BEREC

Public consultation for the common position on monitoring mobile coverage

19 July 2018

In 2017, BEREC conducted a public consultation on a preliminary report in view of a common position on monitoring mobile coverage. This report aimed at facilitating a common understanding through better defining key concepts, baselines and accessibility of information; and fostering a consistent approach on how mobile coverage information can be made available and understandable among NRAs and to the public throughout Europe.

Following on from last year’s work and taking into account the comments received from the 2017 public consultation, BEREC continued its initial work with the aim of establishing a set of future-looking common positions.

This present public consultation is now seeking stakeholders’ views regarding the draft common position on monitoring mobile coverage set out to provide guidance to National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) on providing to the public reliable information on the coverage of mobile services.

Currently, each national regulatory authority (NRA) uses different means to generate and provide information on mobile coverage. This constitutes an important obstacle to a consistent approach in the coverage information given to stakeholders.

A common understanding on how mobile coverage is measured and made available to stakeholders is a first step to alleviate this obstacle.

A set of common positions on monitoring mobile coverage

To this end, BEREC developed a set of common positions comprising of the following:

  1. Technical specifications for monitoring mobile coverage in Europe,
  2. The use of signal predictions for mobile coverage estimation,
  3. Ensuring the accuracy of coverage information provided to the public, and
  4. Availability and presentation of mobile coverage information.

The purpose of the public consultation is to increase transparency on the on-going work of BEREC regarding the monitoring of mobile coverage and to provide BEREC with valuable feedback from stakeholders.

Stakeholders are therefore invited to comment on the set of common positions proposed in the document.

An opportunity to define common metrics for mobile coverage

Respondents to the 2017 public consultation set out views on a wide range of issues, such as quality of experience, quality of service and thresholds, which could benefit from additional input as part of this present consultation.

To advance the proposed common position on technical specifications for monitoring mobile coverage in Europe, BEREC is considering the potential to define common metrics for mobile coverage. These metrics are used by NRAs to determine whether an area is considered as covered by mobile services or not. In principal, they can be specified in two ways:

  1. Technology-agnostic minimum service availability or
  2. Technology-specific signal power thresholds.

Technology-agnostic minimum service availability is used by a few NRAs in diverse ways. For example, one would consider the voice service available when establishing a call is possible whereas another would consider the voice service available when the call quality measured by the mean opinion score (MOS) is 3 or more. Similarly, the data service would be considered available by some when a ping is possible and by others when a given minimum download speed is provided with a particular confidence level. Thus, an area is considered covered when the service is available X% of the time where X% is usually in the range 90%-100%.

Many NRAs currently use technology-specific signal power thresholds which are a proxy to minimum service availability. However, there is a variety of thresholds defined in Europe as shown by the figures below.

 

 

 

 

 

Given this variety of metrics used, in addition to comments on the set of common positions proposed in the document, stakeholders are invited to answer the following questions, with supporting evidence:

  • Should BEREC define common metrics for mobile coverage? Please explain your answer, for example by setting out the reasons why BEREC should or should not define common metric, including views on the potential benefits and risks to consumers and other stakeholders.
  • What service availability definition and minimum requirements would you consider appropriate? What multi-level requirements would be appropriate to represent different level of coverage? Please explain your answer, for example by detailing how your figures for minimum service availability were established and by providing evidence.
  • What signal power thresholds would you consider appropriate for different mobile technologies? What multi-level thresholds would be appropriate to represent different level of coverage? Please explain your answer, for example by providing rational for such thresholds and by detailing how they were derived, including assumptions made and how they are linked to minimum service availability.
  • What might be the practical implications associated with selecting thresholds such as the impact of factors outside of the control of the mobile network operators (for example please see the discussion on key elements for monitoring mobile coverage from the consumer perspective as set out in the consultation)
  • Given the rapid evolution of mobile data consumption, how often do you consider that common metrics should be reviewed to remain fit for purpose or useful for consumers in the future?

The response to the public consultation will serve as inputs for the definition of a BEREC common position on monitoring mobile coverage.

Practical details of the public consultation

In accordance with the BEREC policy on public consultations, BEREC will publish a summary of all received contributions, respecting confidentiality requests.

The public consultation will run from 20 of June to 19 July, 2018. 

All stakeholders are invited to submit their contributions via the new BEREC online public consultation tool  by 19 July 17:00 CET 2018. When registering with the consultation tool, please indicate your name and/or the name of the organisation or company you represent. 

Alternatively, contributions could also be submitted to the following e-mail address: Mobilecoverage-Consultation@berec.europa.eu. Further enquiries about the consultation including registration with the online platform may also be submitted to this address.

The overall size of the e-mail (including attachments) should not be larger than 2 MB. 

After submitting the contribution via e-mail, an automatic reply will be generated. If this confirmation e-mail is not received, the submission of the contribution was not successful and it should be submitted again.

We strongly encourage all stakeholders to submit their contributions as early as possible. Contributions received after the above mentioned deadline will not be taken into account.

Contributions should preferably be sent in English. 

This public consultation is organised mainly in BEREC online public consultation platform https://consultations.berec.europa.eu/en/berec in a way that allows participants to submit their comments, to provide feedback on comments and parts of the text or to upload their public or confidential files in every section.

It also provides the possibility to download the “word” consultation document for organisations and stakeholders that would like to share it with their partners to consolidate their views and comments in a single file input.

A single file input can be also uploaded on the platform at any “Add comment” section of the discussion, ensuring the classification of this input as public or confidential.

However, in case you send your comments by e-mail, your answers should be organised according to the requested structure (i.e. paragraph by paragraph) in order to facilitate processing the responses. 

All contributions will be published on the BEREC website, taking into account requests for confidentiality and publication of personal data. Any such requests should be clearly indicated as: “Consider this contribution as confidential” or, if submitted via e-mail, by clearly stating which information is considered confidential. 

Please note that it is also possible to submit both a confidential and a public version of your contribution on the email address: Mobilecoverage-Consultation@berec.europa.eu.