ICASA and SABS working towards new service quality report

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has failed to issue a single analysis of mobile network quality, despite promising quarterly reports 18 months ago.

ICASA made the promise in 2011 following a quality of service survey report published in July 2011, which revealed the country’s three leading mobile operators fell short of the minimum requirements for both Dropped Call Rate (DCR) and Call Set Up Success Rate (CSSR).

The three mobile operators – Vodacom, MTN and Cell C – responded by criticising ICASA’s methodology and said the findings were inaccurate.

After almost two years, no quarterly results on mobile network quality have been published by the authority as they had promised. ICASA has confirmed that until a methodology document is finalised, they will refrain from publishing further results.

ICASA is working with the SABS to develop this document, and intends to have a service quality report by next month this year.

Speaking to HumanIPO, Richard Boorman of Vodacom’s Corporate Affairs said Vodacom supports the development of a testing standard to measure network quality.

“We’ve been working closely with ICASA and SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) on this, we’ve provided input on the draft standard,” he said. “This is a necessary process as the testing reported on in July 2011 was flawed in that limited localised tests were not representative of an operator’s entire network and the issues experienced could not be replicated or ascribed to a particular network.”

Boorman confirmed ICASA does receive quality service reports from operators twice a year.

“We submit network quality reports to ICASA on a six-monthly basis, which takes into account network quality across the entire network as opposed to a limited number of spot checks,” he said.

“As per the most recent data submitted, network availability was 99.5 percent and service availability was 99.4 percent.”

Posted in: Telecoms

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