7 May 2010

XT network not ready for large volumes of traffic - report

9:02 pm on 7 May 2010

A report on Telecom's troubled XT network shows the company accurately forecast demand for the service but the system just couldn't cope.

Telecom commissioned Analysys Mason to conduct an independent review of the network after it failed four times between December and February, affecting hundreds of thousands of customers.

The report, released on Friday morning, concludes the network and its supporting operations were not ready to handle the large amounts of network traffic that was being experienced when it failed.

It has identified five areas that need to be improved to ensure the network is reliable and meets expectations.

The suggestions include better overall management, better processes to measure network performance and more detailed geographical analysis of the network.

Speaking at a briefing on Telecom's third quarterly results on Friday, chief executive Paul Reynolds said Telecom has substantially completed the report's recommendations.

The Telecommunications Users Association says the pressure to get the XT network to market could have been a factor in Telecom's decision to launch it when it was not ready.

Chief executive Ernie Newman says Telecom is not the first company to launch a new product before testing was completed and believes the company has done all it can to fix the problems.

Telecom profit down

Telecom's profit in the three months to March has slipped by 32% - as increased competition and the economic downturn hit earnings.

It made $97 million in the quarter, down from $159 million in the same period last year.

Dr Reynolds says the company has maintained its full-year earnings forecast to be near the lower end of a range between $400 million and $440 million.

The company will pay a dividend of 6 cents a share.

Telecom shares sank to an all-time low of $2.08 cents on Friday after the company's profit announcement. The stock ended the trading day 2c lower at $2.13.