Feeds

O2 outs liars and philanderers with live status feed

I know you can hear me now

Seven Steps to Software Security

O2 has launched a live network checker, showing the current network status by post code and updated hourly.

The "Live Status Checker" popped up briefly on Wednesday, though it wasn't clear if it was using live data at the time, but now the system is fully operational and reporting that there are currently no network problems around Vulture Central. You can check where you're at here.

Not only that, but install Silverlight and O2 will provide you with a graphical interface showing coverage, masts and bundled Wi-Fi networks using technology from Synectics Technical Consulting - or it will try: when we gave it a look, the Wi-Fi and mast flags weren't working*, but the coverage map seemed accurate:

O2 Coverage Map

Fixed-line internet providers have long provided status information on their websites, but mobile networks have a reputation for concealing the extent of network problems, then refusing to explain how they were resolved and leaving customers to gamble that the problem won't reoccur.

To be fair to the operators, their networks are enormously complicated, and very disperse. A single cell crashing really doesn't warrant a mention on the home page, but to those near that cell, it is a failure of the entire network. Just gathering the information from thousands of base stations is a significant effort.

O2's new service claims to report network issues too, and is already populated with planned maintenance work explaining when data outage can be expected, though we can't imagine many customers rigorously checking such a list daily.

What will be really interesting is how the site reacts when the O2 network experiences real problems - if O2 can keep it up to date, and if customers appreciate being informed.

Assuming that happens, then hopefully the other network operators will be pressured into providing the same kind of information, allowing us all to see the actual coverage available now rather than what it is supposed to be. ®

* Synectics has been in touch to point out that wi-fi and mast information is only available near the location entered into the search box - we navigated by mouse which is why the flags aren't there in our picture.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.