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Telcos escape sanction, meet NCC’s service quality KPIs

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Amidst complaints by subscribers, the regulator says telcos have done well in quality of service in the 12 months reviewed

 

Samson Akintaro

 

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country met their key performance indicators (KPIs) on quality of service between May 2020 and April 2021, thereby escaping regulatory sanction for the period.

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) confirmed this in its latest Quality of Service (QoS) report, which covers the 12 months. The operators’ performances are measured by the regulator based on parameters such as Call Setup Success Rate (CSSR), Drop Call Rate (DCR), and Traffic Channel Congestion (TCH CONG).

 

According to NCC, these QoS standards ensure that consumers continue to have access to high-quality telecommunications services by setting basic minimum quality levels for all operators.

 

Based on the latest report, all the mobile operators crossed the threshold of 98 per cent call setup success rate in the 12 months review period. In terms of drop call rate, which is fixed at one per cent or less, all the operators performed well as they recorded

less than one per cent drop calls in the period, according to NCC’s record. In terms of Traffic Channel Congestion, all the operators also met the KPI as they all recorded less than two per cent congestion within the period. The regulator’s parameter in this regard is that congestion rate for the networks should be equal to or less than two per cent.

 

But the technical result of operators’ quality of service may be far from the reality going by subscribers’ experience in the period covered by the report and even now. Speaking with our correspondent over the report, the President of National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Mr. Deolu Ogunbajo, disagreed with the regulator.

 

According to him, NCC is looking at the quality of service from the technical aspect and not from the subscribers’ angle.

 

“From the subscribers’ point of view, this is not correct because we still have a lot of issues. The KPIs are measured technically and are far from the reality of what the subscribers are experiencing. We disagree with NCC on this.

 

“There are lots of complaints on dropped calls and even the call setup success rate is nothing to write home about. There are times you want to call and the call is not just connecting, the call set up rate is poor, all is not well in terms of quality of service as the report suggests,” he said.

 

However, based on the huge number of mobile subscriptions in the country, the minute percentage of errors allowed the operators might cover a large number of subscribers facing the quality of service challenge.

 

Meanwhile, some of the service quality situations also have to do with the quality of phones being used by the subscribers, as substandard phones are believed to affect the quality of services the users receive from network operators.

 

The Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF), a telecoms advocacy group, had recently advocated the need for stakeholders at the federal, state and local levels, both in public and private sectors, to work with NCC and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to collectively contribute towards improving the Quality of Service (QoS) delivery by MNOs in the country.

 

At its meeting held in Abuja, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) had made a presentation focusing on challenges of quality of service delivery in the telecoms sector.

 

In the presentation, ICAF noted that the challenge of poor QoS in the telecom industry was an issue that required collaborative efforts of the National Assembly as well as state and local governments, to tackle.

 

Explaining further, ICAF stated that the collaboration is both urgent and necessary because telecoms have long migrated from being a mere enabler of communication to an industry that has become widely acknowledged as being the most important enabler of socio-economic activities in contemporary society

 

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