Telecom, Gen-i, TelstraClear, Vodafone, 2degrees, Enable Networks update Christchurch situation

Vodafone says 18 cell sites still running on generators

Vodafone update, 1pm Monday

Relief staff from around the country are arriving in Christchurch to ensure we maintain round the clock services and support our local people.

Our mobile showroom truck – Optimus Prime is still in Christchurch and is located at Homebase, Marshlands Road, Shirley, it will remain there until at least Friday 4 March, open 9am-5pm. It is offering services such as SIM cards, mobile phones, Vodems and chargers. The public can use phones onboard the truck for free calling.

The following retail stores have now been inspected and are cleared to open;

Hornby Mall – open now

Northlands Mall – open now

Riccarton Mall – likely to open Wednesday

Overall the network is still functioning well and our focus remains on assisting the people of Christchurch. 18 of our cell sites are still reliant on generators for power at this time and a small group of sites are off the air for a variety of reasons, including inaccessibility due to structural damage and underground transmission cable faults. These areas are affected as a result, and there will be reduced coverage in the following suburbs today:

    CBD (North-Kilmore St, East-Gloucester St and South-Lichfield St)

    Richmond East/Avonside

    Avondale East/Aranui

    Linwood North/Linwood East/Woolston West

    Redcliffs/Moncks Bay

Three COWs (trailer-mounted mobile cell sites) have already been deployed in areas most impacted by faulty cell sites. We are also setting up mobile hotspots at various Welfare Centres around Christchurch using our Vodafone Sure Signal (femtocell) solution.

Vodafone NZ customers have already donated over $520,000 to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. Thank you to everyone for your support.

Vodafone NZ customers can donate either $3 or $5 to the cause by TXTing ‘Quake’ to either 333 ($3 donation) or 555 ($5 donation). 100% of all donations will go to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.

Next media update is due Tuesday.

Advice for our customers:

Emergency Mobile Phone Pack

We've put together an online deal exclusively for people living in Christchurch. People living in New Zealand or overseas can order a pack for a Christchurch resident. The Emergency Mobile Phone Pack includes a mobile phone, Prepay SIM and a car charger from $59. All orders must have a Christchurch delivery address. See www.vodafone.co.nz A note for our corporate customers – please don’t hesitate to contact your Vodafone Account Team if you need any more detailed information on our status in Canterbury, or if your Christchurch-based teams need advice on any aspects of staying in touch.

Divert calls from your Vodafone landline to any New Zealand number

Vodafone will provide call diversions from your Vodafone fixed line home phone or your business line to your mobile phone number of choice without any of the usual diversion charges.

Please contact us on the following numbers to speak to a Vodafone agent:

Consumer customers: 0800 438 448

Business customers: 0800 438 458

What if I had to leave my home or business – will I be charged for my landline?

If you are unable to return to your home or your business premises we will waive any of the normal fees related to cancelling your contract. We will also put your account on hold for 30 days until your situation improves.

Vodafone also suggests that customers leave a temporary message** on their voicemail to let callers know the time and date, location and that they are OK. This provides some reassurance should mobile phone batteries go flat given the difficulties with power supply.

Temporary greeting instructions

**1 Dial 707 for VoiceMail.

2 Select Temporary Greeting from the main menu (Option 6) - this will take you straight to Step 7. Or select Personal Options (option 3).

3 Select Personal Setup (option 4).

4 Select Personal Greeting (option 1).

5 Select Temporary Greeting (option 2).

6 Record the greeting, press #. The greeting will be played back to you.

7 Select one of the following:

Press 1 to Record again

Press 2 to Save

Press 3 to Cancel

Vodafone update, 2pm Sunday:

Overall the network is still functioning well and our focus remains on assisting the people of Christchurch. 19 of our cell sites are still reliant on generators for power at this time and a small group of sites are off the air for a variety of reasons, including inaccessibility due to structural damage and underground transmission cable faults. These areas are affected as a result, and there will be little or no coverage in the following suburbs today:

    Eastern parts of the CBD

    Redwood South

    Burwood

    Dallington

    Aranui

    Woolston West

    South Brighton

Three COWs (trailer-mounted mobile cell sites) have already been deployed in areas most impacted by faulty cell sites, with more activity to come tomorrow. We are also setting up mobile hotspots at various Welfare Centres around Christchurch using our Vodafone Sure Signal (femtocell) solution.

Additional relief staff from other parts of the country are arriving in Christchurch today to ensure we maintain round the clock services and support our local people.

