The XT Report

May 7th, 2010 at 11:47 am by David Farrar

has released a summary of the report into the multiple failures of their new XT network.

My two word summary is speed wobbles.

To quote the report:

  1. The network failed because the network and supporting operations were not ready to manage the levels of traffic it experienced
  2. Software issues contributed to network instability
  3. Although the XT network was designed to initially provide planned coverage that matched the CDMA network the initial configuration of the XT network and, some network build issues, led to coverage variability
  4. Some aspects of the network architecture are overly complex meaning that any faults are difficult to find and rectify
  5. Immature operational management systems and process failures contributed to the impact of network issues.

No 1 is the big issue, and the rest to my mind seem to be just compounding factors.

This report should be the turning point for Telecom to start restoring faith in XT and its brand. You need a report pointing out the errors, so people think you are now capable of fixing them.

Of course if another major outage was to occur, that would be undermine the recovery of the brand in a major way.

Telecom have also released their third quarter results which are a bit stronger I suspect than expected:

Telecom New Zealand has today announced adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxation Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) of NZ$1,336 million for the nine months to 31 March 2010, down 1.9% on the equivalent nine months in the previous financial year and in line with guidance.

The quarter contained a Southern Cross dividend of $14m, versus $40m in Q3 FY09.

While adjusted revenue for the nine months fell by 7.7%, to $3,936m, adjusted operating expenses fell faster, to $2,600m, a 10.4% decrease on the equivalent nine months.

The other big issue for Telecom will be the results of the fibre to the home tender.


4 Responses to “The XT Report”

  1. thomasbeagle (77 comments) says:

    I thought that the report was subtly scathing of Telecom’s management of the implementation.

    It’s saying that Telecom failed to model expected demand and then failed to react to that demand. This is surely a serious management failure.

    Consider this line: “Analysys Mason recommends that capacity planning takes a longer-term view with installed network elements being capable to at least manage up to 12 months of traffic capacity.”

    Does this mean that Telecom weren’t even planning capacity out to 12 months? What sort of planning time frame were they using? Weekly?

    The report then goes on to slam their “immature network management systems and processes”. Ouch.

    “The approach to operating the network was not appropriate for a new, quickly changing network that included leading-edge technology.” Ouch.

    It then goes on to say that they had made the design too complex, were not prepared to handle problems, were not measuring network performance well enough, and generally had no clue what they were doing.

    After reading the report, the only question I had was how much did Alcatel-Lucent have to pay in bribes to apportion blame in the way they have?

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  2. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    A better two word summary would be ‘short-sighted thinking’ (or is that 3 words?). The turning point will only come after several months of no outages, or a major outage on a competitors network, not after some report that really just states the obvious.

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  3. Mike Readman (359 comments) says:

    Did you hear Spielberg is making a sequel to ET? It’s called XT – can’t phone home.

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