Telstra commits $50 million to cut mobile outages

Telco completes review with several recommendations now being implemented

Telstra will commit $50 million on new measures to reduce the likelihood of further disruptions to its mobile network following a series of outages earlier this year.

Speaking at an Investor Day presentation in Melbourne this morning, Telstra COO Kate McKenzie said the telco's recent network review had identified three key outcomes with several recommendations now being implemented.

“The first outcome is that we have confirmed the root causes of those disruptions and implemented a range of steps to significantly reduce the likelihood of these issues happening again,” said McKenzie.

She said this included increasing redundancy in the nodes, adding more capacity to the core network, introducing new processes and procedures for key network element restarts, and improving resilience in Telstra's international connectivity.

The second outcome related to increased investment in Telstra’s network monitoring and tools, McKenzie said.

“In any ... world class network like ours, there will always be disruptions. Which is why we use sophisticated tools to help us better detect issues and allow stronger monitoring. We are going to make even further investments in this area to take advantage of some of the most cutting edge technology becoming available,” she said.

Specifically Telstra will be introducing more real time traffic monitoring and more real time customer impact reporting, which is expected to assist in getting earlier warning of any concerning network traffic patterns.

Telstra will spend around $25 million to install this monitoring equipment. The telco is also hoping to improve recovery time for customers.

“This is an incredibly large ... network and we can never guarantee that disruptions won’t occur from time to time. While our focus on the highest levels of reliability will continue to be relentless, we will also focus on being a world leader in the time to recovery, when the unexpected happens,” McKenzie said.

When a network disruption occurs, mobile users must reconnect back onto the network. When large numbers of mobile users are attempting to reconnect at one time, networks become clogged leading to a delay in access.

“This is a common challenge for networks around the world – to ensure there is enough capacity in the network so that those reconnections take as little time as possible," she said.

“As a result, we are investing an additional $25 million increasing our capacity to handle a large number of re-registrations occurring simultaneously."

The review also included Telstra’s specialist teams, global experts from Ericsson, Juniper and Cisco, and an independent adviser, highly experienced global telecommunications executive Dave Williams from Tech Mahindra.

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