HAMBURG, Germany, March 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The European Telecommunications Standards Institute ETSI – known for globally adopted standards, such as UMTS, 4G and TETRA – has published TR 103 639. The technical report (TR) describes a framework for timeslice measurement methodologies and metrics assessing the characteristics of RTP-based voice communications. It is the result of intensive collaboration between service providers, government agencies and technology vendors such as Voipfuture.
The experts of the ETSI group STQ approved the technical report unanimously in March 2021 following two years of thorough discussion and work on the document. The ETSI TR fills a long-standing gap in the telecommunications industry by enabling the definition of timeslice KPIs, i.e. media performance metrics based on fixed duration time intervals.
Timeslice KPIs preserve the temporal detail of measurements. At the same time they allow accurate aggregation of metrics to assess the network transmission performance and resulting user experience. This means that the well-known and widely used SIP signaling KPIs defined in IETF RFC 6076 can now be complemented by meaningful RTP media KPIs to obtain a complete picture of voice service quality.
The industry need for timeslicing & ETSI TR 103 639
The transmission performance in voice over IP (VoIP) networks can vary significantly over time, especially for VoLTE, VoWifi and upcoming VoNR mobile services. This volatility is not reflected by traditional per-call metrics as they lack any temporal detail. Single metrics per call also prevent meaningful aggregation of measurements relating to calls with varying duration, for example when analysing real live calls.
Timeslicing monitoring systems generate data per fixed time unit thereby segmenting RTP media flows into smaller pieces. This creates uniform blocks of measurement data with high detail and uniform duration allowing for mathematically sound aggregation. Timeslice KPIs let voice service providers create accurate statistics per mobile network cell, enterprise customer trunk, route, destination or any other entity of interest.
Good Minute Ratio
The framework created by ETSI TR 103 639 allows to define numerous KPIs based on fundamental measurements of packet loss, packet delay, codecs and other RTP stream characteristics. In its Annex the TR provides some examples of timeslice performance indicators. The Good Minute Ratio (GMR) for example is the ratio of timeslices with “satisfactory” user experience over all timeslices of an aggregate. This KPI provides a bird’s eye view of the user experience in terms of speech quality and an ideal entry point for analysis and troubleshooting of service quality issues. The GMR is also a key benchmark metric for service optimization efforts.
Voipfuture contributed its decade-long experience in timeslice analytics to ETSI TR 103 639. Voipfuture’s products fully support the framework’s key concepts as well as the KPIs presented in Annex A.
Dr. Michael Wallbaum