Smart trumps Globe in NTC mobile test for Q1

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Boosting its stock in their bitter war, Smart Communications scored a lopsided 5-0 card against fierce rival Globe Telecom in the latest tests conducted by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for the first quarter of 2013.

The PLDT-owned carrier gained the upper-hand in all the five tests undertaken by the NTC: blocked calls, dropped calls, signal strength, voice transmission quality, and call set-up time.

The Quality of Service (QoS) Benchmarking tests, which was conducted by the NTC for a week during the months of January, February and March, covered the 17 cities of Metro Manila.

A total of 1,500 calls for each service provider were initiated to determine whether network performance measured are within existing NTC and industry standards.

The tests were conducted using post-paid Globe and Smart SIM cards subscribing to regular services. Sun, Talk and Text, and Touch Mobile SIMs were not used because the SIMs are using the networks of either Globe or Smart.

The initiated calls were simultaneously done for Globe and Smart. The monitoring team made the calls using ?drive test? method, meaning it was done inside a moving vehicle).

The results of the tests on the following parameters are as follows:

1. Blocked Calls or Grade of Service (GoS) refers to the percentage of calls that were not given access by the network.

Based on the GoS, both parties passed the less than or equal to 4 percent performance standard of the NTC (meaning no more than 4 blocked calls is allowed for every 100 call attempts). Smart was ranked first with a lower percentage of 0.87 percent and Globe second with 2.60 percent

2. Dropped Call Rate (DCR) refers to the percentage of on-going calls that were involuntarily terminated.

On DCR, both passed the 2 percent standard imposed by the Commission but Smart was better with a 1 percent versus Globe?s 1.53 percent dropped call statistics.

3. Average Receive Signal Level (ARSL) 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 ARSL, Smart was also superior with -65.90dBm compared to Globe?s -71.14dBm. The industry standard for Average Receive Signal Level is more than or equal to -85dBm.

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

On ASQ, Smart ranked first measuring at 0.77 and Globe comes in at second with 0.91. 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.

5. 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 also within the acceptable industry standard of below 14 seconds but Smart registered better at 11.06 seconds compared to Globe?s 12.20 seconds.

The NTC said it will continuously monitor the service performance of the telcos to ensure the quality of service that telcos provide to the public.

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