3 min read

Yesterday, the Swedish networking and telecommunications company, Ericsson reported an issue in their core software which caused network disturbances for some of its customers. This issue was responsible for a data outage across 11 countries including the United Kingdom’s O2 and Japan’s SoftBank mobile services.

Ericsson identified that only those customers using two specific software versions of the SGSN–MME (Serving GPRS Support Node – Mobility Management Entity) were affected. The initial root cause analysis by the company indicated that the main issue was an expired certificate installed with the affected customers.

Ericsson CEO and President, Börje Ekholm, said, “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.”

The O2 and Softbank outage caused millions of customers in UK and Japan to stay offline for a whole day!

30 million customers of the O2 mobile provider in the UK were unable to make or receive phone calls due to Ericsson’s expired certificate issue. The other service providers affected include Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile.

O2’s entire network including the companies using its platforms, and its subsidiaries, Giffgaff and Lycamobile were highly affected. However, the services were restored at around 4 am yesterday.

The outage also affected Transport for London’s live updates of bus arrival times at stops across the capital, which relies on O2’s network for data updates.

Mark Evans, O2’s CEO tweeted reassuring the customers that the company was doing everything to fix the issue and also apologized to the affected customers for the same.

On the other hand, in Japan’s, SoftBank and Y!mobile 4G LTE mobile phone services, Ouchi-No-Denwa fixed-line services, and SoftBank Air services were also affected. SoftBank said that its outage extended from 1.39pm until 6.04pm JST, yesterday.

According to SoftBank’s press release on its outage, “SoftBank Network Center detected software’s malfunction in all of the packet switching machines manufactured by Ericsson, which are installed at the Tokyo Center and the Osaka Center, covering our mobile customers nationwide.”

SoftBank also received a report from Ericsson stating “the software has been in operation since nine months ago and the failure caused by the same software also occurred simultaneously in other telecom carriers across 11 countries, which installed the same Ericsson-made devices.”
Marielle Lindgren, CEO Ericsson UK & Ireland said, “The faulty software that has caused these issues is being decommissioned. Our priority is to restore full data services on the network by tomorrow(Friday) morning. Ericsson sincerely apologizes to customers for the inconvenience caused.”

To know more about this news in detail, visit Ericsson’s official press release.

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