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O2 grovels for London network failure

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O2 has apologised for the repeated network failures in the capital before Christmas, claiming it was caught unawares by excessive data use.

The apology was delivered to the Financial Times so aimed at shareholders rather than customers. It admits that O2 coverage in London has been lamentable since the summer, and promises that more base stations and a swift kick to Nokia Siemens will fix everything.

Describing the problems as "a short term blip" Ronan Dunne told the FT that "it would be wrong to say that O2 has failed its customers en masse", and that an additional 200 base stations in London would take relieve congestion along with modifications to the infrastructure provided by Nokia Siemens.

O2 also reckons it's going to work more closely with handset vendors to address which applications will lead to heavy network loading, but other than blocking such applications it's hard to see what good that's going to do.

Perhaps the software modifications to the infrastructure could enable a tiered service, like that proposed by 3, enabling customers to buy their way out of congestion, but it's more likely they'll comprise unspecified tweaks.

So the only measurable thing we can report is the additional 200 base stations, and we'll be keeping any eye on Sitefinder to see those popping up over the next few months. ®

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