Smart, Globe fail NTC test for "dropped calls"

Posted at 11/13/12 4:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The country's biggest mobile firms Smart Communications, Inc. and Globe Telecom, Inc. both failed the standard for "dropped call" rate in the third quarter, the National Telecommunications Commission said Tuesday.  

Both companies registered a rate higher than the minimum 2%, which represents that no more than two calls are dropped or involuntarily terminated for every 100 calls.

Smart got a 2.15%, while Globe fared worse with 2.75%, NTC Director Edgardo Cabarios said.

Cabarios said Smart and Globe have been informed of the results of the NTC-conducted tests and the telcos are expected to submit a written explanation why they failed the standard by Monday.

"If there is continuous improvement noted in their networks then sanctions are not proper but if it keeps on deteriorating then there are two possible sanctions to be meted out," Cabarios said.

Aside from dropped calls, NTC's tests in the third quarter included measuring blocked calls, signal level, signal quality, and call set-up time.

For blocked calls, both telcos passed the test with Smart getting the better 2.54% and Globe 2.75%. The standard is pegged at 4%, meaning only 4 blocked calls are allowed for every 100 calls.

Smart and Globe also recorded better signal levels than the standard -85 dBm. NTC said Smart had an average -61.14 dBm, while Globe had -69.21 dBm.

Both telcos were also found to have signal quality within the required 0-4 range, with "0" indicating no errors in transmission. Smart got a score of 0.65, while Globe had 1.03.

NTC also found Smart and Globe passed the call set-up time test, in which the standard time required to connect to another party is 14 seconds. Smart recorded 11.23 seconds, while Globe registered 11.56 seconds.

Cabarios said the telco regulator made more than 2,189 test calls while inside a moving vehicle in measuring the performance of Smart and Globe.

Telcos react


In a statement, Smart claimed the network quality tests conducted by the NTC showed its network is "superior" to its rival. 

"This time the score is '5-0'. Smart outperformed the competition in all five parameters of the 3rd Quarter Quality of Service (QoS) Benchmarking tests," Smart public affairs head Ramon R. Isberto.

On the other hand, Globe said the NTC's QoS tests showed its service has significantly improved, even though the company is still at 62% completion of its network modernization.

“There is marked improvement in our own grade of service, ease of calls getting through and signal strength which are early indications that the network improvements are happening because of our ongoing modernization. While a good portion of our legacy network is still operational as these tests are being done, we are confident that we will achieve better results as soon as we approach completion of our brand new network. We expect to be ahead of our commitment of 70% completion by yearend 2012," Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu said in a statement.