Full Project – Comparative evaluation and analysis of GSM network performance call quality in Oghara Delta state

Full Project – Comparative evaluation and analysis of GSM network performance call quality in Oghara Delta state

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Global System for Mobile communications” originally Groupe Spécial Mobile, in its simplest term; is a language that mobile phones use to communicate.  It’s by far the most common language worldwide. However not all mobile phones are GSM phones.

Global system for mobile communication is a standard set developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to describe protocols for second generation (2G) digital cellular networks used by mobile phones.

The GSM standard was developed as a replacement for first generation (1G) analog cellular networks, and originally described a digital, circuit switched network optimized for full duplex voice telephony. This was expanded over time to include data communications, first by circuit switched transport, then packet data transport via GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) and EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution or EGPRS).


Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) revolution in Nigeria started in August 2001 and this brought a great change in the face of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria. Since it was launched, mobile telephony has rapidly become the most popular method of voice communication in Nigeria. Growth in this sector has been so rapid that Nigeria has been rightly described in various media as “one of the fastest growing GSM market in the world”. Indeed, these developments have been truly rapid according to statistics from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

This rapid growth has brought huge revenue to both the government through tax and license fees and operator. All GSM operators use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to judge their network performance and evaluate the Quality of Service (QoS) regarding end user perspective. All the events being occurred over air interface are triggering different counters in the Base Station Controller (BSC).The Key Performance Indicators are derived with the help of these counters using different formulations. Initially, GSM (Global System for Mobile Application standard developed by 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GGP) cellular networks were developed to offer mainly telephonic services. Only a basic circuit oriented service at low transfer rate was provided to data access. This service, named CSD (Circuit Switched Data), can achieve transfer rates up to 9.6 kbps per time slot. However, with the rise of General Packet Radio Service, Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (GPRS/EDGE) data services through GSM cellular networks have been increasing in popularity.


Following the rollout of GSM services across the nation, the socio-economic landscape of Nigeria has been positively altered. Its explosive growth has brought huge revenues to the operators as well as the government through tax and license fees. Similarly, the citizenries have benefited immensely from the services, not only as a means of communication but it has provided job opportunities for thousands of people. However, the principal development that mars these benefits is the aggressive complaining raised by GSM subscribers regarding abysmal quality of services (QoS) rendered by the GSM operators in the country. The unfortunate aspect of this evil is the fact that all the GSM subscribers irrespective of the operator are being affected. Based on this ugly experience, this study was embarked upon to find out what are the causes of the problem and find ways of ameliorating the observed defects.

The purpose of this work is to ascertain the factor that causes network failure, the parameters used for evaluating various networks, (MTN and GLO), and possible solutions. The model provides information about the blocking probability and throughput of the different services, considering the interaction between them through a detailed resource sharing policy. One of the main objective is to evaluate the current performance of the GSM network and then to propose optimization techniques for quality improvement. The paper therefore, focuses on GSM Quality of Service as well as mechanism available for evaluating, monitoring, analyzing and improving Quality of Service performance of the GSM network


Due to time constraint, this study will be limited to two types of GSM Networks: MTN and GLO, not covering other network. The goal is to present the Performance of these networks and know which of these networks has better performance or Quality of service in terms of call through, call drop, congestion rate, and interference etc.


In this study, various call quality parameters are being evaluated for two GSM networks, i.e. MTN and GLO, with existing network infrastructures within Delta state. A total of five parameters were evaluated. These parameters are call setup failure rate, call drop rate, stand- alone Dedicated control channel (SDCCH) congestion rate, traffic channel (TCH) Availability and inter and intra PLMN handover. Various methods have been used by researchers and the industries experts to collect data within a network Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN). Call data can be obtained from mere initiating calls from the mobile stations. It can also be obtained from analysis of drive text data. The most commonly used method is by obtaining these parameters from a central monitoring centre called the operation and maintenance centre (OMC), Network Operation Centre (NOC) or the Network Management centre (NMC). This has since been proved to be the most reliable method of call data collection. This is because the Network Operation Centre connects directly to the BSC and MSC which are the most sensitive equipments within the GSM infrastructures. Different classes of data are obtained from the Network Operation Centre including traffic and signaling messages. Reports are then generated from these data through enterprise software application referred to as Element Management Software EMS. This software provides platforms for report generation in various file formats with the Microsoft Excel format being the most common. Reports are collected on a daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly basis. This study attempts to investigate the Quality of Services provided by the two GSM Networks operators, by collecting and analyzing call data from the network operation centre. The result of the analysis is then compared.

