Paris, 30 October 2006
For the ninth year in a row, in cooperation with operators and consumer and user associations, Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes (ARCEP) has conducted a evaluation survey of the quality of service of mobile telephony networks in metropolitan France, as it is seen during daily use by the customers of the three operators.
In addition to this survey, ARCEP conducted a quality network on third-generation networks this year on an experimental basis, in order to validate the testing protocols of several services offered by Orange France and SFR.
- The 2006 service quality evaluation survey for second-generation mobile networks
The survey for second generation mobile networks was conducted by the Directique agency over a period of five months, between February 2006 and June 2006. Over 25 000 telephone calls were made, 3 000 text and multimedia messages sent, 3 000 files downloaded and 1 500 WAP and I-mode browsing sessions held under normal conditions of mobile telephone use.
The 2006 survey has changed on a number of points, especially as concerns data services in packet mode, introduced on an experimental basis for the 2004-2005 survey, and for which individual operator results are being published this year.
The publication format has been lightened to make it easier to read the results. This means that, for each operator, the number of indicators published for telephony service has been reduced from 48 during the 2004-2005 survey, to just 17 this year.
- This year’s results
In view of the survey results, we can conclude the following:
For voice service:
Maintaining service quality is a key issue for operators given the changes in traffic volume, which is currently growing at an annual rate of 10 to 15%.
While the number of successful calls seems to be down 1% over last year, mobile telephony services continue to be of good quality in cities with more than 20 000 inhabitants. No significant changes have been observed in high traffic areas during peak periods.
Overall, the quality of telephony service is improving on major highways and especially as concerns the rate of calls with perfect quality on TGV high speed trains and commuter trains.
For data services:
The results of the file downloading services show significant improvement over last year. In particular, the downloading times for 100 kb files were 22.9 seconds on average this year compared with 32.3 seconds last year. The inclusion of changes to EDGE in 2G, which had not been done this year, will likely improve performance even more for offers available on the market.
The results of the multimedia messaging service (MMS and i-mode mail) are significantly improved over last year. Over 19 out of 20 multimedia messages were received within two minutes, compared with 15 in 2004-2005.
- A 3G survey held in 2006
This experimental survey was conducted by the GET agency, and limited to the cities of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. It covered telephony, SMS, videophone, file downloading and television on Orange France’s and SFR’s 3G networks.
The quality of service measured in the three cities is satisfactory overall. At this point, ARCEP observes in particular that:
- the performance of 3G is significantly better than GPRS in terms of data speeds for file downloading
- the videophone service is satisfactory overall, including for interoperability between the two operators
- the quality of telephone calls and SMS reached almost the same level as that observed on second-generation networks
In terms of methodology, the results of this experimental survey mean that 3G offers will be included in our annual service quality surveys as soon as 2007.