The following retail stores have now been inspected and are cleared to open;

Hornby Mall – open now

Northlands Mall – opening Monday

Riccarton Mall – likely to open Wednesday

Our mobile showroom truck – Optimus Prime is still in Christchurch and is now located at Homebase, Marshlands Road, Shirley. Information on the daily locations of the truck is available on our website and on local Christchurch radio stations and in The Press. A reminder that the public can use free calling phones onboard the truck as well as discuss individual circumstances, and obtain car chargers free of charge.

Next media update is due Monday morning.

Advice for our customers:

Emergency Mobile Phone Pack

We've put together an online deal exclusively for people living in Christchurch. People living in New Zealand or overseas can order a pack for a Christchurch resident. The Emergency Mobile Phone Pack includes a mobile phone, Prepay SIM and a car charger from $59. All orders must have a Christchurch delivery address and it is limited to one Emergency Mobile Phone Pack per order. See www.vodafone.co.nz A note for our corporate customers – please don’t hesitate to contact your Vodafone Account Team if you need any more detailed information on our status in Canterbury, or if your Christchurch-based teams need advice on any aspects of staying in touch.

Divert calls from your Vodafone landline to any New Zealand number

Vodafone will provide call diversions from your Vodafone fixed line home phone or your business line to your mobile phone number of choice without any of the usual diversion charges.

Please contact us on the following numbers to speak to a Vodafone agent:

Consumer customers: 0800 438 448

Business customers: 0800 438 458

What if I had to leave my home or business – will I be charged for my landline?

If you are unable to return to your home or your business premises we will waive any of the normal fees related to cancelling your contract. We will also put your account on hold for 30 days until your situation improves.

Vodafone NZ customers can donate either $3 or $5 to the cause by TXTing ‘Quake’ to either 333 ($3 donation) or 555 ($5 donation). 100% of all donations will go to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.

Vodafone also suggests that customers leave a temporary message** on their voicemail to let callers know the time and date, location and that they are OK. This provides some reassurance should mobile phone batteries go flat given the difficulties with power supply.

Temporary greeting instructions

**1 Dial 707 for VoiceMail.

2 Select Temporary Greeting from the main menu (Option 6) - this will take you straight to Step 7. Or select Personal Options (option 3).

3 Select Personal Setup (option 4).

4 Select Personal Greeting (option 1).

5 Select Temporary Greeting (option 2).

6 Record the greeting, press #. The greeting will be played back to you.

7 Select one of the following:

Press 1 to Record again

Press 2 to Save

Press 3 to Cancel

Vodafone update, 12pm, Friday:

The Vodafone network remains in a relatively strong position, with all but 17 sites operational. Coverage is in place for most of the city with only a few black spots in the east. This is achieved through network management, optimization* and the deployment of COWS (cell sites on wheels). Two have already been deployed with a further five currently being rolled out within the city. We currently have 30 sites running off generators.

Our mobile store truck – Optimus Prime is in Christchurch and is providing much needed support to the public. Optimus Prime is located outside Hornby Mall and is offering customers a support facility, the ability to recharge their phones, top up and purchase prepay vouchers, obtain customer service information. It is also providing free WiFi access and ten phones for members of the public to make free calls.

Vodafone customers have donated more than $125,000 via the Red Alert text appeal in association with the Red Cross. This already exceeds the total amount raised following the 4 September quake.

Vodafone NZ CEO, Russell Stanners has travelled down to Christchurch to meet with Vodafone staff to assess their individual needs and how the company can assist. Russell joins Sandra Pickering, our Chief Technology Officer, and other staff who have travelled to assist the local team.

Vodafone NZ, Vodafone UK and Vodafone Fiji have kicked off our Red Alert appeal by contributing more than $550,000. Vodafone Qatar has provided a credit to its Kiwi customers to help them make calls home. This is a heartfelt gesture and gives an insight into the concern felt well beyond the shores of NZ.

Vodafone NZ customers can donate either $3 or $5 to the cause by TXTing ‘Quake’ to either 333 ($3 donation) or 555 ($5 donation). 100% of all donations will go to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.

The technology teams will continue to restore, refuel and reparent cell sites. The priority is refueling generators to keep sites working and ensuring our transmission network remains stable while keeping staff safe at all times.

Vodafone also suggests that customers leave a temporary message** on their voicemail to let callers know the time and date, location and that they are OK. This provides some reassurance should mobile phone batteries go flat given the difficulties with power supply.

The next media update will be sent Friday afternoon.

