The Anatel (Brazil) approach to quality of service monitoring for mobile services24.08.2020
The regulator monitors the quality of mobile telephony in six parameters. This number has been reduced, most recently from fourteen in 2019. Small operators, which are defined as ones with a national market share of less than 5 per cent in each of their retail markets, are exempt from quality of service monitoring.
For each parameter there is a target. The extent to which targets are reached has been rising: it was 79.7 per cent in 2015, 80.9 per cent in 2016, 81.1 per cent in 2017, 83.4 per cent in 2018 and 84.3 per cent in 2019.
The parameters and targets are reported in each numbering area (for those relating to voice) and in each federated region (for relating to data). They are as follows.
|INDICATOR GROUP||MNEMONIC||INDICATOR||DESCRIPTION||GOAL IN FORCE||GOAL APPLICABILITY|
|NETWORK – VOICE|
|SMP5||Traffic Channel Allocation Rate||Access to the voice channels of the total number of attempts, in each Period of Highest Movement||≥ 95%||Numbering Area (popular DDD)|
|SMP7||Call Drop Rate||Connection drops in the total number of calls completed, in each period of greatest movement||<2%||Numbering Area (popular DDD)|
|DATA CONNECTION||SMP8||Data Connection Rate||Connections established from total data connection attempts, 10am – 10pm||≥ 98%||Federative unit|
|SMP9||Data Connection Drop Rate||Connection drops from total data connections established, from 10am – 10pm||<5%||Federative unit|
|SMP11||Average Contracted Transmission Rate Guarantee||It represents the average of all measurements made on the provider’s network. It must reach at least the percentage described to the right of the contracted transmission rate in the measurements made, from 10am to 10pm||≥ 80%||Federative unit|
|ATTENDANCE||SMP12||Self-Service Systems Attendance Rate||Calls answered by operators within 20 seconds||≥ 90%||Numbering Area (popular DDD)|
Note: Unofficial translation. Struck-out indicators were revoked by Resolution No. 717, of December 23, 2019.
Source: Anatel 2020a.
Supervision of broadband quality
For mobile broadband (3G and 4G), the parameter “Average Contracted Transmission Rate Guarantee” (EAQ) must be measured using a method defined by the regulator. Consumers can also conduct their own speed tests with the free EAQ application, which measures the speed, delay, and packet loss ratio.
Source: Anatel 2020b.
Municipal inspection of quality
In addition to the monitoring described above, since 2013 the regulator has been inspecting quality in the 5 570 municipalities in the country, through parameters for voice and 2G, 3G, and 4G data that assess availability, proportions of successful connections, and proportions of dropped connections. The results are published monthly.
Source: Anatel 2020b.
The regulator has determined deadlines by which no municipality should have values of parameters that are critical. Failure to comply will give rise to sanctions, following the due legal process.
A free application for mobile phones and tablets provides the following information about the quality of mobile telephony for each municipality:
- The performance of each operator according to the parameters.
- The ranking of operators based on the latest measured results.
- The numbers of antennas, and the technology of each antenna, for each operator.
- The location of each antenna on the municipality map.
Source: Anatel 2020c.
Source: Anatel 2020c.
Coverage (signal strength)
Operators must make available, on their websites and in all available sales channels, mobile phone coverage maps, by technology (2G, 3G, and 4G).
Coverage maps represent a theoretical view of signal strength, based on planning calculations. The actual coverage depends on factors such as relief, constructions, user location, type of environment (outside or inside buildings and depending on nature), distance from the ground, and so on. As coverage indoors is influenced by the building construction, for this reason a specific obligation to offer indoor coverage is imposed on operators.
The regulator has been setting “scope commitments” in radio frequency bidding. These commit the operators to offer the service in municipalities with 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies, within specific deadlines. The commitments require coverage of at least 80 per cent of the urban area of the district where the municipality is headquartered (but not of other municipal districts). The commitments are inspected by the regulator after the expiration of the term.
Perceived quality survey
In addition to monitoring the quality of mobile telephony by means of parameters, the regulator conducts annual surveys that measure satisfaction and quality perceived by consumers, that is, in practice, how performance is perceived in the daily use of services.
A customer wanting to port numbers must place the order with the preferred operator. The portability process generates few complaints. Monthly order numbers and balances by operator can be accessed by customers.
Degraded quality tends to be related to aspects of coverage (weak signal) or service interruptions (temporary occurrence of no signal in a region where there is a regular signal from a certain operator). Service interruptions can be caused by network equipment failures, fibre optic disruptions, vandalism, accidents, weather events, and so on.
The regulation does not limit the number or duration of interruptions. It requires the operator to tell the regulator, interconnected operators, and the public about the interruption and to reimburse customers proportionally for the period of unavailability.
Anatel. 2020a. Indicadores de Qualidade do Serviço de Telefonia Móvel (SMP). https://www.anatel.gov.br/dados/controle-de-qualidade/controle-telefonia-movel?layout=edit&id=300.
Anatel. 2020b. Qualidade – Telefonia Móvel. https://www.anatel.gov.br/dados/controle-de-qualidade/controle-telefonia-movel.
Anatel. 2020c. Aplicativo Anatel Serviço Móvel. https://www.anatel.gov.br/dados/controle-de-qualidade/aplicativo-anatel-servico-movel.Last updated on: 28.08.2020