Why Telstra’s Mobile Network Went Down

Why Telstra’s Mobile Network Went Down
Image: Getty

Yesterday, thousands of Telstra customers were stranded without access to mobile voice or data for nearly five hours. It was the third outage affecting Telstra services this month. Now, the beleaguered telco has released a statement explaining what went wrong.

A “software fault” is being blamed for yesterday’s service blackout. This led to widespread disruption to 4G voice and data services across the entire country.

Currently, Telstra doesn’t actually know what caused the software issue and is still investigating. There’s also no word on what compensation – if any – will be offered to customers.

Here’s the full statement from Telstra:

Starting from approximately 10:00am yesterday morning some key network equipment failed causing a disruption to 4G voice and data services nationally. The impact was widespread and with a large number of customers dropping back to 3G there was significant disruption to 3G voice and data services as demand exceeded the capacity of our 3G network.

We have identified that the initial cause of the disruption was a software fault which triggered multiple elements across the network to fail. The network is designed to switch onto standby hardware which it did. Following the failover however, a further fault caused an interruption which impacted 4G connections. There is redundancy built into these systems but this did not operate as intended.

By around 11:40am we had successfully isolated the impacted network infrastructure and services began to be progressively restored. It took about two hours for full service to be restored after that, although our team was working longer with some government and enterprise customers to help them with their systems recovery.

We are still investigating the root cause of the software fault. We are working closely with our technology vendors on the specific element of software which triggered the issue.

Our teams have worked around the clock to restore services and to investigate why the redundancy in our network did not prevent customer impact, for which we are deeply sorry.


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