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Vodafone blames backhaul for outage, offers free data

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.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

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. "

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