United Kingdom and Japan both today suffered massive mobile network outages which left millions of users in the countries without smartphone coverage. Financial Times has reported that O2 network was hit by closure at 5AM local time. At the same time, Japan’s SoftBank also began experiencing problems. Both networks have a large following in the regions with O2 having 32 million users in UK and SoftBank over 30 million subscribers. The network outages are being attributed to issues with Ericsson equipment.
FT report regarding this outage is based on two sources that have know-how of the situation. According to these sources, it is the equipment from the Swedish manufacturer that has caused the notorious outages. However, this claim has yet to be confirmed from O2, SoftBank and Ericsson. O2 released a statement in which it has only talked about a ‘global software issue’ with one of its international suppliers that is to be blamed for this huge outage. SoftBank on the other hand simply said that it was ‘examining the cause’ of the problem.
Response by Company CEOs
O2 quickly responded by issuing a statement from Mark Evans (CEO):
“We will continue to work with Ericsson, through the night, who have assured us that a full service will be restored for customers by the morning. We fully appreciate it’s been a poor experience and we are really sorry.”
CEO Ericsson UK and Ireland, Marielle Lindgren provided more details:
“The cause of today’s network issue is in certain nodes in the core network resulting in network disturbances for a limited number of customers across the world, including in the UK. We have been working hard on resolving the UK data issue since early this morning. The faulty software that has caused these issues is being decommissioned.”
According to The Verge, at the time of publishing O2 continues to report problems across UK’s O2 network. SoftBank on the other hand has been successful in restoring its services in Japan after shutting down for five hours. The recovery was quick for SoftBank. However the outage has impacted the network company negatively. It was preparing to launch Japan’s greatest ever initial public offering for its mobile subsidiary in the next two weeks. The company had to face a loss of six percent in its shares on Thursday. It is now to be soon how soon can O2 recover from this outage and resume its services for UK smartphone users.