Telecoms

Networks lacking in KZN, WC

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All three major operators have quality issues, according to ICASA's latest reports.
All three major operators have quality issues, according to ICASA's latest reports.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has again published quality of service reports based on tests using its contested drive-by method.

The regulator today issued quarterly quality of service (QOS) monitoring test reports that probed Vodacom, MTN and Cell C's networks and services in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It says this is done to identify shortcomings in the operators' services, which it says promotes "redress in the public interest".

ICASA did the tests on a drive-by basis, using its TEMS investigation tool. The focus of the drive-test was on network performance in terms of accessibility and retention of voice calls, and it measured call setup success rate and drop call rate. In KwaZulu-Natal, the results show Vodacom failed the retainability test in several areas, including Msinga, Empangeni, and Durban North/KwaMashu.

ICASA says Cell C failed the accessibility test in Msinga, Richards Bay and Port Shepstone, as well as the retainability test in Msinga, Empangeni, Richards Bay, Durban North/KwaMashu and Port Shepstone.

MTN failed the accessibility test in Msinga, Empangeni, Richards Bay, Durban North/KwaMashu and Port Shepstone, and retainability measurements in Msinga and Durban North/KwaMashu. These tests were done during the last quarter of 2013.

In the Western Cape, MTN failed the accessibility test in all the tested areas, and failed the retainability test in Somerset West/Stellenbosch.

Cell C failed accessibility tests in Somerset West/Stellenbosch, and the retainability test failed in all the tested areas, which includes the Cape Town business district, Cape Town International Airport, Worcester and Somerset West/Stellenbosch.

Vodacom failed retainability in Worcester and Somerset West/Stellenbosch. The Western Cape tests were conducted during the first quarter of 2014.

ICASA, which has come under fire from operators for using its drive-by testing, says it continues to improve its reports. Quality of service is the collective effect of service performance, which determines the degree of satisfaction of a user of the service - the capability of a network to provide a quality service to selected network traffic over various technologies such as Global System for Mobile Communications.

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