O2 gives Ericsson the boot

After two outages, the network is taking decisive action
Darren Allan

October 18, 2012

After last week’s major network failure, and the even bigger outage in July, O2 is taking action to restore confidence, and is changing its infrastructure, giving one supplier, Ericsson, the heave-ho.

If you missed this last week, O2’s network went down on Friday lunchtime, and wasn’t fully back up until the Saturday morning.

Around 10 per cent of its customer base were unable to make calls or surf the net on mobiles as a result – although the outage in the summer was an even worse one, lasting several days.

While O2 has made it clear that it won’t offer compensation for last week’s glitch (unlike the previous one), the firm has outlined the steps it’s taking to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

In a blog post entitled “Rebuilding your trust in our leading network,” COO Derek McManus noted that O2 is removing the central user database provided by Ericsson, which was the cause of both these outages, at the cost of £10 million to the company.

McManus said: “We are not prepared to risk this happening to our customers for a third time and are implementing a proven alternative solution.”

O2 also stated that it will continue to spend £1.5 million per day on expanding and improving its network in general terms.

Customer service will also be honed. McManus stated: “We are up-weighting and re-focussing our Service Experience Team to be solely dedicated to ensuring the highest level of customer network experience while we go through this period of unprecedented investment, culminating in the delivery of our 4G service.”

O2 certainly needed to do something to restore confidence, and this seems a good move on the company’s part. Let’s hope we have a major-outage-free 2013.


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