Call Drops

Imagine you are ill and are all alone at your place. You are not in the mood to the anything and suddenly your phone rings. The person at the other end after introducing himself tells you that he has a super opportunity for you and has a plan by which you could earn very well. You get livid and disconnect the call. This is Call Hung.


Now let’s move to another situation where you have to pay your home loan or else will be thrown out of your own house. You are trying to find ways to make an extra income. You search for “opportunities” in the classified section to make an extra income. You are travelling in a train and you open your newspaper and see a great offer and call the person on the given contact number. Halfway through the call just as the offer was getting better your call gets disconnected due to bad or no signal. This is called call drop.


The only difference between the two scenarios, except that in the first scenario you were not interested in the offer and in the next one you were the one looking for an offer, is that in the first one the call was disconnected by you because you did not want the call to continue and in the second scenario the call ended before you wanted it to end because of technical difficulty. Dropped Call Rate (DCR) is a term in telecommunications denoting the fraction of the calls which, due to technical reasons, were cut off before the speaking parties had finished their conversation and before one of them had hung up. This fraction is usually measured as a percentage of all calls.


In telecommunications a call attempt invokes a call setup procedure, which, if successful, results in a connected call. A connected call may be terminated (disconnected) due to a technical reason before the parties making the call would wish to do so (in ordinary phone calls this would mean before either of the parties has hang up). Such calls are classified as dropped calls. The dropped call rate in conventional (so-called land-line) networks is extremely low and is significantly less than 0.01%. In mobile communication systems using radio channels the dropped call rate is higher and may range for commercial networks between 0.1% and a few percent. The main reasons for dropped calls in mobile networks are lack of radio coverage, radio interference between different subscribers, imperfections in the functioning of the network, overload of the different elements of the network (such as cells), etc.


The dropped call rate is one of the key performance indicators (KPI) used by the network operators to assess the performance of their networks. It is assumed to have direct influence on the customer satisfaction with the service provided by the network and its operator. The dropped call rate is usually included, together with other technical parameters of the network, in a key performance indicator known as call retainability.

The operators of telecommunication networks aim at reducing the call dropped rate as much as practical and affordable. In mobile networks this is achieved by improving radio coverage, expanding the capacity of the network and optimizing the performance of its elements, all of which may require considerable effort and significant investments on the part of the network operator.


Shivanand Nabar
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