Norwegians fume over Netcom outage

Numbers meltdown

Norwegians are up in arms over a cell phone outage that lasted a couple of days. At least 20 per cent of Netcom's 1.2 million customers were not able to place calls or send text messages. NetCom fixed the problem late Monday, after days of unpredictable service, according to daily newspaper Aftenposten, which itself was seriously hindered by the outage.

Many Norwegian companies were affected by the outage. Pizza delivery company Peppes, which delivers up to 10,000 pizzas a day, relies on Netcom to carry phone calls between its employees. Many corporate customers spent hours re-installing fixed phones as NetCom had actively promoted the concept of the "wireless office".

The outage was so serious that NetCom engineers themselves had to rely on their arch rival Telenor's service. Even communications and transportation minister Torild Skogsholm, who was unable to make calls before setting out on a boat trip Monday afternoon with members of the parliament's transportation committee, was aggravated. "We simply cannot have this," she fumed.

She expects NetCom to send a comprehensive report on exactly what happened. According to NetCom, and service provider Siemens, the problems occurred in its number databases.

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