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VHA’s network outage woes continue

NBN is claiming more coverage in the bush

Vodafone Hutchison Australia’s coverage troubles look set to deepen, with a proposed class action lawsuit against the telco for poor service gaining ground in the country. When first suggested at the beginning of this year, about 9,000 claimants expressed interest; that number has more than doubled to 22,000 in the past three months, according to reports in The Australian.

The report comes on the back of a network outage that saw users unable to send or receive SMSs on Easter Sunday. Disgruntled subscribers vented their anger on Twitter and Facebook, with the former managing to make “vodafail” the trending topic in Australia for the day; a Facebook page about the network failure acquired 20,000 members in the course of one day.

VHA apologised to customers on a blog post and offered 12 hours of free SMS services on May 1st by way of compensation, but comments posted in response to the blog entry suggest that the gesture is unlikely to make much difference to increasingly negative perceptions of the carrier’s service.

The past year has seen VHA struggling to get to grips with a series of network outages. In February, CEO Nigel Dews was forced to apologise to irate customers, admitting that the company had been too slow to react to the technical issues that had wreaked havoc on its network over the previous six months. In February of this year, VHA announced plans to rip and replace its entire network of 2G and 3G base station equipment. The project will see 2G equipment at every one of VHA’s 8,000 mobile base stations replaced with Huawei 3G kit – a first radio access win in Australia for the Chinese manufacturer.

Last week, Vodafone announced that almost 40 new or upgraded sites had been tested and gone live throughout the country. A further 28 sites were being tested or prepared for testing in the coming weeks.

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2 comments

  1. Abc 27/04/2011 @ 1:10 pm

    Firstly, it is Nigel Dews, not Dawson.

    Secondly, VHA has become a case study of what not to do in all aspects of merging two telcos. It is hard to pick what they did right.

  2. Compare Mobile Plans 27/04/2011 @ 4:40 pm

    VHA need to get their act together before it becomes impossible to salvage whats left of their customer base and reputation. Already there’s a desparate lack of competition in the Australian telcom environment. If VHA disappear, there will be no one to keep the big duopoly of Telstra and Optus in check.

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