In this study, data collection was obtained from the network operation centre for the two GSM service operators, MTN and GLO. The data for a total of twenty three weeks within the periods of January and May 2012 were obtained, showing a detailed research operation.


PARAMETERS: Something that decides or limits the way in which something can be done. In its common meaning, the term is used to identify a characteristic, a feature, a measurable factor that can help in defining a particular system. A Parameter is an important element to take into consideration for the evaluation or for the comprehension of an event, a project or any situation.

EVALUATE: To form an opinion of the amount, value or quality of something after thinking about it carefully.

INTERCONNECTION: In telecommunications, interconnection is the physical linking of a carrier’s network with equipment or facilities not belonging to that network. The term may refer to a connection between a carrier’s facilities and the equipment belonging to its customer, or to a connection between two (or more) carriers.

QUALITY OF SERVICE: Quality of service (QOS) profile describes the performance evaluation of a system from the consumer perspective, using specific parameters. In telephony, parameters used include call failure rate, call drop, call throughput, voice quality, etc. All of these are affected by system configuration or dimensioning

MOBILE NETWORK: A cellular network or mobile network is a radio network distributed over land areas called cells, each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver, known as a cell site or base station. In a cellular network, each cell uses a different set of frequencies from neighboring cells, to avoid interference and provide guaranteed bandwidth within each cell.

Joined together these cells provide radio coverage over a wide geographic area. This enables a large number of portable transceivers (e.g., mobile phones, pagers, etc.) to communicate with each other and with fixed transceivers and telephones anywhere in the network, via base stations, even if some of the transceivers are moving through more than one cell during transmission.

GENERAL PACKET RADIO SERVICE (GPRS): is a cellular networking service that supports WAP, SMS text messaging, and other data communications. GPRS technology is integrated into so-called 2.5G mobile phones designed to provide faster data transfer speeds than older 2G cellular networks.

An always-on packet switching service, mobile Internet providers offered GPRS together with voice subscription packages before 3G and 4G technologies became popular. Customers originally paid for GPRS service according to how much network bandwidth they used in sending and receiving data until providers changed to offer flat-rate unlimited use packages.

GPRS is a slower alternative to EDGE 2.5G cellular networking. GPRS supports theoretical data rates up to 171 Kbps compared to the 473 Kbps speed of EDGE.

EDGE: EDGE is a wireless network technology generally considered the next step in the 2G network. The name is an acronym that stands for Enhanced Data GSM Environment. Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution is an alternative name that is also used. As both names suggest, EDGE is an improvement on the GSM wireless technology, which is second generation, or 2G, cell phone technology. Since EDGE is an improvement on existing technology and not necessarily a third generation, it is often referred to as 2.75G.

EDGE is used for the purpose of wireless data transfer, such as sharing pictures and videos or browsing the Internet via a mobile phone connection. This is because the technology offers data transfer rates up to four times faster than ordinary GSM networks. As phones with Internet browser capabilities, such as the Blackberry® and the iPhone®, have become more popular, faster data transfer has become ever more important.

Because EDGE is an upgrade of GSM, it is easy for wireless carriers to upgrade their networks to offer it. The increase in data speed is achieved via more sophisticated coding, not by equipment, so new hardware is not usually necessary. Instead, a software upgrade enables the wireless carrier’s base stations to support data transfer speeds up to 384 kilobits per second (kbps).

THIRD GENERATION (3G): 3G is the umbrella term for the newer “third generation” of wireless communication networks, which are still in the process of being implemented in many places.  The idea of 3G is to bring multimedia and broadband Internet to mobile phones.  It lets you to do things like make 2-way video calls, watch TV shows and video clips, and surf the Internet at high speeds on your phone, PDA, or notebook.  In order to use it, you must have a 3G-compatible device, and use a provider with a 3G network in place where you’re calling from.  Of course, the provider will usually charge extra for all of these multimedia services.

Most 3G phones will still allow you to make phone calls on regular GSM networks if no 3G service is available.  Most 3G phones are tri-band or quad-band, and will work in the countries where those bands are supported.


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Full Project – Comparative evaluation and analysis of GSM network performance call quality in Oghara Delta state