Race for payphone fix

Telecom's remedying of its payphone software fault is turning into something of a race; will the software supplier, French company Ascom Monetel, come up with a permanent fix that can be distributed online, or will maintenance crews get round and fix them all "on-site" first, or at least render them operable?

Telecom’s remedying of its payphone software fault is turning into something of a race; will the software supplier, French company Ascom Monetel, come up with a permanent fix that can be distributed online, or will maintenance crews get round and fix them all “on-site” first, or at least render them operable?

Discussions with the supplier were continuing, Telecom spokesman John Goulter said this afternoon, and technicians from the two companies were working on a precise identification of the fault and construction of a remedy that could be deployed online.

Meanwhile, however, Telecom technicians are running around to the phones and uninstalling the faulty upgrade hands-on. “We did 250 yesterday and we anticipate doing another 300 today,” Goulter says.

The uninstallers are concentrating initially on “high-use” and critical phones, such as those in airports, hospitals, shopping malls and backpacker hostels.

This exercise will merely restore the phones to their working condition before the upgrade.

The purpose of the upgrade is to allow callers to use their credit cards in all payphones, rather that only in special-purpose phones as at present.

The fault involves non-communication of the phone and the management network. The payphones worked fine until their daily poll from the management program, Goulter said; then they locked up. Ascom Monetel says the problem has never happened before.

Earlier story

Telecom hopes for online payphone fix

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