Benchmarking quality of experience (QoE) offered by mobile network operators in Kenya: a user-centric approach
Quality of Experience (QoE) is a concept which represents measuring of end-to-end performance of a service from a user perspective. This research presents the study of QoE offered by mobile network operators in Kenya. An android prototype application was developed to benchmark user experience by way of making voice calls, internet sessions and capturing signal strengths. In total, we analyzed 3,178 voice calls, 682 internet connections and 1,266 signal strengths measured in nine major towns in Kenya. Parameters measured in voice calls included: Completed Call Rate, Call Setup Success Rate (accessibility to the network), Dropped Calls (call retainability), Blocked Calls and Call Setup Time. Parameters measured in internet calls are: File Download Speed, File Upload Speed, Network Latency and Web Browsing Time. The results from the study enables consumers to be able to make informed decisions while using any service offered by mobile network operators and also be able to compare service level agreed between themselves and service operators. The results provide the regulator alternative ways to understand the state of services provided by the mobile network operators and compare against what they promised when they were issued with the license to operate. Mobile network operators may also use the results by cushioning themselves against legal and regulatory pressures by how customers experience services offered. This study contributes to the understanding of performance of services provided by mobile network operators and use of smart phone applications to measure performance of the services. Finally, it suggests that having better signal strengths and network latency does not guarantee you a better quality of experience. We recommend that the regulator not only checks if mobile network operators meet key performance indicators related to voice but also those related to data (internet). Currently Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) does only for voice.