Nielsen introduces new mobile network quality yardstick, the first outside north America news
16 October 2008

The Nielsen Company announced the launch of Nielsen Drive Test, a network quality benchmarking service in India and the first outside of North America, with Reliance Communications and BSNL being the founding customers.

The new drive test programme will work on all major service providers in the market and serve as the industry standard for network benchmarking.

With the logistical support of Sasken Communication Technologies, Nielsen will validate the quality of voice and data network for mobile networks across 39 markets in India. The service provides Indian carriers, infrastructure providers, and other wireless businesses with coverage and call performance metrics at both an industry and carrier level. Reliance Communications and BSNL have already signed up as launch customers for this drive test programme.

''As one of the largest and fastest growing mobile markets in the world, India is a sensible choice to be the first country outside of North America to participate in the drive-testing program. The launch of the network drive test is a big step forward for the Indian telecom market,'' said Shankari Panchapakesan, executive director South Asia business development, Nielsen.

In addition to validating network quality, the drive test data can integrate with consumer research and carrier data of Nielsen Mobile to help the industry optimize voice and data networks, as well as allocate capital and operating expenditures more efficiently.

Nielsen's measurement tools offer detailed industry performance information to help identify key problem areas in the market.

''Network quality is critical to overall satisfaction and subscriber loyalty. As we continually strive to improve the reliability of our networks, the launch of this new measurement tool will enable us to accurately assess mobile network performance, which will go a long way in maintaining customer relations,'' said Arun Sur, head of network at Reliance Communications.

The recent Nielsen Consumer Insights survey in India has shown significant differences in consumer perception of network performance across geographies and mobile network operators, with more than eight percent of users dissatisfied with the network quality and coverage. The drive test program will help validate the actual network quality experienced by users and facilitate network improvements.

According to BSNL ''the program offers an impressive breadth and depth of information about network performance that will immensely benefit mobile users. Nielsen's position as an independent provider of network performance measurement will prove invaluable in optimizing our services across India.''

With the launch of its first drive testing service in India, Nielsen Mobile, the largest independent mobile testing unit in North America, forays into the BRIC countries. The company plans to introduce the service in other countries.

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Nielsen introduces new mobile network quality yardstick, the first outside north America