Ascom, headquarted in Bern, Switzerland is an international solution provider with comprehensive technological know-how. The company’s Wireless Solutions division concentrates on high-value, customer-specific on-site communications solutions.
In European countries, where there are typically between three and five competing mobile operators, a key differentiator for their subscribers is call quality. Customers will switch operators if they experience problems due to inadequate services or weak network performance, so maximising customer satisfaction through accurate problem assessment is paramount for mobile operators striving to minimise churn.
Ascom offers operators an analytical tool called QVoice, a sophisticated post-processing system for data and voice measurement and performance that streamlines analysis and report generating tasks. QVoice generates quality-of-service test data that can be compiled by mobile operators’ quality departments, and whose engineers can then carry out network optimisation and tuning as required.
To widen the customer base for the QVoice system, Ascom needed to develop a new version of its presentation module that would operate across all major mobile networks. This in turn necessitated an expansion in the network standards that the system could support.
We set up an offshore development centre to develop a new version of QVoice’s presentation module with the capability to operate across all major network technologies. After specifications had been agreed on with Ascom, an application prototype was designed by our team, with adjustments to the user interface, data presentation and application-generated reports. All modifications suggested by the client over the course of the application design process were taken into consideration.
The application was based on client/server architecture, with Borland Delphi used as the development environment, and the application uses Microsoft SQL Server as its database management system. A rigorous field test was undertaken to test the effectiveness of the newly developed software. Having met all Ascom’s requirements, the newly-developed application replaced the previous presentation module of QVoice.
The implementation of the new application represents a considerable advance over the previous version of QVoice. The most significant enhancement is the expansion in the number of mobile network standards now supported: in addition to GSM/DCS/PCS, QVoice is now available for use with all major mobile phone standards, such as the CDMA, TDMA and iDEN networks. The software upgrade also supports new standards and network protocols like UMTS and GPRS.
The scalable, flexible software we developed is capable of gaining new functionalities to support the latest information technologies, and can be used for routine benchmark drive-testing, indoor performance monitoring, overall trouble shooting and network optimisation by operators all over the world.
Our development of the new QVoice presentation module enabled Ascom to offer a quality measurement system that is available for use with all major mobile phone standards and networks. This increased level of interoperability allowed Ascom to substantially broaden its potential customer base.
Today, QVoice is a flagship product within the Ascom Carrier Systems business unit, which is used by more than 120 mobile network operators worldwide including Vodafone, T-Mobile, Telia Mobile, Swisscom, Orange, Omnitel and BellSouth.
QVoice has also been embraced by the world’s leading manufactures of telecommunications equipment, including Motorola, Ericsson, Siemens, Alcatel Lucent and Nokia.
Microsoft SQL Server,
custom application development,