Millions of mobile voice and data customers in the UK (O2) and Japan (SoftBank) were affected by a network outage. The outage was caused by Swedish telecoms major Ericsson software glitch.
A large number of Japan’s SoftBank subscribers lost connectivity in the early afternoon on 6th December, which was reportedly restored just after 6PM local time, there. On the other hand, O2’s 4G network went down around 5AM local time in the UK on 6th December.
O2 has mentioned that the services are slowly getting back to normalcy. O2 has 32 million customers on its network in the UK and on the other hand SoftBank is having more than 40 million mobile customers in Japan.
O2 customers impacted by the outage were not able to access data on their mobile devices and the company said they may experience “intermittent issues” when making voice calls as well.
“I want to reassure our customers that we are doing everything we can to fix the issue with our network and say how sorry I am to everyone affected. My teams are working really hard with Ericsson to find a swift resolution,” said Telefonica UK (O2) CEO Mark Evans on his Twitter account.
A statement from Ericsson says –
Following network disturbances in a number of Ericsson’s customer networks, Ericsson has taken immediate action to minimize impact and support the restoration of services.
During December 6, 2018, Ericsson has identified an issue in certain nodes in the core network resulting in network disturbances for a limited number of customers in multiple countries using two specific software versions of the SGSN–MME (Serving GPRS Support Node – Mobility Management Entity).
Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “The faulty software that has caused these issues is being decommissioned and we apologize not only to our customers but also to their customers. We work hard to ensure that our customers can limit the impact and restore their services as soon as possible.”
An initial root cause analysis indicates that the main issue was an expired certificate in the software versions installed with these customers. A complete and comprehensive root cause analysis is still in progress. Our focus is now on solving the immediate issues.
During the course of December 6, most of the affected customers’ network services have been successfully restored. We are working closely with the remaining customers that are still experiencing issues.