July 25, 2021

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All operators lag behind at Four-G speeds, improvements in call drop: survey

The fact that the speed of mobile internet in the capital is low came up in the survey of the regulatory body. The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has found that customers in Dhaka are getting 4 to 4 Mbps internet speed on fourth generation Internet service (Four-G). However, according to the standards set by the BTRC, customers should be given a minimum of 8 Mbps speed internet.

BTRC released a survey report on the quality of mobile phone service on Wednesday. This brings up the image of this downward movement. However, in other cases, private mobile phone operators have gone north. Except for the government operator Teletalk.

The survey was conducted in two city corporation areas of Dhaka. Tests or drive tests are conducted from January 23 to February 8. It verifies whether the operators are serving the customers as per the rules issued by BTRC in 2016.

According to the survey, Grameenphone and Robi are equal in terms of download speed in 4G, 5.62 Mbps (megabits per second). The speed of Banglaling is 4.94 Mbps and that of Teletalk is 2.62 Mbps. The BTRC’s service standards state that download speeds on the Four-G service must be a minimum of 8 Mbps. That is, in this case no one could meet the conditions.

Four-win uploads require more than one Mbps speed. According to the BTRC survey, the operators are far ahead in this regard. Grameenphone 10, Robi 12.79, Banglalink 10.72 and Teletalk 4.52 Mbps.

In the case of third generation Internet service (3G), the other three operators, except Teletalk, are providing better service than the prescribed standard. In this case, the minimum speed set by BTRC is more than 2 Mbps. Grameenphone’s speed is 3.96 Mbps, Robi 4’s slightly higher, Banglalink’s 3.99 and Teletalk’s 1.74 Mbps. In other words, in this case, Robi is ahead of everyone.

Customers of all operators are getting good speed in case of three-win uploads. Grameenphone has a speed of 7.84 Mbps, Robi 9.43, Banglaling 8.45 and Teletalk 2.31 Mbps.

Within the calldrop range

The BTRC test revealed that the call drop rates of the four operators were within the prescribed limits. Grameenphone has the lowest call drop rate at zero point 16 percent. Then there are Banglalink zero point 31, Robi zero point 36 and Teletalk 1.31 percent. According to the service quality rules, the call drop rate cannot be more than 2 percent.

All the operators are also in a good position in terms of connection success. Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink have been able to maintain the quality of call connection time. Only Teletalk could not.

What is the improvement

BTRC conducted such test in December 2016. Compared to the tests then, the call drop situation has improved. But not in the case of internet speed.

According to the survey, Grameenphone’s call drop rate was 3.38 percent, which is now much lower. However, the call drop of Robi, Banglalink and Teletalk was earlier within the limits of BTRC. Even in the 2016 survey, the download speed of Four-G was less than 8 Mbps for all operators.

Operators have been saying that the speed of the Internet does not depend only on the operator. For this, there are some other issues including tower company, fiber optic cable, waves.

In a statement issued by Prothom Alo on the quality of service, Grameenphone said today that their call drop rate is now zero point 16 percent. To ensure a better customer experience, Grameenphone is working on network modernization, installation of new towers, use of additional waves and optical fiber optics. But in various development works, fiber is often cut.

Robi Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer Shahed Alam told Prothom Alo, “We think the average speed of mobile internet in the drive test conducted by BTRC is good enough. Because 3 Mbps speed is enough to watch an HD quality video on a mobile internet or any other necessary work, an average speed of 5.6 Mbps is enough to meet the needs of the customers.

He said, ‘For a faster mobile internet experience, Bangladesh needs to have at least 80 to 100 MHz radio waves per operator. Most of our sites or BTS are not yet connected by fiber network. In addition, not all customers have a standard device yet, which is very important to get the best experience using the Internet.

Bangladesh’s position in the world

A picture of Bangladesh’s position on the speed of the Internet on mobile phones is available from the US-based organization Oklar, which publishes comparative images by checking the speed of the Internet in different countries every month. As of last December, Bangladesh was ranked 135th in the world in terms of speed. They account for a total of 139 countries.

BTRC has recently auctioned waves to enhance the quality of service. Three operators Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink will start using the new wave early next month. On the other hand, there is a complication between the tower company and the operator regarding the installation of the tower. Work is underway to install the tower.

BTRC Deputy Director (Media) Zakir Hossain Khan told Prothom Alo that the commission is conducting tests across the country to ensure quality of customer service. Once the overall picture emerges, the commission will decide what action can be taken against the operators who fail to ensure quality.