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The quality of telecommunications services in Costa Rica remains stable during COVID-19

Published on November 4, 2021
Quality_of_Telecommunication

Since March 2020, the importance of the Internet, service quality, and the stability of telecommunications networks for business productivity and continuity worldwide has been evident. The Superintendence of Telecommunications (SUTEL) of Costa Rica has recently published the results of the National Evaluation of fixed and mobile telecommunications services during 2020, which gathers information about the quality of fixed and mobile networks and Internet services throughout the country.

The results of network measurements carried out by SUTEL between January 1 and December 31, 2020, using MedUX measurement robots, confirm that the efforts of the country's telecommunications operators to ensure sufficient network capacity during the most critical moments and to prevent users from being affected by increased traffic have been satisfactory.

"The measures taken in 2020, such as increasing connectivity capacity at the local traffic exchange point (IXP) and international capacity, to cope with an increase of 40% in network traffic, were successful and ensured the sustainability of the service," explained Federico Chacón Loaiza, President of the SUTEL Council.

Key findings regarding the quality of fixed Internet access services in Costa Rica during 2020 by SUTEL - National Evaluation of Fixed Internet Service during 2020

During 2020, there was an increase of 40% in fixed telecommunications network traffic in Costa Rica, mainly due to the measures taken as a result of COVID-19, such as telecommuting or remote education. SUTEL of Costa Rica has published the results of the National Evaluation of Fixed Internet Service during 2020, which provides information about the quality of Internet service offered by the country's main operators: Cabletica, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Telecable, and Tigo.

In 2019, Costa Rican operators already exceeded the minimum quality standards for residential Internet service in the country, and this past year was no exception, as the quality of fixed networks remained stable to support users' connectivity needs.

Performance of download speed for fixed Internet access service

From this report, it can be concluded that all operators meet the minimum values established for download speed, reaching an average of 80% of the minimum threshold allowed. Tigo is the operator that offers 100% of the contracted speed throughout the day.

Desempeño de la velocidad de descarga media por operador en Costa Rica para el servicio de acceso a Internet fijo, 2020
Average download speed performance by operator for fixed Internet access service, 2020

Performance of upload speed through international links

Regarding the information upload speed, the measurement results show that on average nationwide, all four operators exceed the regulatory threshold set by SUTEL of 80%, with ICE having the highest upload speed.

Desempeño de la velocidad de envío promedio por operador en Costa Rica a través de enlaces internacionales, para 2020
Average upload speed performance by operator through international links, for 2020

Local Latency

Local latency, which is the response time of the networks measured in milliseconds (ms), from the moment the user makes a query on the web until they receive a response, was also evaluated. The results of this indicator are better when the numerical value is lower, and in this case, the operators also comply with regulatory requirements that local latency be below 50 ms.

Retardo local promedio por operador para el servicio de acceso a Internet en Costa Rica, 2020 (cifras en milisegundos)
Average local latency by operator for Internet access service, 2020 (figures in milliseconds)

International latency

International latency, which is evaluated against a measurement server located outside the national territory, at one of the world's main Internet exchange points (IXP) in Miami, USA, also shows favorable values: on average, Cabletica, ICE, Telecable, and Tigo all have international latency below 150 ms.

Retardo internacional promedio por operador para el servicio de acceso a Internet fijo en Costa Rica, 2020 (cifras en milisegundos ms)
Average international latency by operator for fixed Internet access service, 2020 (figures in milliseconds)

The Costa Rican regulator has obtained these results based on millions of tests performed by our MedUX HOME measurement probes, randomly distributed in households across the 7 provinces of the country. This has allowed for the evaluation of the quality of residential services, representative of nationwide Internet access.

In the comprehensive report recently published by SUTEL, the most relevant aspects of the key performance indicators used in the evaluation of service quality are described in detail, as well as the results disaggregated by province.

