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XT - independent review, angry CEO

By Contributor, 28 Jan 2010
FYI, this story is more than a year old

[UPDATES: 10.30am, midday, 1.30pm] With 40 cellsites still down this morning following a hardware failure on its XT Network, Telecom is calling for an independent review to look at why its network crashed twice in two months.

Yesterday, at around 10.30am, XT customers south of Taupo lost service when hardware failed, Telecom’s head of external media Mark Watts told Telecommunications Review this morning. He says this was a different failure to the network crash in December, which was due to a software failure.

Telecom has announced it will commission an independent review to determine what’s gone wrong. Watts won’t say who will conduct the review – but it will be an international organisation.

“I can’t give a name, we’ve got someone in mind, we will announce that later today when we’ve nailed down a few things,” he says.

TR asked if Telecom is reviewing its relationship with Alcatel Lucent – the company that built the XT network, Watts replied:

“They’re a key technology partner of ours and the review will look at all aspects of what’s gone wrong,” he says. “We’re reviewing this fault and other issues around it. We’ll work with Alcatel Lucent on that just as we did on building the network in the first place.”

TR asked if when Paul Reynolds says he’s really angry, is he angry at Alcatel Lucent?

“He’s angry at letting our customers down, which is clearly what we did yesterday on a fairly large scale, it’s what we did on an even larger scale last month. It was built to be a world class network and when these things happen you let your customers down.”

Watts says engineers have been working through the night to fix the problem, and so too have the comms team – a press release announcing the independent review was issued at 7.30pm yesterday, and a release after 7am updated media on the loss of service south of Christchurch today. Watts says they will continue to send media updates throughout the day:

“The situations going to change so you need to stay in touch on this,” Watts instructed TR.

UPDATES:

10.30am – Telecom press release: “A number of cell sites in areas in the lower South Island, including Dunedin, Invercargill, Timaru and Queenstown, are still affected, resulting in a loss of XT service those areas. XT users in other areas are still experiencing intermittent service issues. 

Around midday –Telecom Tweet: “Teams are still working to restore the cell sites that are down. Some areas of Christchurch and Wellington are having performance issues."

1.30pm – Telecom press release: Sites in Dunedin, Invercargill, Timaru and Queenstown still affected. “Customers wanting to check their voicemail messages are still able to do so, using alandline. They can do this by calling their XT mobile number from a landline then while listening to the voicemail greeting, press * then enter their PINtoaccessthe voice mailbox.”

10.30am – Telecom press release: “A number of cell sites in areas in the lower South Island, including Dunedin, Invercargill, Timaru and Queenstown, are still affected, resulting in a loss of XT service those areas. XT users in other areas are still experiencing intermittent service issues. 

Around midday –Telecom Tweet: “Teams are still working to restore the cell sites that are down. Some areas of Christchurch and Wellington are having performance issues."

1.30pm – Telecom press release: Sites in Dunedin, Invercargill, Timaru and Queenstown still affected. “Customers wanting to check their voicemail messages are still able to do so, using a landline. They can do this by calling their XT mobile number from a landline then while listening to the voicemail greeting, press * then enter their PIN to access the voice mailbox.”

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