Measuring mobile voice and data quality of experience

Start: 23 January 2013 Status: Closed End: 01 April 2013

1.1 Consumers and citizens are growing increasingly dependent on mobile networks to make phone calls and access data services. The performance of these networks can vary between operators, by location and time of day and may not always meet the expectations of consumers. In this document we use the phrase 'quality of experience' ('QoE') to describe the technical performance of the services delivered to consumers.

1.2 As an economic and competition regulator Ofcom primarily relies on market mechanisms to drive performance improvements in networks (thereby improving QoE). However, the market can only operate effectively when consumers are able to compare the quality of the services on offer and this in-turn requires the availability of accurate and comparable QoE information.

1.3 For fixed broadband services, Ofcom has, for several years, collected information on broadband speeds. This information has enabled consumers to improve their purchasing decisions, and appears to have driven improvements in service quality by operators. In this Call for Input, we wish to explore whether there is similar information that we might provide in the mobile arena. Specifically, we want to identify what network and/or service performance information Ofcom could gather which accurately reflects the consumer QoE and which we could publish in a way that would assist consumers in making informed choices about the mobile service they purchase.

1.4 We are seeking views from all interested stakeholders on:

  • What information would be valuable to consumers when purchasing mobile services;
  • What data would be required to produce this consumer information, and
  • How we could best collect it.

1.5 Alongside this Call for Input, where appropriate, we will seek to engage directly with the mobile network operators to ensure that any other relevant information can be taken into account.

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