OpenSignal has identified that December 6th’s mobile network outage hit multiple operators at the same time across the globe.
Analyzing availability data for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies across hundreds of networks, we found three operators where smartphone users experienced a significant and sudden drop in LTE availability: Mobifone in Vietnam; SoftBank in Japan; and O2 in the UK.
Smartphone users on O2 UK’s network suffered the worst hit with 4G/LTE services taking almost a full day to return to normal. By comparison, Softbank and Mobifone were able to restore normal service within six and seven hours respectively.
Ericsson admitted it was at fault for the outages stating, “An initial root cause analysis indicates that the main issue was an expired certificate in the software versions installed with these customers.” and the company also said that the faulty software causing the issue was being decommissioned.
The outage didn’t only affect mobile subscribers; its knock-on effects were also felt by individuals using services struck by the downed networks. For example, London’s electronic bus timetable service – which runs on O2 UK’s network – also stopped working.
With millions of smartphone users unable to access the internet and other additional services disrupted, December 6th’s mobile network outage reminds consumers of the extent to which the world is now interconnected, and the importance of mobile internet connectivity in our daily lives, especially in relation to the Internet of Things (IoT) experience. It also shows the essential role that on-device measurements analytics play in understanding the real-world network experience in order to provide the operators and regulators with helpful insights to maintain and improve their services.