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Did you just hang up on me?!!!

That all-too-frequently-expressed sentiment is probably why dropped calls are the bane of every mobile user’s calling experience. It’s also why service providers consider the Call Drop Rate one of the most important performance indicators of service quality. 

Today, providers measure call drops based on the failure codes received either from the handset or the network. A common failure code is the “RTP/RTCP Timeout,” which indicates a handset on an active call is no longer able to detect media (RTP) for more than 10 to 30 seconds. This occurs when one person can no longer hear the other, but the parties don’t hang up, hoping to reconnect. After the set time, the call is terminated by the handset and the code is issued. Such a failure is usually indicative of poor radio frequency (RF) conditions.

User-Triggered Call Drops

User-Triggered Call Drops

Let’s take another dropped call scenario. Consider the situation where one caller cannot hear the other, as in the previous example, but this time, one party hangs up before the preset RTP timer expires. In this case, since the user ends the call, the handset considers this termination “User Triggered.” Since the call was ended by the user, despite it being a failed call, the network will classify it as successful. Such calls should be flagged as “User-triggered Call Drops” to indicate the user had no choice but to end the call because of a network issue. That designation would be far more accurate, and far more useful to the service provider. 

The User-Triggered Call Drop Solution

The simple fact of the matter is that User-Triggered Call Drops can amount up to a whopping 10 percent of all dropped calls. Unfortunately, since they are hardly ever classified as call drops, they aren’t addressed accordingly. Traditional systems and their performance metrics fail to identify such scenarios and capture the actual end-user experience.

The User-Triggered Call Drop Solution

Fortunately, Anil Kollipara, engineer and Principal Product Manager at NETSCOUT, has come up with an elegant solution to this problem. He has patented a way to detect when a user hits the end call button as a result of a poor call experience. The solution correlates signaling and media information, understands the quality of bidirectional media, and intelligently determines the true reason behind user ending the call. This is only possible in advanced monitoring systems that access rich data, and can view the call, end-to-end. Such systems enable providers to better understand the intricate end-user behavior, and thus accurately identify and code a User-triggered Call drop event.

In the service provider world, few KPIs are as sacrosanct as the Dropped Call Rate yet, NETSCOUT, with its thought leadership in network performance and its impact on subscriber experience, and more importantly, its ability to perform rich, carrier-grade, real-time analytics positions it to continuously disrupt status-quo and provide complete visibility into true quality of customer experience. This empowers service providers to resolve these issues and improve the quality of the customer experience, which ultimately lead to greater customer loyalty.

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