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O2 apologises for snags in London network

29 декабря 2009

The head of O2 has apologised to customers who could not make phone calls because the mobile operator’s London network was overwhelmed by bandwidth-hungry smartphones.

Ronan Dunne told the Financial Times he was disappointed with O2’s network performance in London since the summer. But the UK’s largest mobile phone operator was making good progress towards fixing the problems, he said.

O2 ran into significant network difficulties in the capital during the second half of 2009 as customers with smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone ramped up their use of applications that repeatedly pull data off the internet at short intervals.

Vodafone, the second-largest operator, is seizing on O2’s problems and claiming that its network will cope far better with the fast-growing number of smartphones. Network quality will be a key battleground for the operators next year.

Mr Dunne said O2’s network difficulties had been caused by an “explosion” of demand for data services on smartphones but insisted the problems were largely confined to London.

Some O2 customers have periodically been unable to make or receive phone calls, or download material to their handsets, because the network was clogged up by smartphones.

“Where we haven’t met our own high standards then there’s no question, we apologise to customers for that fact,” said Mr Dunne. “But it would be wrong to say that O2 has failed its customers en masse.”

He added that “any short-term blip” in O2’s “network reputation” would be “more than addressed” by three solutions to the difficulties.

O2 has been working with Nokia Siemens Networks, its infrastructure supplier, on software modifications that will ensure it can better manage the combination of voice and data traffic on its network.

Second, it is installing 200 additional mobile base stations in London, which will increase the traffic load the network can bear.

And third, O2 is liaising with handset manufacturers, including Apple and Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, to learn about applications that could place heavy demands on the network.

Mr Dunne said O2’s network performance in London had begun to improve in December.

Источник: Financial Times

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