Telstra earmarks $50m to reduce mobile outages

Telstra boosts network capacity, redundancy

Telstra will spend $50 million on measures to prevent a repeat of a string of high-profile outages of mobile services that took place earlier this year.

The telco announced the measures today at its investor day briefing.

Telstra suffered a major mobile outage in February, which the telco blamed on human error. In March Telstra’s network suffered two bouts of problems, sparking further customer complaints.

Although there were different root causes for each outage, the ensuing disruptions were the result of the network being overloaded as devices attempted to reconnect to the network.

In the wake of the problems Telstra commissioned a network review.

Telstra announced the outcomes of the review today.

“The first outcome is that we have confirmed the root causes of those disruptions and implemented a range of steps to significantly reduce the likelihood of these issues happening again,” chief operations officer Kate McKenzie said in remarks prepared for today’s briefing.

The telco has increasing redundancy in its mobile network’s node and boosted the capacity of Telstra’s core network.

Telstra has also introduced new procedures for network element restarts.

“In any highly sophisticated world class network like ours there will always be disruptions which is why we use sophisticated tools to help us better detect issues and allow stronger monitoring,” McKenzie said in her remarks.

“We are going to make even further investments in this area to take advantage of some of the most cutting edge technology becoming available.”

The $50 million will be split 50:50 between investing in the network’s capacity to handle re-registration of devices and improving real-time monitoring.

The investment in improved monitoring “will assist in getting better early warning of any traffic patterns in the network that might be a cause for concern,” McKenzie said.

“This is an incredibly large and sophisticated network and we can never give a guarantee that disruptions won’t occur from time to time,” McKenzie said

“While our focus on the highest levels of reliability will continue to be relentless, we will also focus on being a world leader in the time to recovery when the unexpected happens.”

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