Thursday, 18 February 2021 12:19

UPDATED: Optus says services 'now being restored' and apologises (now fully restored 3.31pm) Featured

By
Yes, it's Noptus Yes, it's Noptus

At 11.57am, an email arrived with an "Optus Network Update at 11.15am" that "services are now being restored".

3.31pm UPDATE: Optus has just advised "Confirming services were restored earlier this afternoon."

Original story continues below:

Earlier this morning, Optus started having problems with its network's mobile and data services, with some customers, both residential and businesses, being affected, as iTWire reported, going from "Yes Optus" to "No-ptus".

The telco said in a statement at the time: "As a result of network technical issues, some Optus customers including residents and businesses may be experiencing intermittent disruptions to their mobile call, text and data services.

"Keeping customers connected is our priority, and Optus’ technical teams are investigating this incident with remediation actions to commence as soon as possible."

Now, in a statement that arrived at 11.57am, Optus issued the following statement with the time and date of "11:15 am on 18 February 2021":

"Optus has begun remediation on the identified fault which earlier resulted in some Optus customers including residents and businesses experiencing intermittent disruptions to their mobile call, text and data services.

"Customers services are now being restored. We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate customers’ patience."

An iTWire colleague also sent me a message stating: "I think there was something wrong with the Optus payment gateway too... tried to pay my bill about an hour ago and they claimed it was declined by the bank... but a BPay transaction from my bank site worked just fine."

So, unexpected network snafubars can happen, and it shows why it can be a good idea to have either two mobile phones on two different networks, or two different SIM cards in a smartphone equipped with two SIM slots.

An example lies with Catch Connect, whose plans start at $9 per 30 days with 4GB of data and unlimited calls and text, although given it uses the Optus network, Catch Connect customers would also have been affected.

The cheapest plan on the Vodafone network is Lebara, offering 3GB of data with unlimited calls and text for $14.90 per 30 days, although if you pay for a 365 day plan on Kogan, you can get a cheaper per month figure, which may well be the case with other providers of the Optus and Telstra networls. 

The cheapest plan on the Telstra network with unlimited calls and text, and 2GB of data, is from LycaMobile, which charges $10 per 28 days. 

So, if being connected at all times at least by voice or text is important to you, then for between 30c per day to just under 50c per day depending on the MVNO you choose above, you can have your own insurance plan by having a second or even third SIM, with very cheap candy bar feature phones available in any supermarket, or in a spare old phone of your own, although thankfully, mobile network outages in Australia are rare, and generally, fixed relatively quickly.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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