O2 to seek compensation from Ericsson over UK outage

O2 is to seek “tens of millions” of pounds in compensation from Ericsson after the Swedish telecoms equipment manufacturer was blamed for Thursday’s outage

The day-long O2 outage impacted all of the operator’s 25 million customers, as well as an additional seven million customers using Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile and giffgaff, all of which use the same mobile infrastructure.

Issues were first reported at 05:30am on Thursday 6 December and it became clear the outage was the result of a glitch in software used by network equipment partner Ericsson and was affecting operators in other countries.

O2 compensation

Ericsson confirmed the outage was caused by a node failure and appears to have been related to an expired certificate in the versions used by the affected operators. It has been suggested that O2 was affected because it was using the latest version of Ericsson’s software whereas other operators using the same kit used an older edition.

Services were restored by early Friday morning with O2 promising to compensate customers frustrated at being disconnected for an entire day. O2 has said it will credit pay monthly subscribers’ accounts for the two days of disruption while pay-as-you-go customers will get ten per cent off data when they top up.

The Daily Telegraph says O2 and its parent Telefonica are preparing for meetings with Ericsson during which it is expected to demand a significant share of cash Ericsson has set aside for compensation. It is claimed the total bill could be £100 million.

Both firms have apologised for the disruption and have promised to carry out a full review with Ericsson to determine how such a disastrous outage was able to take place.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.