Mobile telephony

Mobile Quality of Service

Arcep enhances its publications on mobile quality of service in Metropolitan France

On 8 December 2020, Arcep published the results of its 2020 quality of service measurement campaign in Metropolitan France. Today, supplementary information has been added to the “Mon réseau mobile” (My mobile network) website:

  • Additional information on the quality of internet services in metros and on TGV lines;
  • Results of the measurement campaigns carried out by local authorities and by one private sector player, using protocols comparable to those employed by Arcep.

These publications will give consumers the ability to compare operators’ performances, and for public policymakers to have a detailed diagnosis of the status of mobile connectivity in their area.

Supplementary findings from Arcep’s measurement campaign in metro systems and on TGV lines

Because of the Covid-19 crisis, Arcep’s 2020 measurement campaign had to be postponed to the autumn. Certain data could not be published in 2020: those regarding several railway lines (measured in January 2021) and those regarding metros (aka subways), which were performed last autumn but their processing was delayed. Arcep is therefore publishing this additional information today.

Improvement in the quality of internet services in metros: Paris and Lyon join Toulouse and Rennes in the “4G metros” club

The quality of mobile services in the metros of Paris and Lyon improved significantly for every operator in 2020. All metro systems combined, SFR, Free and Bouygues each improved their scores by between 15 and 27 points compared to last year, with all three reaching a rate of 85% of web pages loaded in under 10s. Orange maintains a slight lead here, increasing its success rate from 73% to 88%.

In Paris, the RATP project to bring 3G/4G coverage to its metro system, involving the deployment of 321 cell sites to cover 304 stations, was completed in June 2020. The effects are readily apparent, with a quality of internet services that improved tremendously and reached a very high level in 2020, with all operators providing an average 95% success rate.

The entire metro system in Lyon were fully covered for 4G in late 2019, which has translated into a virtually perfect quality of web browsing – this also more recently became the case in the Toulouse and Rennes metro systems.

Arcep also finalises the publication of the results for TGV lines

In keeping with the findings that were already presented back in December 2020, coverage on TGV high-speed rail lines is progressing, even if this is not always clear in the results. On some lines, newer rails that are better insulated but also less “porous” for the incoming radio signal, have been put into service. Worth noting is a one point increase in Bouygues and SFR data test scores, with a 72% and 69% success rate, respectively, for web pages loaded in under 10s, and +4 points to 81% for Orange. Meanwhile Free, starting from much farther behind, has made the most progress, increasing its success rate from 40% to 69%, and so catching up to SFR.

Arcep is also enriching its “Mon réseau mobile” website with measurements obtained based on the “regulator’s toolkit”

On 10 April 2020, Arcep published mobile quality of service measurement data that had been obtained by third parties for the first time on its  “Mon réseau mobile”  website. The site has incorporated additional testing data from several regions: the Cher, Hauts-de-France, the Pays de la Loire and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Also available are data from the measurements performed on the SNCF national railway network.

These data, which were obtained from measurement campaigns carried out in the field, using protocols comparable to those that Arcep set out in the “Regulator’s toolkit”, provide a welcome supplement to the findings of Arcep’s annual quality of service audit.

This year, several local authorities and the SNCF have updated their data, and there are newcomers to the list:

  • The Pays de la Loire with new measurements;
  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes with new measurements;
  • The Haute-Loire with new measurements;
  • Grand Paris-Sud (only for the municipality of Lieusaint) ;
  • SNCF with updated measurements.

Additionally, private sector player, QoSi – Mozark Group has shared with Arcep the results of the field campaign it conducted for its purposes.  More than 175,000 new measurements, taken across the whole of France, have thus also been added to “Mon réseau mobile” .

The fact of publishing these new data provides users with an increasingly detailed and up to date picture of mobile connectivity where they live and work. These data also provide useful information for the New Deal for Mobile’s targeted coverage mechanism, i.e. to the local project teams that choose the areas for operators to cover.

Lastly, at a time when networks are evolving rapidly, Arcep is no longer displaying data that are more than 18 months old, as they do not necessarily reflect the service that is available to users today. All of this information nevertheless remains available as open datasets.

Arcep salutes the tremendous work done by local authorities and their elected representatives, by SNCF and by QoSi, all of which are helping to provide users and public policymakers with better information. This process of making data acquired based on the “regulator’s toolkit”  freely available will continue, with all of the volunteer players wanting to share their data with Arcep.