-ends-

*With flat terrain such as that found in Christchurch, when a site is unavailable customers near that site are likely to receive a signal from adjacent sites, effectively “filling in” the holes. This can be improved with network optimisation.

Temporary greeting instructions

**1 Dial 707 for VoiceMail.

2 Select Temporary Greeting from the main menu (Option 6) - this will take you straight to Step 7. Or select Personal Options (option 3).

3 Select Personal Setup (option 4).

4 Select Personal Greeting (option 1).

5 Select Temporary Greeting (option 2).

6 Record the greeting, press #. The greeting will be played back to you.

7 Select one of the following:

Press 1 to Record again

Press 2 to Save

Press 3 to Cancel

To remove your temporary greeting call 707 and press 5 to delete.

Gen-i and Telecom update, 5.30pm Thursday:

I am writing with another update from Gen-i and Telecom on our work to support the people of Canterbury by maintaining and restoring ICT and telecommunications services in the region.

It has been humbling and inspiring to witness the stories on how people and organisations in the Canterbury region, across New Zealand and worldwide are all rallying to help.

Right now, our first priority continues to be on supporting the emergency services, civil defence, health and safety and government agencies as they continue to mobilise people and resources in Christchurch to lead and support the rescue effort.

We are committed to being there to support these efforts every step of the way back.

The current situation for the Telecom and Gen-i communications and IT services in Canterbury is as follows:

Our big priority continues to be to ensure all our people and their families are safe, and we’ve very nearly accounted for all our folk right across the Telecom Group. Like many of you, we have people seriously affected and we’re doing everything we can to support them and their families.

We have seen a good response to Telecom’s campaign to collect analogue landline phones from around the country to distribute to people in Christchurch without power who only have cordless landline phones which are reliant on power. These phones plug straight into a jack-point and don’t require mains power. Spare analogue phones can be dropped into any Telecom store during retail opening hours.

The network is still affected by ongoing power issues, particularly in the eastern parts of the city, and physical disruption caused by Tuesday’s earthquake.

Our focus remains on restoring and maintaining mobile cell sites in the CBD. All central city cell sites that are operational have been connected to generators to keep them running.

Our data centres remain operable. Our ICT Operations teams are monitoring our Christchurch data centre sites closely with temperature and humidity levels stable. Access to our 109 Hereford Street site is restricted due to the nearby James Cook Hotel in danger of collapse, but our generators are well fuelled to sustain service for a long period of time and we are working with clients to maintain services remotely.

Our managed networks are performing well. As the needs of the emergency service providers have been sustainably met, we’ve started to work with core service providers to maintain other essential communications services.

Telecom has delivered a further 33 generators from around the country with assistance from the New Zealand Air Force. These are due to arrive in Christchurch shortly to assist cell sites that are still without mains power.

111 services are operating smoothly and emergency services are steady.

Chorus has asked Canterbury residents who are experiencing disruption to their landline or broadband service, to contact the company that provides their internet and phone services directly to log a fault. This will help Chorus to ascertain the true extent of network damage, enabling them to plan and restore service as quickly as possible.

For updates

If there is anything more that we can do to support your business and your people during this time, please contact your Client Manager, myself or your normal service contacts at our MCC. Alternatively, please visit www.gen-i.co.nz, www.telecom.co.nz, as well as @Geni_ICT or @chrisjquin on Twitter and Facebook for further updates.

It is hard to capture in words the pain and loss felt by the people of Canterbury and across New Zealand. We all feel connected to the suffering and pray for the safe return of loved ones who are still missing.

The Gen-i team and I are all personally very committed to doing all we can to support you and the local community.

Our efforts will continue for as long as it takes.

Kia kaha

Chris Quin

CEO Gen-i Australasia

Vodafone update, 4.30pm Thursday:

The Vodafone network remains in a relatively strong position, with only 14 sites down, as reported this morning. However, we have achieved coverage to most of the city with only a few black spots in the east and some call congestion in the Christchurch CBD area. This is achieved through network management and optimisation.

Most sites that are still down are due to unavailability of power but at least two are confirmed to have physical damage which will take some time to restore.

Two COWS (cell sites on wheels) have already been deployed with a further five currently being rolled out within the city. This allows additional coverage or strengthens existing coverage.

Our mobile store truck – Optimus Prime has now reached Christchurch and will provide much needed support for customers from tomorrow morning. Optimus Prime will be situated outside Hornby Mall and will offer customers a support facility, the ability to recharge their phones, top up and purchase prepay vouchers, obtain customer service information. It will provide free wifi access and ten phones for members of the public to make free calls.

