WiMAX network: Sofrecom conducts an audit for the Bahraini regulator

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the Kingdom of Bahrain, chose Sofrecom to audit the WiMAX networks of Menatelecom and Zain in terms of coverage and quality of service.

In 2007, the operators Menatelecom and Zain acquired WiMAX licenses with an obligation to cover 95% of the Kingdom's population by 8th January 2009 at the latest or face penalties.

The TRA engaged Sofrecom to verify that these coverage obligations have been respected and to provide a complete assessment of end-to-end network service quality in order to press the operators, if need be, to take steps to ensure excellent service for WiMAX users.

Sofrecom has built unrivaled expertise in evaluating the quality of service of a wide range of networks (2G, 3G, optical) through its many audits conducted in Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia. Its is particularly familiar with WiMAX technology, for some of its experts have been involved in laboratory testing of Orange Group WiMAX equipment for several years.

For the Zain and Menatelecom audits, Sofrecom drew on its Know-How Network by assigning staff from its Paris headquarters and its Moroccan subsidiary, and from local partners.

For this project it defined a specific methodology jointly with the regulator and the operators, a decision that allowed the real coverage and QoS to be evaluated in optimal conditions.

Coverage metrics were collected across the entire country by employing spectrum analysis tools in each zone to check that the signal strength is sufficiently strong to allow users to connect to and use the network satisfactorily.

The audit report, produced in just three months, confirms that Menatelecom and Zain have both met their license obligations with respective population coverage of 99.5% and 96.8%. Leaving aside their legal QoS commitments, both operators are aware that quality is the key to customer satisfaction – and a major and unrelenting challenge. By regularly verifying the quality of its customers' networks, Sofrecom is able to help them achieve continuous improvement and thereby stand out from competitors by guaranteeing a consistently irreproachable customer experience.