IDA raises 3G QoS bar for SG operators

Melissa Chua
31 Jan 2012

Singapore’s three telcos will need to adhere to higher quality of service levels for 3G service provisioning come 1 April this year.

Regulator IDA has updated its 3G mobile QoS framework to include higher coverage levels in various parts of the island. Operators who fail to comply will face fines of up to S$50,000 ($39,780) per indicator per month, up from S$5,000 previously.

According to the revised QoS framework, 3G service coverage for nationwide outdoor areas and road and newer public train tunnels has to reach more than 99%, from more than 95% previously. In-building coverage will have to reach more than 85% per building.

An IDA spokesperson told the regulator would not prescribe methods which operators would employ to improve in-building coverage. Operators would also be relieved of the QoS obligation should building owners refuse operators access to their property for equipment installation.

Also covered in the revised QoS framework were peak hour success and drop rates for cellular calls. Operators will be required to strive for a monthly success rate of higher than 99%, from more than 95% previously. The minimum QoS for dropped mobile call rates has also been reduced from less than 5% monthly to less than 1%. Operators will be subject to financial penalties of up to $50,000, up from S$5,000 should the new standards not be complied with.

According to the IDA’s internal monitors, call success rates for all three telcos, SingTel, StarHub and M1 all hovered above 99% for the first 8 months last year. Dropped call rates for all three firms registered below 1%, indicating the operators are already in compliance with this segment of the revised QoS framework.

The new QoS framework will be effected in two phrases – in-building QoS standards will come into effect 1 April 2013, with other aspects of the framework taking effect 1 April this year.

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