The maiden National Communications Authority (NCA) monitoring of Quality of Service of mobile data services at Upper East and Upper West regions has put MTN ahead in terms of data speed.
The NCA measured four main mobile data service QoS indicators, namely Data Access Time (DAT), Data Access Success Rate (DASR), Data Drop Rate (DDR) and Throughput (speed), which are the QoS obligations under the 3G Cellular Mobile license and National Broadband policy.
DAT is the response time of accessing the data service when requested; DASR is the probability of success in connecting to a public server; DDR is the probability of drop in connection to public server without end user’s intervention and Throughput (speed) is the rate of data transfer.
The monitoring, conducted in the month of July 2015, covered the mobile data 2G and 3G services of MTN, Vodafone, Tigo, Airtel and Glo within the two regional capitals in northern Ghana.
The results showed that out of five locations where data speeds (throughput) was measured in Bolgatanga, market leader MTN exceeded the 1mbps target in as many as four locations and fell short in only one. In one case it scored as high as 1.5mbps.
Vodafone came second by crossing the target in three locations, followed by Tigo with success in one location. Glo and Airtel failed in all five locations.
At Wa, mobile data speed was measured in five locations; MTN exceeded the target in three locations, and Tigo did so in one location. The rest fell short of the target in all five locations.
Overall, Airtel, which boasts of being the best smartphone network, failed in most locations as far as data speed is concerned.
Vodafone has also been running a campaign claiming to have the best data speed in the country. Its claim is hinged on what it described as an independent study commissioned by its mother company, Vodafone Group, and conducted by UK-based P3 Communications.
Vodafone has not published the evidence of its claim, but the NCA report clearly runs contrary to Vodafone's claim on data speeds, at least in the two capital cities of the Upper regions.
On Data Access Time, all Operators except Tigo were in compliance of the threshold of less than five (5) seconds in Bolgatanga, whereas Vodafone and Tigo recorded failures in Wa.
Again, all operators were in compliance with the licence threshold of less than one percent (1%) Data Drop Rate in both Bolgatanga and Wa.
All Operators except Tigo were in compliance of the Data Access Success Rate of ninety-five percent in Bolgatanga, whereas Airtel and Tigo have high access failures at Wa.
According to the NCA, the monitoring simulated consumers’ experience of the data services in the two Upper regions of the country, and the results were intended to contribute to ensuring compliance of operators to their obligations on data service quality in the country.
The NCA said it has therefore notified all Operators of publication of its findings and cautioned them to improve performance by December 2015.
"The Authority is currently conducting the quality of data service monitoring in other regions and the results will be published in due course," it said.