Not only price - transparent quality of service indicators - UKE

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Not only price - transparent quality of service indicators

Telefon komórkowy
The President of the Office of Electronic Communications presents her final report on the outcome of work on identification of quality of service indicators as part of the Memorandum for improving the quality of telecommunications services. The measurements on the operators' networks will commence based on this report.


The Memorandum concluded on the initiative of Magdalena Gaj, the President of the Office of Electronic Communications, was joined by 44 entities in total. All parties committed themselves to jointly strive for ensuring reliable and comparable information about quality of service (QoS) indicators for consumers. The attached final report is a document drawn jointly and agreed between the Memorandum Leader (the President of UKE) and Signatories.

The work was intended to identify a list of quality of service indicators and to define them in detail, as well as to identify a method of objective measurements and to establish rules for publication of measurements results and submission to the President of UKE. Different options for handling mobile network measurements were analysed, including selection of an independent entity to carry out such measurements, and for financing the measurements costs.

The idea of signing the Memorandum is consistent with the Regulatory Strategy of the President of UKE published in 2012, which listed consumer empowerment and ensuring the required level of telecommunications services quality as one of its objectives. The initiative is a milestone that stands out against the European background because such sensitive issues were agreed upon by way of co-regulation, i.e. voluntary agreement with the market.

- For me as the regulator it is important that we have reached this agreement in the co-regulation process. The operators have come to the conclusion that this solution is beneficial also for them. On the one hand Poles will be able to better choose their operators, on the other I believe that such information will encourage provides to take care of the quality - Magdalena Gaj stressed.

The operators will have the obligation to publish up-to-date results of measurements on their networks and to submit them to the President of UKE. As part of the Memorandum the presentation method of information about the quality of service indicators was defined. Each user will be able to view information in a transparent table, and in the future also in the form of a comparison tool.

The outcomes of the Memorandum team members' work are in a way a new opening for the market: - The consumer will obtain better quality services, which will be verified in a very transparent manner. Today each food product has precise information about calories and all ingredients on its label. At last we are going to have the same for the Internet and telephone calls - it will be possible to know the real service parameters at any place or time - Magdalena Gaj adds.

The activities within the framework of the Memorandum are also in line with the current proceedings of the BEREC and CEPT working groups and UKE work results provide a unique example of practical implementation of the guidelines developed by these bodies.

What we are going to experience in effect of the Memorandum, corresponds perfectly with the situation in other markets:
  • Labels on food products. Consumers have the right to know what quality of service they are purchasing as in the food market. Today each yoghurt or hamburger has precise information on the calories and all ingredients on its package. We are going to have the same now for the Internet and telephone calls - it will be possible to know the real service parameters at any place or time.
  • Car crash tests. Car adverts frequently refer to "NCAP five stars". It is worth pointing out that these are lab tests and the average person has no possibility to verify their results, while the telecommunications services will be tested under real circumstances.
  • Real percentage rate in loans. Our agreement will cause that as with 0% instalments clarifications were provided as to the real percentage rate and actual total loan costs, the consumers will be able now to verify real Internet speed at the place chosen by them.

Quality of service indicators

Special emphasis was put on what is most relevant to the users, i.e. transparency of quality of service indicators which are based on consistent definitions and measurement methods.

The criteria of accessibility for an average consumer and usefulness in the choice of a service provider formed the basis for developing definitions of particular indicators, their selection and type. The President of UKE and the Signatories have agreed that the optimal set of quality of service indicators should include administrative and technical indicators.

Administrative indicators refer to customer service provided by the service provider with respect to contacts with the service provider staff and bill correctness. Technical indicators refer to voice services and Internet access. Finally, as part of the Memorandum, 8 quality of service indicators were jointly developed, including 2 administrative and 6 technical indicators. These are:

1.  Administrative indicators:
  • Average response time for operator services;
  • Bill correctness rate;

2. Technical indicators:

For telephone services:

in fixed-line networks:
  • Efficiency of telephone calls;
in mobile networks:
  • Efficiency of telephone calls;
  • Interrupted calls rate;
  • Quality of speech;
For Internet access services:
  • Data transmission speed;
  • Delays in data packets.

Threshold values were adopted for individual indicators as well as graphically consistent and user-friendly presentation methods ensuring that subscribers have transparent, up-to-date and comparable information about the quality of specific services. The following threshold values were adopted for individual indicators:


Range for good quality

Range for satisfactory quality

Range for poor quality

Average response time for

operator services;

  <= 60 s

Longer than 60s

but shorter than 120s

120s or more

Bill correctness rate

 Above 97.5%

 from 95.1 to 97.5% inclusive

 Below 95.1%

Efficiency of telephone calls

 Above 98%

 from 95 to 98% inclusive

 Below 95%

Interrupted calls rate

 Below 2%

 from 2 to 5% inclusive

 Above 5%

Quality of speech

 Above 90%

 from 80 to 90% inclusive

 Below 80%

Measurements of data transmission speed

The hottest issue discussed by the Memorandum signatories included indicators relating to Internet access services, i.e. data transmission speed and delays in packet transmission. It was concluded that consumers should have the possibility to check the quality of this service for particular applications they are using as part of Internet access.

