Telecom explains latest network failures

Alcatel-Lucent says fixing XT is its number one global issue

Telecom has installed additional processing power and surge protection on its troubled XT network — but that has just brought more troubles for the telco.

A statement from CEO Paul Reynolds this afternoon says the first four cell sites were successfully moved to a new Radio Network Controller (RNC) on Tuesday and a further 16 sites last night between 1am and 3am.

However, some of those sites experienced problems and service degradation once load began to increase in the morning.

Telecom then hit reverse gear, rolling back the migrations to undertake urgent engineering work to understand the cause of the latest issues.

All sites were fully-restored by 2.30pm, the company says.

At its results meeting last week, Reynolds announced plans to install two new RNCs by mid March.  RNC failures were behind the major network crash on January 27. Telecom currently has two RNCs covering the country while vodafone has six.

Reynolds says improving the quality and reliability of service on the XT Network is "our absolute number one priority and the entire team is focussed on this".


Also today, Telecom appointed consultancy Analysys Mason to conduct its independent review of the XT mobile network.

"AMG are bringing a multi-disciplined team of up to seven specialists who have in depth knowledge of the design, planning and operation of 3G and IP networks from a range of technology suppliers.  Their consultants were hand-picked for their knowledge of radio, core, and transport networks and their understanding of operational processes," the statement says.

The review will commence next week and and is expected to be completed in eight weeks, covering the design, build and operation of the XT mobile network.

Alcatel-Lucent, which built the network, has also apologised to Telecom's customers.

“Resolving the XT Network problems in New Zealand is the single most important operational matter in the world for Alcatel-Lucent right now, our entire Executive and Senior Engineering team, including global chief executive Ben Verwaayen are involved," says Rajeev Singh-Molares, president Asia Pacific of Alcatel-Lucent.

“We apologise to the customers of Telecom New Zealand. The full resources of our global business are available to address these problems — we will do whatever it takes," he says.

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