Does Your Service Provider Comply with the 3G Quality of Service Standards?

By Ali Raza

Third Generation (3G) is the third generation standard of wireless mobile telecommunications technology. Introduced as a subsequent of  2.5G and 2.5G GPRS networks, for efficient data communication. It is based on a set of standards used for mobile nodes which comply with the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) specified by the International Telecommunication Union. 3G discovers application in remote voice communication, portable Internet get to, fixed remote Internet get to, video calls and versatile TV.

A number telecommunication service providers market wireless mobile Internet services as 3G, showing that the advertised service is provided over a 3G wireless network. Services advertised as 3G are required to meet IMT-2000 technical standards, including standards for reliability and communication data rate (data transfer rates). To qualify the IMT-2000 standards, a framework is required to provide peak data rates of at least 144 kbit/s (Kilo-bits per second). Failing to meet such standards stipulated in the 3G license can be subjected to sanctions. For instance, the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes (ARCEP) which is an independent French agency in charge of regulating telecommunications in France, imposed a total of 5.6 m euro in fines on the country’s four mobile operators for failing to meet the standards stipulated in their licenses in March 2012.

Similarly, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is a state-owned enterprise responsible for the regulation of establishment, operation and maintenance of telecommunications in Pakistan. According to the Appendix I and III of PTA’s license format for 3G/4G, the following Articles define the standards for quality of service (QoS).

A1.3: PTA’s Regulation on QoS and 3GPP latest Version/Release for Cellular Mobile (3G/4G/LTE) shall be followed. The Authority may carry out tests on the quality of the Licensed Services and the Licensed System and the Licensee shall extend full cooperation and assistance for the purpose including provision of test instruments and equipment.

A1.4:  The Licensee shall maintain records of its performance in meeting these QoS standards, and shall submit them to the Authority on a quarterly basis in such format as the Authority may require. The Licensee shall maintain supporting records for inspection and technical audit as and when required by the Authority. The Licensee shall maintain all such records for a period of three years.

A1.5  During each calendar month, Licensee shall meet or exceed the following quality of service standards (except for causes attributable to another Operator or a service provider that provides telecommunications services outside Pakistan):

A1.5.2 Where the NGMS Licensee has obtained usage rights for 1800 MHz spectrum in the NGMSA, it shall provide the Quality of Service across the coverage areas defined in A2.1 of Appendix – I as stipulated below:

A1.5.3 Where the NGMS Licensee has obtained usage rights for 850 MHz spectrum in the NGMSA it shall provide the Quality of Service across the coverage areas defined in A1.3 of Appendix – I as stipulated below:

If you are using services (3G/4G) of a telecommunication provider and they are not complying according to the above mentioned QoS standards, then you can potentially file a complaint against them. It is the responsibility of PTA to address such issues and charge the responsible telecommunication provider according to the law.

Ali Raza received his BSc degree in Computer Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan in 2017. He received his Masters degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering from Hongik University, South Korea. Currently, he is working as research associate at the Lab of Artificial Intelligence Security at Gachon University, South Korea. His research interests include Cryptography, Cyber Security, Wireless networks (5G), Blockchain and their application in Internet of Things.

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