Nepal Telecommunication Authority, the governing body of telecommunications conducts quality tests of mobile service providers regularly. If you’re not aware, then, it’s not really a big deal. The test used to take place within Kathmandu only. But now, it has been expanded to some other places as well. The new places for these tests are Bhaktapur, Pokhara, Baglung and Prithvi Highway.
The test is called a Drive Test, where a successful call connection setup and the probability of disconnecting during a call (call drop) are tested. Successful connection test requires high numbers, i.e. the higher the better. Whereas, a call drop test requires less, i.e. lesser the better. And this time, Nepal Telecommunication (NTC), NCell and Smart Cell were tested. In these tests, Smart Cell fared the worst, while the other two big players couldn’t keep up either.
In Bhaktapur too, Smart Cell fares the worst. In terms of the probability of a successful connection, it managed to get only 69.52%. NCell managed 95.14% whereas NTC scored 93.48%.
In Pokhara, all the companies passed the call drop/disconnection benchmark test, which is a sigh of relief. But then again, none of them managed to pass the other test of setting a successful connection within the allocated time frame. Here, too, Smart Cell did the worst, but the score highly improved. It managed to get around 92.86%, while NCell scored 95.71% and NTC nearly managed to pass with 98.71%.
As for Prithvi Highway, services of only NTC and NCell could be tested, as Smart Cell has yet to expand its services in that area. In the connection setup criteria, NCell scored 75.04% whereas NTC managed 83.47%. Similarly, in the connection failure test, NCell managed 8.25% while NTC scored 6.93%.
So, that is how the service of major telecommunication bodies in the country. Smart Cell is relatively new in Nepal, so, maybe we can give it the benefit of the doubt, but the other two giant players have yet to improve their services. Or do you think NTA has set the benchmark too high for a country like ours?