025 network and Xtra crash 'not related'

Telecom says last week's two major outages, a mobile phone network crash and Xtra's email problems, are not related and were not the fault of a hacker attack.

Telecom says last week's two major outages, a mobile phone network crash and Xtra’s email problems, are not related and were not the fault of a hacker attack.

“The two incidents are quite unrelated — the systems are entirely 100% unrelated," says Telecom spokesman Glen Sowry. "It’s was just bad luck they happened so close together.”

Xtra’s email problem, which saw 150,000 users lose access to their email for 22 hours, started with a network card failure. Xtra’s email network is split between two systems, each carrying half the ISP’s load. Any failure of one will result in the traffic being transferred immediately to the other system.

“Users shouldn’t even notice if that happens,” says Xtra spokeswoman Mary Parker. In this incident, however, the systems both tried to hand off their workload to the other system at the same time, resulting in an outage for half of Xtra’s user base.

“No emails were lost, but users couldn’t access them.”

The problem with the 025 cellphone network was the result of a software upgrade by vendor Ericsson, says Sowry.

“It was a very intermittent fault; it wasn’t a wholesale fault across the whole network. It first occurred at 7am and all service was fully restored by midday.”

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