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O2 retains Ericsson’s services despite blaming it for outages

Moving from one dodgy piece of kit to another
Thu Oct 18 2012, 15:53
O2 logo with bubbles

UK MOBILE OPERATOR O2 has decided to keep Ericsson as a network kit supplier, despite blaming the firm for the recent outage that left 10 percent of its mobile customers with no service.

Ericsson has told The INQUIRER that although it will no longer be providing O2's Central User Database, which was blamed as the cause of last week's outage, it has been chosen as the supplier for the new system the mobile operator is rolling out to avoid further downtime.

"O2 are moving to classic HLR [home location registry] which Ericsson has provided for many years in the network and continues to do so," a spokesperson for Ericsson said.

On Wednesday, O2 COO Derek McManus released a statement indicating that O2 was ditching Ericsson completely.

"We are removing the Central User Database provided by one of our suppliers, which has suffered two different faults in the last few months," he noted.

"We are not prepared to risk this happening to our customers for a third time and are implementing a proven alternative solution."

O2 told The INQUIRER that the supplier in question was Ericsson, but when we asked who it was partnering with instead, the mobile operator declined to divulge that the faulty piece of kit being dumped was being replaced by another piece of kit from the same apparently unreliable supplier.

Despite the dent to its reputation from being revealed as the source of frustration for thousands of O2 customers, Ericsson stands to benefit from the whole situation. McManus noted that O2 would be spending an additional £10m on the move to the new system, so Ericsson stands to make a pretty penny out of it.

So that's where all the potential O2 customer compensation went. µ


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