Hospital boards satisfied with Telecom XT assurance

The Southland and Otago district health boards say they are satisfied with Telecom's assurance its beleaguered XT network will be fixed.

The boards have stepped back from their previous stance of wanting a service guarantee until September, which Telecom said was unrealistic.

The boards joined the XT network as soon as it became available in May last year, and 400 of its 2000 mobile users were on the network. Some of them have switched back to the CDMA network because of XT's outages.

Regional chief information officer Grant Taylor said communication with Telecom about the problems had improved and he was satisfied progress was being made.

"Time will tell if the changes are enough, but, again, we are pleased progress has been made," he said.

Telecom is increasing both the number and processing power of radio network controllers, which manage traffic to and from cell sites, and was boosting cell-site signal strength.

Telecom has created a new section on its website to keep media and customers updated on its XT network during a review and improvements following the outages which affected thousands of customers, NZPA reported.

The Inside XT section,, has information on the XT network upgrade and an independent review of the network.

The new network, launched last May, experienced four separate faults on December 14, January 27 and February 17 and 22, disrupting service to customers south of Taupo for periods ranging from hours to three days.

Telecom put its XT contractor Alcatel-Lucent on notice and paid out $10 million in compensation after the fourth network failure.


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