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O2 rips out Ericsson database after second major outage

O2 rips out Ericsson database after second major outage

Mobile operator hopes move will help to win back customers' trust

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O2 is to spend £10 million removing core Ericsson technology from its network and replacing it with an alternative solution, after being hit by a second network outage in four months.

O2's chief operating officer Derek McManus said on Wednesday that the company had taken “important steps” with its supplier after the first outage in July to prevent a similar fault happening again, and while the most recent issue was not on the same scale, it did impact customers.

“We are removing the Central User Database provided by one of our suppliers, which has suffered two different faults in the last few months,” said McManus in a blog post.

“We are not prepared to risk this happening to our customers for a third time and are implementing a proven alternative solution.”

The supplier of the alternative solution was not named, but there is some speculation that it could be Huawei, which signed a major managed services contract with O2 earlier this year.

McManus said that O2 was committing an additional spend of £10 million on this change, and would also continue to invest £1.5 million a day on building out and improving its network.

The company is also re-focussing its Service Experience Team to be solely dedicated to ensuring the highest level of customer network experience, ahead of the anticipated launch of 4G services next year.

“While we recognise that we have dented the confidence and trust of some of our customers, I hope this plan will demonstrate our commitment to rebuilding that trust,” said McManus.

“We will not rest until we have cemented the stability of our network and can deliver the level of service customers have come to expect of us over the last ten years.”

The latest outage occurred earlier this week, and left millions of O2 users without calls, text messages or data on their smartphones or 3G tablets. O2 said that around 10 percent of its 23 million customers were affected for three hours.

Unlike its network failure in July, however, O2 is not offering any compensation for customers affected by the outage.

An Ericsson spokeswoman told The Guardian: “As a key supplier, we worked closely with our customer to identify any contributing factors and immediately took necessary actions.

“The fault was fixed on the same afternoon. The issue was identified to be related to how the equipment was configured. We continue to work closely with O2 to ensure that service integrity is maintained.”

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