PTA to Review KPIs in Fixed Broadband Quality of Service Regulations

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PTA to Review KPIs in Fixed Broadband Quality of Service Regulations

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has decided to examine and develop new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in fixed broadband quality of service (QoS) regulations, stating that the quality of broadband services is a concern due to the growing number of customers.

Broadband Quality of Service (QoS) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Fixed Line Broadband (i.e., Fixed Line) Quality of Service (QoS) have been outlined in Broadband Quality of Service Regulations 2014, the gazette announced in August 2014 referred to as “BB QoS Regulations 2014.”

PTA is concerned about the quality of broadband services due to the growing number of subscribers. According to PTA’s vision of “Protecting Consumer Interest and Providing High-Quality ICT Services,” these indicators are designed to establish quantifiable and measurable standard parameters that the service provider is required to provide and that the user has a right to expect, resulting in increased consumer satisfaction.

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The “Broadband” service, as defined in the BB QoS Regulations 2014, is a “always-on” service with a data rate of at least 256 Kbps, or as the Authority may adopt from time to time. Similarly, the aims outlined in Telecom Policy 2015 stress the universal availability of inexpensive broadband services delivered via fixed or mobile networks that enable existing and innovative digital applications and content.

PTA is obligated to monitor the broadband quality of service supplied by service providers based on key performance indicators, such as committed bandwidth and outage obligations with customers, according to section 9.3 of the aforementioned policy.

With the advancement of technology and the introduction of G.fast Technology, the theoretical speed has been increased to 1000 Mbps (max), and with the adoption of the WiFi-6 /802.11ax protocol/standard, data rates of 10 Gbps (dense IoT Deployment) have been achieved, the definition of minimum downlink speed for the term “Broadband” needs to be changed from 256 Kbps to 4 Mbps.

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Furthermore, in 5G telecommunication technology, the employed cases of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband are finally seen as a substitute for wireline connection in the last mile, facilitating the transfer of high-speed data between two sites.

Pakistan also plans to connect 75 percent of its metropolises, districts, towns, tehsils, and union councils with an Optical Fiber Cable-based fixed/wireless access network in its major cities by 2025, with an average user data throughput of 50Mbps.

With the development of GPON technology, broadband fixed internet services have been transformed, allowing consumers to access ultra-high-speed internet.

Performance measurement with a single standard for QoS is required to provide a fair playing field, a competitive environment, and subscriber satisfaction. In this case, customers’ opinions should also be taken into account. With the evolution of technology and the emergence of bandwidth-hungry applications, it is past time for Broadband Service Providers (BSPs) to establish some benchmarks/thresholds that they must meet in order to assure client satisfaction.

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The Broadband Quality of Service (QoS) Regulations, 2014, are intended to set minimum quality of service requirements and associated measurement for all fixed broadband services. However, as broadband technology advances and migration from legacy networks to contemporary GPON/FTTH networks occurs, some of the KPIs specified in the BB Regulations 2014 may no longer be appropriate and must be reviewed/amended in accordance with worldwide best practises.

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Availability of the network (>=99.9%): It is a metric that indicates how well the network (both access and core) is functioning and not in a state of failure or outage at any given time. Over the course of a month, it calculates the total downtime of the network, including ATM switches, multiplexers, routers, e-mail facilities (if available), and access to the Internet backbone.

All scheduled downtime for network system maintenance and upgrades will be removed from the computation. All access network operators, on the other hand, must inform their users of such maintenance hours. Any downtime caused by upstream service providers should be included in the reported downtime.

It is proposed that the KPI be renamed “Service Up Time Success Rate” and redefined as “Service Up Time Success Rate (>98%).” It’s a metric for ensuring end-user broadband service availability in the event of a planned or accidental device start.

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If N tries to connect to the internet are attempted during the testing period, and each attempt fails F times, then the Service Up Time Success Rate = (1-F/N) x 100 percent.

An attempt is considered a failure if an internet connection is not established within a reasonable amount of time, as defined by the following service classification:

  1. Terrestrial FLL Services (xDSL, FTTx, DOCSISx, etc.): 60 Seconds
  2. Satellite FLL Services: 120 Seconds

It is proposed that the KPI be renamed “Download Data Throughput” and defined as follows:

Download Data Throughput (Kbps/Mbps): The download data throughput is defined as the data transmission rate achieved for downloading specified test files between a remote website and a user’s computer in order to determine the subscriber’s actual download speed.

Maintaining a reasonable loading level in intra network links up to the ISP node, and the fact that in general, the data rate for normal broadband operations is lower than the advertised/planned data rate, the data speed must be at least 80% of the advertised broadband service plan speed, and this must be experienced at all times.

Size of the test file (in MB)/Transmission Time (in seconds) required for error-free transmission of the complete data Equals Download Data Throughput.

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The test file should be at least 5 gigabytes in size. It should be downloaded from the BSP and/or PTA’s websites (using HTTP or FTP protocol) and/or http://speedtest.tele2.net/ or any other site determined by the Authority, as long as the choice is consistent for all. In the case of other download packages, the file size must be changed to retain the same expected download time.

The KPI should be renamed “Upload Data Throughput (Kbps/Mbps)” and defined as “The Upload Data Throughput is defined as the data transmission rate achieved for uploading the specified test files between a user’s computer and a remote web site or to check the actual upload speed available to the subscriber.” The methodology for calculating upload speeds must be comparable to that used to calculate download speeds.

The Upload Data Throughput must be at least 50% of the Download Data Throughput and must be continuous. (For example, if a package’s Download Data Throughput is 10 Mbps and the test lasts 100 minutes, the Average Upload Data Throughput must be 5 Mbps.)

Upload Data Throughput = Test File Size (in MB) / Required Transmission Time (in seconds) for error-free data transfer

New Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Webpage Loading Time: Webpage Loading Time is thought to have a direct impact on consumer satisfaction with the network’s and operator’s service. Webpage Loading Time is the amount of time it takes for a website to load. The time it takes to load a standard reference page is measured by loading it and recording the time it takes. The time limit will be 3 seconds.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a method and set of technologies for delivering voice communications and multimedia sessions over IP networks like the Internet. It’s a technique that lets you to make voice calls over the Internet rather than over a standard (or analogue) phone line.

The time between the caller (A-Party) delivering complete call initiation information and receiving call setup notification in return.

  • VoIP Call Setup Time = t2 –t1
  • Where t2 is ringing time and t1 is invite time
  • The benchmark will be < 7.5 Sec.

Net Neutrality is a term that refers to the principle of All licensed BSPs around the country must adhere to the “fundamental principles” of net neutrality. By slowing or “throttling” Internet speeds, the BSP will not be involved in the illegal blocking of programmes, websites, or any other content on the Internet. All services, regardless of nature, must be transported on an equal basis by network providers.

The NGN is in charge of Internet telecom development. ISPs must utilise traffic management mechanisms to optimise traffic flow throughout their networks. Special steps must be taken to avoid traffic congestion in IP networks, which can occur when traffic reaches a point where routers run out of buffer space and are forced to drop some IP packets, which happens at random.

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