Vox pop: Mobile network outages are...

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This article appeared in the July 2018 issue of CRN magazine.

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Vox pop: Mobile network outages are...

Hannah Browne, general manager, Cevo

Outages are a fact of life and the Cevo team often discuss this in terms of ‘mean time to recovery’ rather than ‘mean time between failures’. Outages should be planned and managed in a way that impacts a minimum number of customers. The wee hours of the morning or weekends are a better time than during peak hour or throughout the work day.

I get so disappointed when a significant unplanned outage affects a lot of customers and is blamed on an individual knocking a plug out of a wall socket or similarly ludicrous scapegoat excuse.

Our network providers operate a utility that individuals and organisations rely on heavily. They have an obligation to our entire community to be appropriately resilient and robust enough to withstand single points of failure events and manage their disaster recovery in a way that preserves the integrity of the network we all rely on.

Jo Byrnes, director, Cloudwize

It would be wonderful to have 100 percent uptime of mobile networks, but in reality that’s improbable. Complex systems undergoing regular change, plus the human factor, means network outages will be a probable presence in our lives.

While I’m not in the camp that these are unacceptable at any time, I also cannot accept that such outages are “unavoidable”. The regularity with which mobile outages occur is simply not acceptable.

There is a mantra in the technology field about redundancy - have the telcos missed that memo?  Has the race to out-market the competition, and expand into new offerings such as IT and security, occurred at the expense of robust systems that meet Australia’s telephony needs?

This infrastructure is not only business critical, but our lives depend upon it. Perhaps when we’ve finished with the banks, a Telco royal commission is in order?

Tom Allan, director, Basis Networks

I have been surprised by the number and severity of outages across Telstra’s 3G/4G mobile networks in recent months.

While for many Australians the impact of these is negligible, for business owners reliant on these services to operate, and members of the public with no alternative, the impact can be far reaching.

The media is right to highlight these issues and question why they are happening, and the public has a right to be angry.

These networks are critical to a mobile-centric digital society, and it appears that the faults that are causing these outages could have been avoided through better network design and alignment with the kind of rigorous change management you would expect from a leading service provider.

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