Updated 09.24am December 7 2018
Mobile data outages that left O2 customers with no network for close to 24 hours and hit other companies in an estimated 11 countries were caused by certificate issues in a software update provided by network provider Ericsson.
Ericsson has disclosed that: “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.”
The main issue they say was in certain nodes in the core network which caused software versions of the SGSN–MME (Serving GPRS Support Node – Mobility Management Entity) to experience problems.
SGSN represents a gateway towards the services within a Telecom Operator. MME represents the control-node for the LTE access-network or 4G.
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.”
A spokesperson for O2 has commented that: “Our technical teams will continue working hard with Ericsson engineers to restore 4G which will bring us back to full network service. We will update our website and social media channels as soon as we have more information. We’re sorry for the loss of service our customers have experienced today.”
Data Outages Across 11 Countries
O2, Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile customers had no access to mobile data on their devices since Thursday morning. O2 said services were restored this morning.
Our 4G network was restored earlier this morning. Our technical teams will continue to monitor service performance closely and we're starting the full review to understand what happened. We are really sorry for the issues yesterday.
— O2 in the UK (@O2) December 7, 2018
More than 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks.
Japan’s SoftBank telecommunications corporation was also affected.
In a Japanese-language release the company suggested the issue was with a global software update that affected “packet switching machines” and they had resolved it quickly by restoring the affected software to a previous version.
Outage Update: One of our 3rd party suppliers has identified a software issue in their system. Our technical teams are working extremely hard to resolve this. We'd encourage you to use Wi-Fi wherever you can and we are really sorry.
— O2 in the UK (@O2) December 6, 2018
Transport for London was among those having difficulties keeping customers informed of live bus times as their Countdown System went down.
Tesco Mobile has also informed its users via Twitter that their: “Technical teams are working closely with one of our third party suppliers who has identified a global software issue in their system.”
O2 customers have taken to social media to voice their displeasure over the outage with many commenting that it is not just their data that is out of action, but they are unable to make phone calls over the cellular network.
O2 said “high demand on our network… means some customers may have issues making and receiving voice calls.”