Sri Lanka mobile phone network latency not good enough, survey finds

ECONOMYNEXT – Download speeds on Sri Lanka’s mobile phone networks are not bad compared with other countries but latency – the time data takes to travel between servers – is not good enough, a new survey has found.

That means there could be effects on the quality of say voice calls using the internet, said Ayesha Zainudeen, senior research manager at the LIRNEasia think-tank which helped to do the survey of mobile phone owners aged 15-65 years.

“On download speed we are not doing too badly,” she said.

There was a small difference in download speeds between urban and rural users in the island, she told a forum where the findings of the ‘AfterAccess’ survey were presented.

It studied how individuals in 23 countries of the what’s called the ‘Global South’ access and use information and communications technologies (ICTs).

However, Zainudeen said Sri Lanka did not fare that well in measurement of latency, the time a packet of data takes to go from one network sever to another or delays in data transfers.

The survey said there was a need to move beyond just download speeds as a measure of quality.It found that latency on 3G networks in Sri Lanka was poorer than in Singapore except for a few hours late at night.

“Quality is not just about download speed,” Zainudeen said. “If you want people to download music, for instance, or want them to do transactions,  even VOIP (voice over IP or internet protocol), latency is important.

”In Skype calls, if there are delays in speech, that indicates latency problems,” she said. “Ideally we want latency to be as low as possible.

“Latency on 3G and 4G networks in Sri Lanka is not really that good. We benchmarked with Singapore  and in both cases we were above them, so we are not doing that great on latency.”
(COLOMBO 27 May 2019)





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