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O2 dumps network partner Ericsson after major outages

Firm behind Central User Database hardware held responsible
Wed Oct 17 2012, 16:15
O2 logo with bubbles

O2 HAS DITCHED network firm Ericsson as its hardware supplier after its kit was found responsible for the network outages that twice blighted its services this year.

The firm suffered a second outage last week that left some two million customers without call or data services for over 24 hours. It also suffered a major outage in July that led to the firm having to compensate its customers.

Thie latest outage led to widespread anger from customers who said they would consider moving to a rival network and wanted yet more compensation for the disruption.

In an effort to try to rebuild customer loyalty, O2 said that it has severed ties with Ericsson, which provided the technology for its Central User Database (CUD), where the two faults occurred.

O2 explained to The INQUIRER that the CUD is used to connect customers' SIMs onto its network, in order for customers to get mobile signal on their phones.

"We are not prepared to risk this happening to our customers for a third time and are implementing a proven alternative solution," said O2 COO Derek McManus in a blog post.

The INQUIRER contacted Ericsson for comment on O2's decision but has yet to receive a reply.

McManus also said the firm will be paying around £10m to make this transition, underlining the importance if was placing on addressing this issue. The firm is also setting up a new Service Experience Team with the aim of ensuring customers remain satisfied with O2.

"While we recognise that we have dented the confidence and trust of some of our customers, I hope this plan will demonstrate our commitment to rebuilding that trust," McManus explained.

"We will not rest until we have cemented the stability of our network and can deliver the level of service customers have come to expect of us over the last 10 years."

The issues come as O2's rivalEE prepares to rollout 4G networks on its existing 2G spectrum, which could well entice customers to jump ship to the operator to take advantage of the services. µ


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