Telcos fail to meet key performance indicators for webpage loading time and latency, according to PTA
Cellular Operators (CMOs) have missed most of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set in their license and applicable regulations with respect to webpage loading time and latency revealed independent quality of service (QoS) survey carried out by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)
The PTA has issued instructions to the operators for taking corrective measures, so as to ensure improvement in the service quality according to the licensed standards.In order to measure the performance and service quality of Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs), an independent QoS Survey was carried out at Thirteen (13) x Motorways and Highways during the 4th Quarter i.e. October-December 2022. Further, an independent QoS Survey has been carried out in 22 cities of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan during the 4th Quarter i.e. October-December 2022.
The QoS survey was carried out using Automated QoS Monitoring & Benchmarking Tool i.e. “SMARTBENCHMARKER”. 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 technology auto-detect mode, whereas, in the case of Mobile Broadband/Data Sessions, the mobile handsets were kept both in auto-detect and as well as locked mode.
As per Cellular Mobile Network QoS Regulations 2021, licensees are required to meet the Webpage Loading Time threshold of 5 Seconds. However, CMOs failed to comply with this KPI in cities.
On motorways and highways, operators showed similar drops:
Further as per Cellular Mobile Network QoS Regulations 2021, licensees are required to meet the threshold of 75 milliseconds of 4G/LTE Technology and 150 milliseconds of 3G Technology of Latency. However, operators missed this KPI by a wide margin in cities.
On motorways and highways, operators missed this KPI by 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 percent confidence level. However, in most cases on motorways and highways, operators missed this KPI by a wide margin.
Industry sources, however, said that the telecom industry in Pakistan is facing serious challenges, especially after recent floods and the problem of Letters of Credit, which are hampering the implementation of projects and resulting in the degrading of services. The current economic meltdown and related liquidity issues have forced telecom companies to opt for cost cuttings and face challenges in upgrading their capacity to meet demands.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has repeatedly admitted the poor quality of services while saying that the quality of services parameters is not at par with other regional countries. Around 1.5 million internet connections are being added every month, but operators failed to meet the requirements and have not upgraded their capacity.
PTA has recently imposed a penalty of Rs. 29 million on four CMOs over their failure to meet the quality of service standards laid down in their licenses.