France Telecom Mobile Network Outage Affecting 26 Million Subscribers, Angers Government Ministers
For nine hours, beginning last Friday afternoon at about 15:00 Paris time until 00:30 Saturday morning, some 26 million subscribers of France Télécom’s mobile company Orange were unable to make calls, send text messages, or downlaod data. According to ComputerWorld UK, the database that keeps track of which cell a subscriber is connected to which is called the New Generation Home Location Register suffered a software error. Exactly why the error occurred is not known, and Orange is said to be consulting with equipment suppliers Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson to try to track down the root cause.
ComputerWorld UK reported that the register, which was supplied by Alcatel-Lucent, is made up of three elements: the front end, the central servers, and the databases. An Orange spokesperson stated in the article that, “There were some inconsistencies in the data, and erroneous messages were exchanged between the different elements. That caused some saturations, leading to a snowball effect that blocked the system.”
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