Key findings on the quality of mobile Internet access services in Costa Rica during 2020 by SUTEL - National Evaluation of Mobile Internet Service during 2020

Similarly, SUTEL has also conducted a study to present the results of the evaluation of mobile networks in Costa Rica, based on 7 key indicators that determine service quality for both telephony and Internet.

The results, obtained from measurements taken between January and December 2020, provide an overall analysis of the service provided by Costa Rican operators: Claro CR, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), and Telefónica for 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.

SUTEL has used our MedUX MOBILE devices for its measurements, distributed in vehicles conducting 24/7 tests at random points, known as drive tests, and simultaneously collecting information on the quality offered by operators in different areas of the country. Some of the parameters evaluated in the study include:

 

Mobile service coverage (3G and 4G)

This indicator verifies the signal strength obtained, comparing it with the levels reported and offered by operators on their websites. For 3G, the operators ICE and Telefónica meet the regulatory threshold of 90% set by the regulator.

Compliance with Coverage Area (coverage accuracy) for 3G network, 2020 (figures in percentages)

For 4G, Telefónica also meets the regulatory threshold with 98.1% in 2020. 

Cumplimiento del Área de Cobertura (precisión de cobertura) de la red 4G, 2015-2020 (cifras en porcentajes)
Compliance with Coverage Area (coverage accuracy) for 4G network, 2015-2020 (figures in percentages)
Dropped Calls (3G)

The "dropped calls" indicator shows the percentage of ongoing calls that lose connection due to issues in the operator's 3G network. The lower the percentage, the better the results. In this case, Telefónica meets the regulatory threshold set by the regulator of 2%

Porcentaje llamadas interrumpidas por operador para el servicio de telefonía móvil a través de la red 3G, 2020 (cifras en porcentajes)
Percentage of unsuccessful calls by operator for mobile telephony service through the 3G network, 2020 (figures in percentages)
Percentage of unsuccessful calls (3G)

Shows the percentage of calls that fail to establish a connection when initiating the call on the operator's 3G network. The lower the percentage, the better the results. For 3G technology, the ICE and Telefónica operators meet the regulatory threshold set by SUTEL of 3% for the 2020 period.

Porcentaje llamadas no exitosas por operador para el servicio de telefonía móvil a través de la red 3G, 2020 (cifras en porcentajes)
Percentage of unsuccessful calls by operator for the mobile telephony service through the 3G network, 2020 (figures in percentages)
Average download speed (3G)

The results obtained from the percentage of average performance of the measured download speed with respect to the provisioned speed for 3G technology, show, on average for the entire country, that the operators Claro and ICE exceed the regulatory threshold of 60%.

Resultado promedio por operador de la relación entre la velocidad de descarga y la velocidad contratada para la red 3G, 2020 (cifras en porcentajes)
Average result by operator of the relationship between the download speed and contracted speed for the 3G network, 2020 (figures in percentages)

Average Sending Speed ​​(3G)

For the average performance indicator of the measured sending speed with respect to the provisioned speed for 3G technology, the three operators, Claro, ICE, and Telefónica, exceed the regulatory threshold of 60% established by the regulator.

Resultado promedio por operador de la relación entre la velocidad de envío y la velocidad contratada para la red 3G, 2020 (cifras en porcentajes)
Average result by operator of the relationship between the speed of sending and the speed contracted for the 3G network, 2020 (figures in percentages)
 

MedUX offers tools that help telecommunications operators, and in this case regulators, to guarantee a constant improvement in the Quality of Experience and Quality of Service of fixed and mobile telecommunications networks, based on information and data extracted from the end user perspective. This allows telecom operators to monitor the REAL user experience and have a complete view of the status of their services, as well as identify and resolve end-to-end quality of service and network issues.

MedUX offers innovative solutions for the telecommunications industry in the face of the new challenges that the pandemic situation has brought us, allowing our clients to assess the quality of the services offered and promote the empowerment of users while complying with regulatory requirements. If you found the SUTEL study based on our information interesting and you need more information about our solutions and services, contact us at hello@medux.com.

 

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