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T-Mobile leaves 300,000 disconnected

Database corruption blamed

Best practices for enterprise data

300,000 UK T-Mobile customers had a quiet morning as they were unable to make or receive calls thanks to a database snafu that forced the operator to restore from backups - a process which is still in progress.

The problems started at around 10am this morning, and meant that 300,000 customers couldn't be verified by the network and so were unable to make or receive calls. Restoration from a backup is already underway, and 200,000 customers are already back on the network (in London and the south east, naturally) - the remaining 100,000 should be working by 16:00 this afternoon.

Customers calling up T-Mobile had been told that the problem could take even longer to fix, though it seems that the rapid availability of backups has helped speed things along.

Network operators work hard to reduce critical points in the network, replicating key servers and infrastructure, but such procedures are much harder to implement where security and authentication are involved, leaving customers at the mercy of software bugs or hardware failure. ®

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