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25% Of Text Messages Are Not Getting Through!

By Daryl Gaerlan (Ateneo M.S. ECE Student)

A study conducted at the Ateneo Innovations Center showed that up to 25 percent of the text messages sent in by Filipinos do not arrive at the receiving end. A network performance test was made on three telecommunications firm in the country. The identity of the companies will be kept hidden as more study is still being made. The graph in figure 1 shows that one telecommunication firm to which we will name as network B has a rate of around 24 out of 100 messages being lost in the system. This means that whenever a user sends 100 text messages, only 76 of those messages successfully arrive at the receiving end.

For this scenario, assuming that a text message costs one peso, then a person loses around 24 pesos for every 100 pesos texting load that he uses. So being in the country known as the “Texting” capital of the world, is the ordinary Filipino who loves texting, spending much more that what he is supposed to pay in his text messaging consumption?


Figure 1. Graph shows the percent of text messages successfully sent to the receiving end.

Testing from different locations around the country, the researchers have devised a series of stress tests to determine how the networks react. The stress tests were done by sending test messages in short 1-segment messages (composed of 160 characters), and in 2 to 3-segment messages (composed of more than 160 characters). The group that did the test sent the text messages to both phones that are turned on and off at the same time. In the latter case, the receiving end is only turned on after all the messages have been sent. The tests were performed within a span of one year, specially on events where short messaging service (SMS) traffic is expected to be high, like Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Some tests even showed that for one test on Network B, only 14% of the messages were received. While another test also done on the same network showed only 17%. Combining all the tests for the three networks, around 85% of the messages were received on the other end. This means that 15 out of 100 send messages are lost by the network, due to a variety of reasons.

The research is still being continued to this day as students from the Ateneo Innovation Center doing their research on the country’s telecommunication network performance are focusing on tests involving with the different operators themselves. The financial implications of the results will be very vital as the country is experiencing an increase in the number of text messages sent everyday at a very alarming rate. Yet, the people are in no way informed of the actual numbers in the success rate of their text messages being sent. The Ateneo Innovation Center is currently coordinating with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on the progress of the said research.

Topic revision: r1 - 09 Sep 2008 - 03:51:43 - BearTiu
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