CEO of Vodafone NZ Russell Stanners will travel to Christchurch tomorrow to meet with Vodafone staff to assess their individual needs and how the company can assist. Russell will join Sandra Pickering, our Chief Technology Officer, and various other staff who have arrived to assist the local team.

Vodafone Fiji has now joined both Vodafone NZ and Vodafone UK in our Red Alert appeal by contributing $59K. This is a heartfelt gesture and gives an insight into the concern felt well beyond the shores of NZ. Vodafone NZ customers can donate either $3 or $5 to the cause by TXTing ‘Quake’ to either 333 ($3 donation) or 555 ($5 donation). 100% of all donations will go to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.

The technology teams will continue to restore, refuel and reparent cell sites over night. The priority is refuelling generators to keep sites working and ensuring our transmission network remains stable while keeping staff safe at all times.

The company’s earlier advice requesting customers to save their phones for short emergency calls, and use txt for non-critical communications, still stands.

Vodafone still asks that customers limit mobile data usage (Facebook, Twitter, video/picture messaging, email) as this puts strain on the network and may hamper rescue efforts.

Vodafone also suggests that customers leave a temporary message* on their voicemail to let callers know the time and date, location and that they are OK. This provides some reassurance should mobile phone batteries go flat given the difficulties with power supply.

Updates on Thursday morning:

Enable Networks, TelstraClear, Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees have all provided updates on their networks in Christchurch this morning.

Steve Fuller, CEO of Enable Networks, says in a statement: “All staff are safe and working to ensure our network provides the critical services needed for Christchurch in its most ever time of need.

At this stage it appears that our network is fully operational with all three core sites are intact and providing service. Clearly with the power being out and the destruction of buildings we have lost some customer circuits but these are automatically restoring when power is returned.

Yesterday we worked closely with the Civil Defence and Police (via FX Networks) to install new circuits to accommodate critical emergency services. Enable worked extensively with its contractor Multimedia within the CBD installing these new circuits.

We are continually working closely with service providers as they require additional capability and capacity as well as reconfigurations.

We are proactively installing additional capacity into major data centres within Christchurch just in case there is a requirement for service providers to re-locate this equipment.”

TelstraClear’s update notes: The key issue for the TelstraClear network remains power; We now have around 115 cabinets on mains power in the affected area, and this number will increase as the power network is re-established;

We have around 40 cabinets without power and a number of others with low batteries;

We have around 20 cabinets now being powered by generators and we are working to source more generators;

The priority on restoring cabinets is: cabinets supporting key services and businesses and residential cabinets supporting customers on our medical registry first, and then other residential cabinets;

Unfortunately three generators were stolen overnight, which means those cabinets are now relying on batteries again;

Around 16,000 of our customers on our HFC network remain without services, this will be mainly due to power outages;

Our hardship lines have been reactivated for Christchurch and Canterbury customers. Residential customers requiring special assistance, such as free landline to mobile call diversions, can call us on 0508 24 24 11 (CH CH 11). Business customers can call 0508 24 24 12 (CH CH 12) should they need assistance with their services.

Telecom’s update reads: The network is still significantly affected by ongoing power issues in areas of the city and physical disruption caused by Tuesday’s earthquake.

Our focus remains on restoring and maintaining mobile cell sites in the CBD. All central city cell sites that are operational have been connected to generators to keep them running. We are also deploying technicians from around New Zealand to assist in the restoration of telecommunication services in the Canterbury region.

Telecom is delivering a further 33 generators from around the country with assistance from the New Zealand Air Force. These are due to arrive in Christchurch shortly to assist cell sites that are still without mains power.

Telecom is running a campaign to collect analogue landline phones from around the country to distribute to people in Christchurch without power who only have cordless landline phones which are reliant on power. These ‘old fashioned’ corded analogue phones plug straight into a jack-point and don’t require mains power. We are asking people to drop spare analogue phones in to any Telecom store during retail opening hours. These phones will be distributed to those in need in Christchurch.

111 services are operating smoothly and emergency services are steady.

REQUEST FROM CHORUS:

Chorus has asked Canterbury residents who are experiencing disruption to their landline or broadband service, to contact the company that provides their internet and phone services directly to log a fault. This will help Chorus to ascertain the true extent of network damage, enabling them to restore service as quickly as possible.

ADVICE FOR PEOPLE IN CHRISTCHURCH:

We recommend people change their voicemail message to let callers know the time, date and their location and, if possible, alternate contact details to provide some reassurance should mobile phone batteries go flat given the difficulties with power supply.

