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Latest drive test result shows Ntc better than Ncell and Smart

NTA, the regulator of telecom sector in Nepal keeps on publishing the result of the drive test that they have performed for the national operators in different areas. This time, NTA performed drive test in Damak and Ilam Nagarpalika. Although all of the telecom operators did not give results as per the threshold, Ntc (Nepal Telecom) mobile network is found to have relatively better than that of Ncell and Smart Telecom.

That means all three operators fail to meet all of the parameters threshold that they had put for test. NTA engineers performed drive test in Damak on Last week of Poush and in Ilam on the first week of Magh 2076. The test include the quality of the mobile network for voice call with free mode or auto select mode that means the mobile could be in any networks (4G/3G/2G) based on the availability.

NTA started publishing such results from 2018. That time Ntc network was found superior in terms of voice quality among the operators.

The drive test was performed for all the telecom networks at the same time. According to the drive test result, the quality of the mobile network for voice is worst for Ncell and Smart in Damak. They made a call attempt of around 100 calls in all networks while moving on a vehicle.

Drive test collects data of the mobile network for various parameters while you connect the mobile to a computer with a software and move on the specified route or area. The statistics of the data collection is the result of the drive test.


All three mobile network could not satisfy the network metrics like Call setup success rate and call setup time there. But for call drop rate, only Nepal Telecom could meet the criteria of the percentage value less than 2%.

Ntc call quality drive test NTA

Here is the statistics of the measurement survey in Damak.

S.N Drive test Metrics Threshold Ntc  Ncell Smart
1 Call setup time < 5 seconds 9.36 6.45 8.02
2 Call setup success rate >99% 97 96.97 94
3 Call drop rate <2% 1.03 2.08 2.13

Here the call drop rate of Ntc is found to be less than 2% while Ncell and Smart Cell are above the threshold. Similarly, the call setup success rate is also found better with Ntc.

The result is quite same for the Ilam area as well where Smart Telecom network is not available. So, the results are compare between Ntc and Ncell out of which Ntc is found far better.

Here is the statistics of the call voice measurement in Ilam.

S.N Drive test Metrics Threshold Ntc Ncell
1 Call setup time < 5 seconds 9.57 7.58
2 Call setup success rate >99% 98.94 81.25
3 Call drop rate <2% 1.08 8.97

*Red color indicates they did not meet the threshold, While Green shows to have meet the threshold.

In Ilam also, Ntc mobile network satisfies the call drop rate of 2% with 1.08 value. Whereas Ncell’s call drop rate is quite worst with 8.97%. Similarly the call setup success rate of Ntc far exceeds than that of Ncell.

Even if Ncell is found worst in others, it is quite astonishing to find better voice call setup time with Ncell.

Nepal Telecom has recently expanded its 4G coverage to all 77 districts with more than 2000 towers. Ncell also has more or less similar number of towers but their 4G coverage is limited to around 40 districts. While Smart Telecom’s 4G is available in 19 districts only.


Here are the parameters that they measured with the tool.

  • Call setup time: The time a mobile takes to setup a call. When a person dial a phone call and the call gets connected, call setup time is the time from the dialing of full number to the start of ringtone. It is always better to have a lower call setup time, expressed in seconds.
  • Call setup success rate: The percentage of call that is successfully setup from a mobile. It is the ratio of call success to call attempts. We expect this call setup success rate value to be always higher.
  • Call drop rate: The percentage of call that is dropped with the network (without dialing end call). To have a better calling experience, we always expect this value to be as low as possible.

NTA had long talked of the procedure to compensate people for the dropped call. As it is found to be quite irritating to bear the call drop, NTA formulated a bylaw to penalize operators with bad call quality. It has been more than two years of the formation of the guideline but the real implementation is yet to happen for the call drop compensation.

Tell us in the comments if you comply with the above results. Also mention what type of tests do you prefer to have a thorough understanding of the mobile quality.

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