Enex Wireless Inc., (Enextgen), a company that focuses on improving user experience on Mobile Broadband Wireless Communications, has carried out a comparison of the quality of 4G LTE networks deployed by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), namely; MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9Mobile, in Yaba area of Lagos State – Nigeria.
The MNOs are the four major national mobile communication services providers in the country.
The company has have been tracking LTE deployment in Nigeria since the early part of 2016 when Smile and Ntel were the only two national carriers starting LTE deployment in Lagos.
Since then, they have been bringing to the attention of 4G LTE service providers Radio Frequency deployment issues that lead to sub-optimal offered quality of service
In the latest report, Enextgen recognises that the four MNOs provide LTE coverage for mobile internet access.
In his comment, Engineer Aderemi Adeyeye, President of Enext Wireless Inc., said “Furthermore, we have found LTE coverage on all Airtel cell sites we have accessed since its recent announcement of providing LTE coverage at all of its cell sites in Nigeria.
“We focus on evaluating the quality, particularly, Radio Frequency signal quality, of the LTE coverage in Nigeria. We will provide similar analysis for 5G coverage as soon as it is deployed for public use. We do our work to encourage MNOs to pay some attention to the quality of their mobile broadband service despite not being required to do so”.
He told TechEconomy.ng that the current report covers one single day only, March 23, 2022.
Objective of the Enextgen Wireless study:
“Its purpose is to draw special attention to the very poor quality of coverage provided in Yaba, Lagos, a major technology hub with substantial need for reliable and accessible internet connectivity that is currently only available through 4G LTE in Nigeria.
“While all four networks provide LTE coverage in Yaba, the report shows that only Airtel and 9Mobile provided contiguous 4G LTE coverage along the entire route covered during the period of our survey. Glo was in UMTS most of the time.
“MTN was in UMTS – Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service – some of the time. In both cases, there is sufficient LTE signal coverage to keep the mobile devices in LTE, an indication of insufficient coverage quality enhancement in Yaba by the two MNOs.
“There is major concern for the Harvey Road area where the quality continues to get worse despite our many efforts to draw the attention of these two MNOs to the issue.
“Efforts that have included pointing out specific issues that should be resolvable at minimum cost to the operators:
Yaba-Lagos Emetrics (RF Quality)
Yaba-Lagos RF Quality Ranking – While Airtel has the best RF quality, all of the networks need enhanced RF optimization and ongoing attention to the decreasing quality of the RF.
56-byte Packet Latency Ranking
Packet Latency Distribution (ms)
MNOs 4G LTE Signal Quality -EMETRICS
This is available for free via the link here.
Engr. Adeyeye continues: “It is a binning of the RF signal quality based on expertise in characterizing the range of RSRQ and SINR (Signal to Interference & Noise Ratio) values for a given RSRP in a properly-optimized LTE network.
“It allows the public to identify the best network for LTE internet access in a specific location or area of interest.
“The color code of the bin identified by entering a specific address or landmark in the search window shows the probability of receiving good LTE coverage at the location. Only red bins indicate very high probability of unreliable internet connectivity.
“Red bins are the only ones where reliable internet access might not be possible, from RF perspectives. Saddle Brown through Green show the quality of RF Optimization effort from marginal to Excellent. If all bins were green, then every customer would have access to the peak Downlink throughput offered by the MNO.
MTN 4G LTE signal quality – EMETRICS
Airtel 4G LTE signal quality – EMETRICS
Glo 4G LTE signal quality – EMETRICS
Glo offered 3G only along a substantial part of the route
9Mobile 4G LTE signal quality – EMETRICS
“We collected data for both of the plots below at the same time. We collected the one on the left using a commercial logging tool (Ran Advisor by Viavi). We collected the one on the right using our proprietary logging tool (Enextlog)”, he said.
Enextlog is available to all network operators in Nigeria. Since it runs on Android-based mobile phones, it can be deployed widely.
It is a far less expensive means of collecting user equipment-based performance measurement data across the large geographical area covered by the MNOs. As shown below its measurements track those of the commercial tool rather well.
MTN offered only 3G to the UE along sections of the route covered.
Glo offered only 3G to the UE along sections of the route covered.
9mobile Maximum UE Transmit Power
UE Transmit Power is high
MTN Maximum UE Transmit Power
This is an area with very poor RF quality in MTN. UE Transmit Power is extremely high. There is high level of PCI pollution leading to IRATs and Connection Drops.
Visit HERE to visualize the quality of 4G LTE coverage in your area.