Top telcos flunk NTC dropped call test

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While both telcos failed in the dropped call rate (DCR) category, Smart was still able to post a better score against its archrival Globe. Smart registered 2.15-percent DCR while Globe was at 2.75 percent ? both below the minimum 2-percent DCR standard, or no more than 2 dropped calls for every 100 calls. The NTC said it has already called the attention of Globe and Smart with regard to their failure to comply with the industry accepted standard. The regulatory agency has directed the telcos to submit their written explanation on why they failed to comply with the standard pursuant to NTC Memorandum Circular No. 07-06-2002 re: ?Service Performance Standards for the Cellular Mobile Telephone Service? dated June 5, 2002. Section 8 of said MC states that: ?CMTS operator that fail to comply with the herein prescribed standards particularly the Grade of Service (GOS) and Drop Call Rate (DCR) shall explain to the Commission within reasonable time from date of written notice the reasons why it failed to comply with the prescribed standards. If the Commission finds that the reasons are not meritorious, the CMTS operator may be directed to cease from accepting new customers/subscriptions until the prescribed standards are fully complied with?. In the other four categories, Smart was also able to post a higher score compared to Globe. The results of the tests on the following parameters were as follows:

1. Blocked Calls or Grade of Service refers to the percentage of calls that were not given access by the network or percentage of the network failure to establish connection between caller and receiver.

Based on the test conducted on Grade of Service (GoS), Smart registered 2.54 percent while Globe was at 2.75 percent. Both of them pass the standard for GoS which is 4 percent, meaning no more than 4 blocked calls is allowed for every 100 call attempts. Smart Communications? performance has an edge over Globe Telecom on this area.

2. Average Receive Signal Level refers to the signal strength that was being provided by the serving cellsite to the mobile handset of the subscriber while a conversation is on-going. This refers to the signal bar of a subscriber?s handset.

For Average Receive Signal Level, Smart Communications has an edge over Globe Telecom. Smart registered -61.14 dBm and Globe registered -69.21 dBm. The minimum acceptable Average Receive Signal Level is -85 dBm.

3. Average Signal Quality is the quality of voice transmission while a subscriber is using his mobile phone. The transmission should not be choppy or garbled.

For Average Signal Quality, Smart Communications has an edge over Globe Telecom. Smart registered 0.65 and Globe registered 1.03. The minimum acceptable range for this item is from 0 to 4, the closer to 0, the better. Signal quality ?0? indicates that there are no errors in transmission.

4. Call Set-Up Time refers to the time required for the network to activate the called party. In simple terms, this refers to the period required from the time a subscriber finished dialing to the time of the first ring.

Call set-up time for both telecom service providers were within the acceptable industry standard of below 14 seconds. Smart Communications registered at 11.23 seconds, establishing an edge over Globe Telecom by 0.33 seconds. Globe Call set-up time was 11.56 seconds.

Last September 2012, the NTC conducted benchmarking tests on the networks of Globe Telecom and Smart Communications in all of the 16 cities and 1 municipality of Metro Manila. The purpose of the tests is to measure the network performance and compare the results to the existing NTC prescribed minimum service performance standards. The tests were conducted using post-paid Globe and Smart?s Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards subscribing to regular services and not unlimited services. Sun SIMs, Talk and Text SIMs, Red Mobile SIMs and Touch Mobile SIMs were not used because these SIMs are sharing the networks of either Globe or Smart. The NTC monitoring team made sure that the locations where the tests were conducted and the SIMs were not known to anyone except to the members of the monitoring team. The monitoring teams conducted tests during the last week of September 2012. The team did not conduct benchmarking for the months of July and August to afford the telcos ample time to improve their services taking into account the results of the 2nd quarter benchmarking which showed failing marks for both Globe and Smart in Blocked Calls or Grade of Service. The monitoring team initiated a total of 2,189 random calls. The initiated calls were simultaneously done for Globe and Smart. The monitoring team made the calls using the ?drive test? method (i.e. inside a moving vehicle).]]>

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