Quality of Service is the level of performance (or ‘quality’) that a service provider provides to its subscribers. In telecommunications, this relates to the ability of a service provider to give reliable, accessible and easy to use services. The provider should also offer reliable and effective customer service
Before a consumer purchases communications products or services, there are some aspects that should be taken into consideration besides the price. Some service providers may at some point even limit the number of subscribers that they accept concurrently and not every service provider has an easy process for consumers to subscribe to their services. Consumers are also faced with the fact that the services that they subscribe to are sometimes not satisfactory for example, instances when the network is inaccessible making it impossible for one to make a phone call or when the call is disconnected during a conversation due to some fault of the network or when one cannot hear the other party on the phone.
Consumers should be aware of the fact that some of the communication networks may lack the capacity to handle all traffic or simultaneous requests for services from the various users. In most cases applications with very different characteristics and requirements compete for scarce network resources. For such networks, where the capacity is a limited resource, the consumer cannot expect to always get the highest possible level of service but must accept a certain level of degradation.
Consumers are entitled to the following basic levels of service;
- Value for money
- Accurate billing
- Ease of use of the service or product
- Professionalism, on the part of the service provider, in the provision of the service
- Flexibility in the use of the service on the part of the consumer – for instance; the ease with which the consumer is able to switch from one operator to another; from one resource to another; one piece of equipment to another – or even in the requirement for the change of a telephone number
- That the product or service should perform according to specified expectations
- That the service be reliable and fulfill the needs of the consumer as specified
That the service be secure in terms of privacy of ALL data sent and received.