Telecom New Zealand's 3G network on the fritz

Telecom New Zealand's new 3G network has been plagued with major outages during the past month, prompting the operator's CEO Paul Reynolds to put its 3G vendor Alcatel Lucent on notice, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen apologized to Telecom New Zealand customers on a New Zealand radio show. "We have to take responsibility," he said. "We have way too many issues in the network, and we have to fix them." Verwaayen added that AlcaLu is sending the "best experts we have from around the world" to work on the problems in New Zealand.

Earlier this week, Telecom New Zealand's 3G network, branded XT, experienced another major outage--days after the operator announced what caused another outage at the end of January and indicated it was fixing those problems.

Telecom New Zealand said in a statement that the January outage was due to "traffic surges in the network overloading the radio network controller in Christchurch. During the outage on 27 January, the traffic surge was caused by thousands of users suddenly re-registering after a separate network routing fault took down some cell sites."

Senior executives are resigning because of the problems. Yesterday, Frank Mount, the operator's CTO, resigned; Steve Lowe, Alcatel-Lucent's head of New Zealand business also has stepped down.

Telecom New Zealand said it will discount phone bills by one third for three months to make up for the network problems. Business users will get a 50-percent discount for the next three months. That move will cost Telecom New Zealand $6.8 million in addition to the $3.4 million the operator offered up earlier this month to make up for the January outage.

For more:
- check out this Light Reading Mobile article
- read this Wall Street Journal article (sub. required)

Related articles:
New Zealand proposes ambitious broadband plan
Telecom New Zealand faces investigation
New Zealand outage leaves 500,000 without broadband

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