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SUTEL evaluates the Quality of Fixed and Mobile Services in Costa Rica with MedUX

Published on January 13, 2021

Main results of the quality of fixed and mobile Internet access services in Costa Rica

This past year, the importance of telecommunications networks in our daily lives has become evident, now more than ever. With this, the need for companies to understand and evaluate the quality of their telecommunications networks, both fixed and mobile, increases, as well as the perception that users have when using increasingly complex digital services.

Achieving a satisfactory user experience on the Internet is becoming a global priority. The Superintendency of Telecommunications (SUTEL) of Costa Rica has recently published the results of the evaluation of the quality of service, fixed Internet and Internet and mobile telephony, offered by the main operators in the country during 2019.

“This information is very useful for users, as it allows them to have elements of judgment when hiring a service. In addition, it forces the operators to continue improving the quality of the service”, explained Federico Chacón Loaiza, president of the SUTEL Council. The Costa Rican regulator has based these results on millions of tests carried out by the MedUX measurement devices, distributed in different strategic areas of the country. This has allowed the evaluation at the national level of the quality of both fixed and mobile services, obtaining relevant information on the quality of the real experience that the end user receives.

Costa Rican operators comply with the Quality of Fixed Internet Services

The report presents an assessment of the status and performance of fixed networks in homes based on key indicators to determine the quality of service: the percentage of compliance with the speed of uploading and downloading information, with respect to that contracted by the user; and the network response time or delay (also called latency).

According to the results, obtained from 114 million measurements carried out between July and December 2019, the four operators evaluated (Cabletica, ICE, Telecable and Tigo) in general terms far exceed the minimum quality standards for residential Internet service in the country.

From this report it can be extracted that the 4 operators do not reach or exceed the maximum regulatory threshold of 50 milliseconds of average delay , neither through local nor international routes. It should be noted that the results of this indicator are better the lower the numerical indicator.

Figure 1: Average local delay per operator for Internet access service, 2019 (milliseconds)
Figura 1: Retardo local promedio por operador para el servicio de acceso a Internet, 2019
Source: SUTEL

In addition, as the following graph shows, the 4 evaluated services comply, in more than 80% (regulatory threshold), with the performance of the average download speed contracted by users for the fixed Internet access service.

Figure 2: Average download speed performance by operator for fixed Internet access service, 2019 (%)
Desempeño de la velocidad de descarga promedio por operador para el servicio de acceso a Internet fijo, 2019.
Source: SUTEL

The same is true for compliance with average upload speed  performance , with some operators reaching 100% compliance rate (in this case, the regulatory threshold is also 80%).

Figure 3: Performance of the average transmission speed by operator for the fixed Internet access service, 2019 (%)
Desempeño de la velocidad de envío promedio por operador para el servicio de acceso a Internet fijo, 2019
Fuente: SUTEL


How is the quality of mobile phone and Internet service in Costa Rica?

Likewise, SUTEL has carried out a study to present the results of the evaluation of mobile networks in Costa Rica, based on 6 key indicators that determine the quality of service, both for telephony and Internet.

The results, obtained from 42 million measurements carried out between June and December 2019, make up a general analysis of the service provided by the Costa Rican operators (Claro, Kölbi (ICE) and Movistar (Telefónica)) for the 2G, 3G and 4G.

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

Mobile Service Coverage Area

The report presents the results of coverage accuracy at the national level by operator for the 3 technologies mentioned above. The regulation of Provision and Quality of Services of Costa Rica places the minimum threshold established in a percentage of coverage area greater than or equal to 90%, therefore, the higher the percentage of coverage, the greater the precision.

According to the results, for 3G technology, the coverage area percentage (coverage accuracy) of some operators exceeded the threshold set in 2019.

Figure 4: Percentage of coverage area with respect to the threshold (90%) for the 3G network by operator, 2019 (%)
Figura 4: Porcentaje de área de cobertura respecto del umbral (90%) para la red 3G por operador, 2019
Source: SUTEL


Unsuccessful calls, call establishment, and voice quality for the 3G network

The "unsuccessful calls" variable evaluates the accessibility of the mobile telephone service, counting the number of unsuccessful calls with respect to the total number of valid call attempts.

In this case, the threshold established for 2019 is less than 3.5% of unsuccessful calls, according to the Regulations for the provision and quality of services in force in that period.

For the 3G network, the percentage of unsuccessful calls from some operators remained below the set threshold, offering a good user experience when trying to make a call.

Figure 5: Percentage of unsuccessful calls against the threshold for the 3G network, 2019
Figura 5: Porcentaje de llamadas no exitosas respecto del umbral para la red 3G, 2019.
Source: SUTEL


For the percentage of dropped calls in the 3G network, the operators exceeded the maximum threshold, set at 2%. This indicator evaluates call retention, accounting for incoming and outgoing calls, which are successfully established, but are dropped early due to the operator's network.

On the other hand, for the "call set-up time" and "voice quality" indicators in the 3G network, the three telephone companies exceeded the minimum percentage requested by the regulator.

For the call set-up time, a compliance threshold of less than 8 seconds was set. As can be seen in the graph, all the operators meet the threshold, with the establishment time being less than 8 seconds.


Figure 6: Call setup time over threshold (8 seconds) for 3G network, 2019
Figura 6: Tiempo de establecimiento de llamada
Source: SUTEL

Data transfer speed compliance with the contracted speed Cumplimiento de velocidad de transferencia de datos con la velocidad contratada.

This indicator evaluates the speed contracted by the user and the average speed received. The minimum threshold that companies must meet in their 3G networks is 50%, and in this case, the 3 operators exceed the threshold.

Figure 7: Average Download Speed ​​Performance Against 3G Threshold, 2019
Figura 7: Desempeño promedio de la velocidad de descarga respecto del umbral para 3G, 2019
Source: SUTEL

 For 4G technology, whose regulatory threshold is 60%, the three operators met the requirements in 2019.

Figure 8: Evolution of the average performance of the download speed with respect to the threshold for 4G
Figura 8: Evolución del desempeño promedio de la velocidad de descarga respecto del umbral para 4G
Ssource: SUTEL

Users are increasingly demanding, which is a challenge for operators, who must continue to invest in technologies that allow them to offer quality services and the best possible experience, appropriate to their needs and demands.

At MedUX we offer tools that help telecommunications operators to guarantee a constant improvement in the Quality of Experience and Quality of Service of their fixed and mobile networks, based on information and data extracted from the real perspective of the end user, offering a complete vision about the status of your services, and how your customers perceive them to facilitate the rapid detection of problems.

MedUX offers innovative solutions for the telecommunications industry to face these new challenges, allowing our clients to assess the quality of the services offered and promote user empowerment while complying with regulatory requirements. If you need more information about our solutions, contact us at hello@medux.com.


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