Vodafone blames backhaul for outage, offers free data

Vodafone blames backhaul for outage, offers free data

Summary: Vodafone has blamed its backhaul for causing a nation-wide mobile outage in Australia yesterday, and has offered free data to its customers this weekend in apology.

TOPICS: Telcos, Australia

As Vodafone and Optus yesterday experienced a nation-wide outage of mobile services, Vodafone has today offered free data this weekend for its customers.

Vodafone's services went down in Western Australia yesterday morning, with the outage eventually spreading across the entire country, as people took to social media to complain about the first major network incident for the company in close to three years, since the infamous "Vodafail" 3G network issues in 2010 and 2011.

Services were restored in most areas by yesterday afternoon, in all areas except Western Australia.

Vodafone said that the issue stems to a network transmission failure in Western Australia at 11am AEST that ultimately had an impact on the national network with some customers unable to call, text, or use mobile data.

The problem was resolved in other states by 4:10pm AEST, and was resolved in Western Australia by 6:30pm AEST.

"Our only priority today was restoring full network services to all customers as soon as possible. We’re now investigating to find out the root cause of the problem. While no mobile network in the world can guarantee it will never experience occasional issues, we’re working to ensure it doesn't happen again," Vodafone's chief technology officer Benoit Hanssen said in a statement.

As compensation for the outage, Vodafone is offering free data to its customers from midnight AEST Friday June 20, until 3am AEST Monday June 23, 2014. The 3am finish time will mean that the offer will finish up at midnight in Western Australia, where the problems started.

"We know our customers had a less than perfect network experience today and we want them to know we’re sorry," Hanssen said.

"Over the past three years our network team has worked tirelessly to ensure our customers have fast and reliable mobile coverage. To apologise we want them to enjoy unlimited data access all weekend. "

Topics: Telcos, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Voda, Optus and Telstra outages

    Is it a coincidence that all networks had major outrages yesterday?

    Optus and Telstra reported major outages
    David Boyd
  • +1 Not a peep..

    from either Optus or Telstra ! Typical arrogance.

    They seem to be happy to let Vodafone shoulder the responsibility !

    My iPhone went dead. It was saying I had no signal or SOS.

    I wasn't aware of the outage, until a friend visited me & let me know. It took a full iPhone software reboot to get back online again. An average user would have been off line for hours before realising it was caused by their carriers' network failure, which was also responsible for their phone's failure. A carrier can't just shrug their shoulders any more when their network failures. More & more are totally dependant on the mobile service.

    If I didn't know better, I'd say it was due to a total lack of redundancy of either the trunk carrier equipment or the trunk network from the West coast to the East coast ?

    How could a failure in Western Australia take all of the countries network carriers off line ? I doubt it was a coincident !

    Cost cutting more like it ???
  • I had no Outage on Amaysim (which is Optus).

    As per the subject, my Amaysim account (3G) was fine. If it did go down, it was back up VERY quickly.
    My boss is with Voda and his 4G was down for only around an hour. Other friends on Voda's 3G services didn't get back up until late afternoon (WA time).

    With regards to the free data ... I lolled. I'd like to wish Vodafone the best of luck with their data congestion issues over the coming weekend.
  • the weird thing was

    The problem was only voice calls, at least in Melbourne anyway.
    Data thru the Vodafone network was still working well.