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Monitoring telcos' service

BTRC to set up QoS benchmarking system

It called int'l tender last week

ISMAIL HOSSAIN | March 16, 2021 00:00:00

The Bangladesh Tele-communication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is set to install a state-of-the-art benchmarking system to strengthen the commission's capacity to monitor service quality of its licensees.

The commission invited an international tender last week for supply, installation and commissioning of the quality of service (QoS) benchmarking system.

BTRC Deputy Director (Media) Zakir Hossain Khan said the commission would require upgraded and state-of-the-art equipment to strengthen its capacity for properly monitoring mobile network operators' service quality.

According to the tender documents, the selected international firm will provide two sets of chassis-based drive test tools, two sets of backpack/hand held benchmarking tools, one set of drive test tool, two units of monitoring vehicles, scanners, FTP server, and post-processing system etc.

For being selected, the firm has to have minimum 10 years of overall experience as telecommunication equipment supplier or manufacturer.

It needs to have minimum seven years of experience and should have successfully completed contracts of similar nature, complexity and technology within the last five years, with a total value of at least US$ 1.5 million or Tk 127 million under maximum three contracts.

The firm will work on system integration, configuration, commissioning, operational, maintenance and warranty services.

Earlier, the regulator conducted tests on a limited scale.

The BTRC, on January 21, started conducting a six-month drive test in 300 upazilas across the country to measure the quality of services of the mobile operators.

According to the BTRC policy, an operator's call success rate should be 97 percent or more, call drop should be less than 2.0 percent, and call setup time should be completed within seven seconds.

Besides, the minimum speed of 3G data should be 2.0 Megabits per second (Mbps) and that of 4G data should be 7.0 Mbps.

The regulator came up with the decision to install QoS benchmarking system against the backdrop of severe problems related with call drop and poor mobile services in the country, as it received around 6,00,000 complaints in 2020.

The test will produce monthly reports, and the companies concerned will be notified if they cannot meet the service quality standard set by the commission.

BTRC Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder, earlier in a programme, said the telecom companies' quality of services was quite poor in Bangladesh.

He said such a huge number of complaints proved that their services were poor and the clients were really irritated.

The operators were recently warned of facing stern actions unless they improved services, he added.

In a QoS test, the BTRC sets parameters for assessing call quality, call drop rates, connection times, and upload and download speeds of 4G internet for better serving the clients.

In 2019, the commission conducted a test drive in Dhaka and Barishal to assess the quality of 4G internet of the mobile operators. All the four operators were found providing 4G services below the BTRC benchmark of 7.0 Mbps download speed.

In Dhaka, Grameenphone and Robi met the benchmark, while Banglalink was providing service at 6.49 Mbps, and Teletalk at 4.85 Mbps. In Barishal, all the four failed to meet the 4G internet speed.

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