Telecom NZ to review buggy XT network


news Telecom New Zealand chief executive Paul Reynolds has announced an independent review of the telco’s troubled XT 3G mobile network after several major outages.

A massive swathe of New Zealand customers located south of the town of Taupo — an area which includes the country’s south island and the major cities of Wellington and Christchurch — was left without access this morning. Customers north of Taupo were not affected.

“I am angry at the recent outages that have affected parts of the network” — Telecom NZ CEO Paul Reynolds

The XT network, which was launched as New Zealand’s fastest mobile network in May 2009, suffered a similar outage in mid-December last year.

“XT has grown extremely rapidly to serve hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders. I am angry at the recent outages that have affected parts of the network, including one this morning,” Reynolds said in a statement this afternoon.

“I apologise to our customers who have been inconvenienced, but also recognise that words are not enough … I have today commissioned an urgent and independent review to ensure we have taken all reasonable steps to assure customer experience.”

The telco is already working on “capacity and design improvements” to the network with vendor partner Alcatel-Lucent.

The CEO’s intervention came after Alan Gourdie, the chief executive of Telecom’s retail division, had already apologised to customers in an earlier statement, saying the majority of sites had had services restored throughout the afternoon.

“This level of reliability is far below what we and our customers expect – I can assure customers that this has the full attention of Telecom’s executive team,” he said.

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