Our advice remains to minimise use of mobile phones, and for people to use text messages instead of calls when possible to free up the network for emergency response workers and to minimise the drain on backup batteries and generators.

People without power in their homes will not be able to use cordless landline phones, as base stations require power. If customers have corded landline phones that plug directly into the wall and do not require power, they should use them instead.

For residents of Christchurch, 260 payphones in and around Christchurch are enabled with free calling for local, national and mobile calls.

Telecom has also made three WiFi Hotspots in Christchurch available for free. These WiFi sites are at Telecom Riccarton Mall, Café Zero (Cashmere Rd), and the Westpac Centre (Addington).

Telecom Retail customers can get their Telecom landline number diverted to another Telecom landline number for free. To enable this, residential customers can call us on 120 and business customers can call us on 125.

Customers with friends or family with a prepaid Telecom mobile can call 0800 32 32 32 and top up their prepaid credit on their behalf.

Vodafone's update reads: The Vodafone network is in a relatively strong position, from a peak of 55 sites out of service yesterday, we now have only 14 sites down. Most of these are due to unavailability of power but at least two are confirmed to have physical damage which will take some time to restore. The 14 sites are principally in the central and eastern areas of the city where power has not been restored.

The technology teams worked through the night to restore, refuel and reparent cell sites. The priority is refuelling generators to keep sites working and ensuring our transmission network remains stable while keeping staff safe at all times.

Our retail stores continue to be closed until tomorrow, subject to structural and electrical checks. A list of stores able to open will be made available to the media and on our website later today.

We have mobilized nearly 60 generators which arrived in the city yesterday and are being deployed by our teams of engineers. Additional personnel have been flown in from other centres to assist and provide regular shift rotation.

Our mobile store truck – Optimus Prime has now reached the South Island and will be deployed in Christchurch to provide much needed support for customers later this evening. More details to follow.

Vodafone will is once again partnering with The New Zealand Red Cross to provide essential support for those who need it. Vodafone customers can donate either $3 or $5 to the cause by TXTing ‘Quake’ to either 333 ($3 donation) or 555 ($5 donation). 100% of all donations will go to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. This appeal will help people whose homes, livelihoods and wellbeing have been affected by this most recent disaster. Progress on their work can be found at: www.redcross.org.nz

Vodafone has opened this fund with a $500,000 donation, which comprises £100,000 from the Vodafone Group Foundation and the balance from Vodafone New Zealand. Vodafone UK has also set up a free text donation number for Vodafone UK customers wishing to donate to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. Vodafone UK customers are able to make a £5 donation to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. The TXTs are free and the Vodafone Foundation will donate an additional £1 for every £5 donation made, up to a total of £100,000.

The company’s earlier advice requesting customers to save their phones for emergency calls, and use txt for non-critical communications, still stands.

Vodafone still asks that customers limit mobile data usage (Facebook, Twitter, video/picture messaging, email) as this puts strain on the network and may hamper rescue efforts.

Vodafone also suggests that customers leave a temporary message* on their voicemail to let callers know the time and date, location and that they are OK. This provides some reassurance should mobile phone batteries go flat given the difficulties with power supply.

2degrees' update reads: 2degrees continues to restore service in Christchurch, and the company now has sufficient generators to serve all sites without power, with engineers preparing and transporting them to key sites.

2degrees says service in the eastern parts of the city and the CBD is today's focus.

Challenges include variable power supply and the time taken to install and refuel generators.

Variable power supply means some sites will transition between power, battery backup and generators, so refuelling is key. Given the amount of traffic on the road, fuel transport between sites can be a challenge.

Even with increased coverage, 2degrees maintains its advice to customers to continue to keep calls to a minimum - texting is recommended.

Advice for those wanting to help 2degrees customers in Christchurch keep in touch

With a number of retailers out of action, 2degrees has options for people to give phone credit to those who need to be in contact with friends and family.

Option 1: Credit Card

Anyone can top up a 2degrees mobile user by calling 0800 022 022. All they'll need is the mobile number of the 2degreesphone they want to top up and their credit card number.

Option 2: Transfer from 2degrees to 2degrees

Transfer credit from one 2degrees Prepay phone to another 2degrees Prepay phone. Just text 6238 with the recipient's2degrees number, then *, then the amount to transfer. Eg: To transfer $20: 022 XXX XXXX*20 then text to 6238.

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Tags telecomTelstraClearchristchurch earthquakeenable networks

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