GPRS network outage affected only few customers: Vodafone

Network outage said to affect only a handful of customers

Vodafone says less than three per cent of its customers using the telco’s General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) were affected by a nationwide outage at 2pm last Wednesday.

Some affected users had to restart their devices, according to Vodafone spokeswoman Leigh Owens. While not expounding on the actual reason for the outage while a full investigation is in process, Owens says the issue wasn’t caused by the recent earthquakes affecting GPRS relay stations.

Ross Hughson, CIO of Westpac Bank which is currently trialling the Blackberry push email service, says users with trouble accessing the GPRS network were told to reboot the devices. After restarting the Blackberries, access was restored, Hughson says.

GPRS is a packet-switched mobile data delivery technology for GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) networks. It offers a theoretical throughput of 172kbit/s under ideal circumstances (full timeslot occupation and no error correction). In reality however, network speeds are considerably slower at around 50kbit/s.

Vodafone New Zealand uses GPRS to provide Internet access on mobile devices and telemetry, Owens says. Navman New Zealand utilises the GPRS network for its vehicle and asset tracking products.

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