Simply Speaking - Congestion


09-September-2011

When using your phone you can sometimes get an equally irritating condition that restricts your ability to communicate freely.

‘All lines are busy – please try again later’ - ‘The number you are trying to reach is busy – please try later’ or just the engaged tone repeating its monotonous tale of woe. It can be so frustrating at times ! – especially when the call you are trying to make is so important to you.

Admittedly there are occasions when the person you are trying to contact is genuinely occupied talking to someone else.
 But there are also occasions when due to insufficient telecoms equipment being available to carry the amount of calls required,  NETWORK CONGESTION can occur.

While the telecom operators install additional equipment to keep up with the demand, there are a few ways you can try to get round this problem of congestion. You need to be aware that the problem can be happening at different places throughout the network. Let’s take a look at the International KOKOTALK Call Back card service, using a mobile phone, for example. There are 3 phases to the call i.e.

1. Access via the mobile phone network – to ensure you get a good call it’s always worthwhile to ensure that the signal strength or the number of bars on your phone is high and stable. However, even with a good signal, sometimes the base station (where the telecoms equipment first receives and deals with the call from your phone) is overloaded and you immediately get the busy tone or an announcement saying all circuits are busy. To get round this you can try to change your physical location and hence pickup a potentially less crowded base station.

2. Access from the mobile operator’s network to Kokotalk – there are connections between the networks called INTERCONNECT TRUNKS. Simply speaking – these are like electronic pipes carrying the calls or TRAFFIC in between the 2 networks. If the pipes become full then you will get the ‘All lines are busy’ announcement or Kokotalk fails to call you back. To avoid this you can try to use a pre-paid SIM on the other mobile operators network that is registered via a 2nd Kokotalk card, in case the number of trunks between the alternate mobile operator is greater than the one you are using and therefore less congested.

3. Access from Kokotalk to the number overseas – once you have been asked to enter the number you wish to call and have pressed the # key you know you are calling across the International link. If you experience problems after this point please take a note of the number you are calling and contact the Kokonet Helpdesk (4610500) who will be happy to assist you.

And finally - there are certain periods of the day and days of the week when the networks are under more pressure than usual and are called the BUSY HOURs. If at all possible it is a good idea to try to avoid these peak times so you can try making your call in the morning or afternoon rather than in the evening or call on a Monday – Thursday as opposed to Friday - Sunday.
Next week: INTERNET CONTENTION RATIO

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