The National Independent Wireless Broadband Quality Report (NIWBQR), which conducted the study, is an independent body that specialises in providing national broadband quality of experience report on mobile wireless communication services in Nigeria. An offshoot of Enextgen Wireless Ltd, NIWBQR uses its proprietary methods to rank service providers according to the quality of wireless broadband service experienced in their networks.
NIWBQR said the research it conducted examined the quality of experience as well as the technical quality of the 4G networks in Lagos, and announced that Globacom’s 4G LTE services came tops at the end of the review, followed by Smile and then nTel.
For the purpose of this study, NIBWQR said it purchased SIMs with unlimited data and unlimited throughput from the five service providers included in the report in order to perform simultaneous FTP data transfers and Pings on all their networks.
“The throughputs and other performance measurement indicators recorded are therefore those that any customers with similar subscriptions are likely to experience,” the body said.
Extensive driving test was done around Victoria Island using various tools including mobile phones, scanner, GPS Receiver and logging tool. Types of data collected included latency (packet delay), continuous uplink file transfer and continuous downlink file transfer, among others.
NIWBQR said at the end of the exercise, Globacom took the topmost position because its services stood out in uplink and downlink application layer throughput. Throughput refers to the amount of data moved successfully from one place to another in a given time period, measured in bits per second (bps), megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps).
According to the body, Globacom had excellent RF coverage and quality, without any common Radio Frequency (RF) performance issues – RRC Call Drops, RRC Connection Failures, Handoff failures, excessive call setup delays and so on.
NIWBQR said Smile placed second even though it had lower uplink and downlink application layer throughput than most due to an undeclared throughput. The body said Smile was ranked higher than MTN and nTel because it has a higher service accessibility rate than MTN and better coverage than nTel.
As for MTN, the body said the shortcoming observed was that the operator lacked contiguous LTE service along the driven route.
“As such, some of the application layer throughput recorded for MTN was in 3G”, the body stated.