Telstra will spend $50 million to guard against mobile and internet outages

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Telstra will commit $50 million to safeguard against outages which have affected millions of customers several times this year.

COO Kate McKenzie, speaking at an Investor Day presentation this morning in Melbourne, said $25 million would be spent on monitoring equipment and a further $25 million would be spent on “increasing our capacity to handle a large number of re-registrations occurring simultaneously”.

Australia’s biggest telco incurred the wrath of customers with four prolonged outages to its mobile network during February and March. Telstra blamed the outages on a range of issues, from human error to problems with its international cable.

In April, McKenzie told attendees at the Comms Day Summit that “none of the problems were a system-wide failure”, but the telco would hold a network-wide review with technology partners Ericsson and Cisco.

Today, she said the $50 million investment flagged by the review was aimed at introducing new safeguarding procedures for such things as network restarts and, if outages occurred, ensuring less wait-time for customers to reconnect.

“In any highly sophisticated 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,” McKenzie said.

“We will be specifically introducing more real time traffic monitoring along with more real time customer impact reporting. This will assist in getting better early warning of any traffic patterns in the network that might be a cause for concern.”

McKenzie said Telstra’s recent woes were “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”.

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