While levying a punishment of Rs. 0.2 million on Zong, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority PTA Warns Jazz and Zong to meet the Quality of Service (QoS) criteria in line with the applicable regulatory framework.
The decision was made against Pakistan Mobile Communication Limited, also known as Jazz, and China Mobile Pakistan Limited by a panel that included PTA Chairman Amir Azeem Bajwa and Member Compliance and Enforcement Dr. Khawaja Siddiqui Khokhar (Zong).
Both operators received show-cause letters from the authority for “failure to achieve or surpass QoS criteria as provided out in the license and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)”.
Zong QoS Performance
To evaluate Zong’s QoS performance, a joint survey was carried out between October 26 and October 27, 2020, at Warsak & Charsadda Roads in Peshawar.
The assessment revealed that the call connection time at Warsak Road and the 4G/LTE signal strength at Charsadda Road were both below the licensing criteria.
The licensee was informed of the survey results in a letter dated October 29, 2020. PTA Warns Jazz and Zong the licensee was then instructed to improve the services to meet licensing standards that include the area in the 4G/LTE future rollout plan. The licensee was also required to submit a compliance report by November 20, 2020. However, in response to the licensee’s statement, PTA conducted an independent survey in the aforementioned areas, and it was found that, in contrast to the licensee’s assertion, certain of the QoS KPIs consistently fell below the minimum requirements outlined in the license.
As a result of the QoS results not meeting the requirements of the license conditions and QoS Regulations, a show-cause notice (SCN) pursuant to section 23 of the Act was issued on January 17, 2022. The licensee was required to remedy the violation by establishing and maintaining the necessary standards of quality of service within fifteen (15) days and to provide a written justification within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the SCN.
The establishment, upkeep, and operation of telecommunication systems as well as the delivery of telecommunication services in Pakistan are subject to regulation by the Authority under the Act. The Authority is also given the authority to enforce and oversee the licenses under section 5(2)(b) of the Act. Pursuant to the license granted by the Authority, the licensee is obligated to satisfy the requirement of quality-of-service standards as stipulated in the license and regulations.
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Regarding the licensee’s claim that a unilateral survey was conducted, it is made clear that a joint survey was conducted in this case, and any shortcomings were discussed with the licensee in accordance with the survey report. The licensee was obligated to upgrade the services to license-compliant levels and incorporate the affected regions into the future rollout plan for 4G/LTE. The licensee responded that it had improved and was now adhering to the necessary KPIs for QoS.
The Authority conducted a separate poll to confirm the licensee’s assertion. An impartial survey study revealed that the QoS standards fell short of the necessary KPIs. According to license condition No. 6.5.l, the licensee must constantly achieve or surpass the Quality-of-Service requirements set out in the license’s Appendix-Ill and QoS Regulations.
On April 26, 2022, the Authority once more conducted an independent re-verification QoS at Warsak and Charasadda Roads in Peshawar after giving a fair opportunity for a hearing. During the study, it was found that the licensee’s voice and data services were good at Warsak Road, with the exception of the SMS success rate, however, voice and data services at Charsadda Road were found to be subpar.
The Authority came to the conclusion that the KPIs for voice and data services at Charsadda Road, Peshawar, were recognized as poorly graded despite extending every period feasible to enhance the QoS of licensed services in compliance with the applicable legislative regulatory framework. As a result of the licensee’s failure to comply with the necessary requirements, a fine in the amount of Rs. 200,000 was imposed on him with the instruction to pay it within a week of receiving this order. If the licensee doesn’t follow the aforementioned rules, legal action will be taken against them in accordance with the law.Jazz QoS Performance
To evaluate Jazz’s QoS performance, a joint survey was run from October 26 to October 27, 2020, in Warsak & Charsadda Roads, Peshawar.
The study discovered that the license requirements were not met for the 4G/LTE signal strength, service accessibility, or call completion percentage.
In order to upgrade the services to licensing criteria and include the region in the next 4G/LTE rollout plan, the licensee was informed of the survey findings by letter dated October 29, 2020. The licensee was obliged to deliver a compliance report by November 20, 2020.
In response, the licensee explained the deficiencies/degradation in QoS and stated that an approximate 6-kilometer patch is not covered owing to the non-availability of the LTE layer on two sites and that the same is intended to be improved in 2021.
PTA Warns Jazz and Zong In response to the Jazz’s answer, an independent follow-up survey was conducted at the aforementioned locations where it was discovered that, in contrast to the licensee’s assertion, several of the QoS KPIs consistently fall short of the requirements outlined in the license.
A show-cause notice (SCN) under section 23 of the Act was issued on January 17, 2022, requiring the licensee to remedy the violation by establishing and maintaining the necessary standards of quality of service within fifteen (15) days and to provide a written justification within thirty (30) days of the SCN’s issuance because the aforementioned QoS results were outside the bounds of the license conditions and QoS Regulations.
On January 18, 2022, after receiving SCN, the licensee performed driving tests of the specified region once more and discovered no abnormality or shortcoming in this respect along the survey route. Instead, it was determined that the CSSR, MOS, and RSRP 4G met licensing requirements. According to survey findings, there is no shortcoming or KPI violation as claimed in the aforementioned notification.