Therefore in this case a more detailed division of indicators was made and most common applications were arranged in groups with threshold values defined for the transmission speed and delay allowing uninterrupted use of these applications.

Below you will find a list of services with assigned threshold values for data transmission speed and delay:

Group of applications

Transmission speed not lower than:

Delay not greater than:

WWW browsing

 1 Mb/s DL

 200 ms

SD videos watching

 2 Mb/s DL

 200 ms

HD videos watching

 6 Mb/s DL

 200 ms

HD video talks

 1.5 Mb/s DL and UL

 150 ms

VoIP telephony

 64 kb/s DL and UL

 150 ms

Multiroom services (3x HD video)

 18 Mb/s DL

 200 ms

On-line real time games

 2 Mb/s DL and 1.5 Mb/s UL

 30 ms

Other on-line games

 1 Mb/s DL and UL

 200 ms

* DL - downlink; UL - uplink.

As agreed within the framework of the Memorandum, depending on the percentage share of samples complying with the minimum criteria for a specific group of applications, the Internet access service will be classified according to the table below:


Result of classification of samples for a specific group of applications



Below 70%

 Poor quality

From 70 to 90%

 Satisfactory quality

Above 90%

 Good quality

To depict the above classification, let's quote an example in which a given sample contains the following results: downlink speed - 4 Mb/s, uplink speed - 680 Kb/s and delay - 90 ms.

This results enables the sample to be qualified as positive for the following applications: WWW browsing, SD videos watching, VoIP telephony. However, the sample is classified as negative for the following applications: HD video watching (failure to meet the speed parameter), Multiroom (failure to meet the speed parameter) and on-line games (failure to meet the speed and delay parameters).

In case only one of the above threshold values is not met, a given sample should be qualified as negative.

Rules for measurements in mobile networks

One of the objectives defined in the Memorandum is to ensure comparability of measurement results. For this purpose the following rules on mobile network measurements were adopted:
  • Simultaneity - tests (measurements) are conducted at the same time, using the same measurement unit or units in parallel for all operators and all measured services;
  • The area and time of measurements is the same for all operators;
  • Measurements will be conducted by an independent entity;
  • Measurement campaigns will be conducted periodically, in accordance with the adopted reporting period;
  • The President of UKE has a monitoring and supervisory functions.

In order to launch measurement campaigns and further operations a Steering Committee for Mobile Network Measurements will be established. It will be composed of telecommunications undertakings affected by the measurements and the Office of Electronic Communications on equal footing.

The choice of a measurement route should take account of population distribution patterns, traffic patterns and the area of service provision. The minimum duration of the measurement campaign is 800 hours. At least 80% of the measurements will be conducted in motion and the measurements will be conducted for the following categories of areas:
  • large urban areas - 6 largest cities in Poland and cities within Upper Silesia Industrial District and Tricity,
  • towns - towns with at least 50,000 inhabitants, excluding large urban areas,
  • highways - sections of domestic highways outside administrative borders of large urban areas and towns.

Publication of measurement results

The telecommunications undertakings will have the obligation to publish up-to-date results of quality of service measurements for their networks. The UKE website will contain summarised benchmarks of quality of service indicators for particular reporting periods submitted by telecommunications undertakings.

The first measurement campaign will start in 2014 and service providers who have joined the Memorandum will submit the results of quality of service measurements to UKE twice per calendar year.

* * *

On 26 October 2012, a Memorandum on cooperation for improvement of the quality of services available in the telecommunications market was signed on the initiative of Magdalena Gaj, the President of the Office of Electronic Communications. The Memorandum, in addition to the President of UKE, was signed by the undertakings active in the telecommunications market, representatives of industry chambers and scientific institutions (44 Signatories in total by now). The text of the Memorandum is available in the attachment.

The Memorandum Signatories worked in a Working Team and in three thematic Working Groups: Working Group on Technical Indicators, Working Group on Administrative Indicators and Working Group for Organizational and Legal Issues. In total, 40 meetings of working groups were held. Detailed information on the progress of work is available in the section on Internet Quality.

The Memorandum Signatories showed huge engagement during their work on the working groups, using their experience and specialist knowledge of solutions available for quality of service measurements, also based on other countries' experience. At the same time UKE prepared the publication on the quality of service measurement methods applied in the German and British markets.

The Memorandum is open to all interested parties and unlimited in time - every telecommunications undertaking may at any time join the initiative of the President of UKE and the Signatories, committing themselves to apply the solutions and standards agreed for the benefit of subscribers and their own companies.

The final report is addressed not only to the Memorandum Signatories. The document is public and the solutions therein may be used also by other telecommunications undertakings when elaborating their own quality of service measurement systems.

The undertakings wishing to join the Memorandum and to benefit from it should submit a declaration to the President of UKE - in what extent and when they intend to commence measurements and publish their first results.

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    The President of the Office of Electronic Communications (President of UKE) is the national regulatory authority for the market of telecommunications and postal services. The President of UKE is also the specialised authority in the area of equipment conformity assessment, including telecommunications terminal equipment and radio equipment.

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