the report on QoS released by the Uganda Communication Commission last week reflected the poor performance of all the mobile network operators in the region wherein all six operators exceeded the maximum 2 percent rate of calls blocked or dropped. A blocked call is a failed call attempt due to network failure, where as a dropped call is one which gets connected successfully but is terminated ahead of time by the provider. MTN Uganda had the highest number of blocked at 11.1 percent while Airtel Uganda had the highest number of blocked calls at 15.2 percent.

Source: Wireless Federation

Wednesday, 23 November 2011 09:55:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Uganda’s wireless operators are all failing to meet minimum quality of service (QoS) requirements, according to a report published by the telecoms watchdog the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC). The UCC survey was carried out between 30 May 2011 and 2 September 2011, and during this period all six operators exceeded the maximum 2% rate of calls blocked or dropped. A blocked call is a failed call attempt due to network failure, whilst dropped calls are those which have connected successfully but are terminated prematurely by the provider. The country’s largest provider by subscribers, South African-owned MTN Uganda blocked 11.1% of calls, and dropped 4.5%. Meanwhile, Indian-owned Airtel Uganda blocked the highest proportion of calls, with 15.2% failing to connect, although it was far more successful once calls were connected, dropping only 3.2%. Uganda Telecom fared slightly better with 11.4% of calls blocked, and 3.4% dropped. French-owned Orange Uganda, the country’s second-youngest cellco, having launched in March 2009, came the closest to reaching UCC targets, with 3.8% of calls blocked and 2.8% dropped. The UCC did not report results for the smallest cellco by subscribers and most recent market entrant, i-Tel.

During the UCC’s previous QoS survey, in December 2010, Warid Telecom performed the worst of all the country’s telcos; the most recent analysis indicated significant improvement from the UAE-backed company, reducing the proportion of blocked calls from 25.8% to 8.8% whilst dropped calls were reduced from 8.0% to 4.2%. Warid’s progress was the result of improvements to capacity and coverage carried out by Chinese vendor Huawei in June 2011.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 11:35:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ghana’s telecoms watchdog the National Communications Authority (NCA) has imposed fines totalling GHC1.2 million (USD751,990) on five domestic mobile network operators – MTN, Vodafone, Airtel, Expresso and Tigo – for delivering poor services to end users. The penalties, which cover the third quarter of this year, are part of measures introduced by the NCA to improve overall quality of services and ensure end users have value for money. Airtel was fined the most – GHC350,000 – after it experienced high levels of network congestion (particularly in Tamale, Sekondi-Takoradi and the Upper East and West, and Greater Accra regions), while MTN and Expresso were each fined GHC300,000. Vodafone was fined GHC150,000 and Tigo received the lowest fine of GHC100,000, the NCA said.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 11:30:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Fin­land's telecoms regulator, Ficora has issued instructions that consumer contracts will have to carry more accurate information about mobile and landline based broadband speeds.

The speed included in the contract must depict the True speed range of the connection with sufficient precision. The regulator said that it is not sufficient to only express the maximum speed or theoretical maximum speed of the broadband connection. In the future, the speed range must be expressed either by using the average data transmission speed or the range of data transmission speed with unambiguous minimum and maximum caps. The speed must be defined so that the promised quality can also be delivered during rush hour or during any sequence of maximum of four hours.

For mobile broadband, Ficora stresses the importance of up-to-date coverage maps and access to information on how different network technologies affect the connection speed.Telecom operator contract terms must be updated

Ficora's statement is related to the amendment to the Communications Market Act, which entered into force in early 2011. The Act requires that consumer contracts on broadband services must always include the speed range of data transmission.

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, 16 November 2011 11:42:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |