Life Tech Customers fuming as Telstra’s network crashes – again

Customers fuming as Telstra’s network crashes – again

telstra mobile outage
Telstra CEO Andy Penn says the company's circumstances are very different from before the NBN. Photo: AAP
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Telstra’s mobile network crashed across Australia again on Tuesday – the latest in a recent series of outages for the telecommunications company.

Telstra confirmed to the ABC by about 1pm (AEST) that mobile customers in the nation’s capital cities were affected.

However, it denied there was an issue with its 3G and 4G network, saying customers of resellers were affected.

“There was a vendor platform issue that impacted mobile virtual network operating services for a small number of wholesale customers,” the company told the ABC.

“The majority of those services have already been restored. We apologise to these wholesale customers for any inconvenience.”

It has been a difficult week for Australia’s two big telecommunications companies, with Telstra rival Optus suffering a PR hit after its service streaming live coverage of the FIFA World Cup from Russia crashed repeatedly.

Late on Monday, it was forced to hand its football coverage to SBS for 48 hours, hoping that would give it time to resolve the issues.

On network-monitoring website, outraged Telstra customers vented their displeasure at the network breakdown – with many suggesting the problems had started on Monday.

“This is a case study in incompetence,” user Jason Alf wrote. “We are the telecommunications laughing stock of the world. Billions of dollars gone and this is the result.”

Another user, Slugoid, said they had also been affected by one of May’s outages: “If Telstra keeps this up, I’ll be switching to other providers.”

Telstra’s network also crashed on May 21, in a widespread outage that left customers unable to make calls or use mobile data. The company blamed a software fault on its 4G network for that failure.

That incident followed a May 4 lightning strike that shut down the national emergency phone network, and another one on May 1, when customers were unable to make or receive calls for several hours.

telstra outages
Andy Penn will speak at Telstra’s annual strategy briefing, following a difficult few weeks for the company. Photo: AAP

Telstra chief executive Andy Penn is due to face investors today at the company’s annual strategy briefing.

With Telstra shares hovering around a seven-year low of $2.87, Mr Penn is under growing pressure to provide a vision to secure the company’s growth as it faces thinner margins and tougher competition in the Australian market.

Since Mr Penn took over as CEO in May, 2015, Telstra shares have fallen 53.8 per cent.

Last month Telstra warned that its 2017/18 earnings are likely to be at the bottom end of its guidance range of $10.1 billion to $10.6 billion, blaming increasing competition in mobile and fixed broadband, and rising costs from the NBN.

Analysts have tipped further cost cuts will be announced and some have raised the possibility of a major announcement such as a split of the company’s network and retail operations into separate businesses.

-with agencies