Telstra apologises for outage with unlimited data this Sunday

Telstra is offering all of its mobile customers a day of "free mobile data" this Sunday to apologise for its nation-wide network outage yesterday. Subscribers on Telstra's post-paid, prepaid, data-only, and mobile broadband offerings are all eligible for Telstra's "apology".

Free data will kick in at midnight on the February 14th, and run through to 11:59pm. Data used during this period will not count towards a user's monthly quota.

Assuming a Telstra customer has a category 9 smartphone, such as Samsung's Galaxy Note 5, they could theoretically download as much as 4.8TB over the 24-hour period, provided they are consistently able to attain the 450Mbps speeds the network is theoretically capable of. Excess data on Telstra is billed at AUD$10 per GB, so in a way, the free day could provide customers with much as AUD$48,000 in value.

Of course, network congestion can affect the speeds a user can attain, especially if everyone else is attempting to burn through equally large quantities of data.

Telstra is attributing the outage to an "embarrassing human error".

"Our mobile network is set up with a number of major connection points (what we call nodes) around the country, which our customers connect to," wrote Telstra Chief Operations Officer Kate McKenzie on the company's official blog. "These nodes are the equipment that essentially manage the flow of voice and data traffic across our mobile network. The outage was triggered when one of these nodes experienced a technical fault and was taken offline to fix."

"This normally wouldn’t impact services as we have processes in place to make sure any customers currently connected to a node are transferred to another node before it is taken offline. Unfortunately on this occasion the right procedures were not followed and this resulted in customers being disconnected and consequent heavy congestion on other nodes as customers attempted to reconnect to the network."

Telstra's olive branch to customers is similar to a free data weekend Vodafone ran following an outage in 2014. One eager downloader managed to guzzle 633GB of unmetered data during the offer



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