KDDI, the second mobile operator in Japan in terms of number of customers (behind NTT Docomo), was hit by an outage depriving its users of all of its services. If operator breakdowns can happen, this one has the particularity of having impacted 40 million people at the same time: a record.
Equipment malfunction caused one of the biggest network outages in history
The Japanese telecom operator experienced an equipment malfunction that occurred on the night of July 1 to 2, 2022. The VoLTE switch (for Voice over LTE or voice over LTE network) suddenly stopped working. The purpose of this device is to guarantee the operation of VoLTE technology, which allows calls to be received or made from or with a smartphone using the operator’s 4G network.
Due to the non-functioning of the VoLTE switch, nearly 40 million KDDI customers were unable to make or receive a call. Even if less important, this breakdown evokes that which suffered Orange in June 2021, when three million calls failed to go through.
KDDI has been trying to repair this network failure for several days
On July 2 at the end of the day, KDDI affirmed in a statementthat he ” was always difficult for its customers to use the mobile phone service “. Among the telephone operator’s customers are 260,000 companies, including bank branches, parcel delivery services and the Japan Meteorological Agency, the equivalent of Météo France.
” We take measures such as flow control to reduce traffic congestion, and make it difficult for individuals and businesses to use voice calls and data communications added the Japanese firm. To conclude, the company apologized for the inconvenience caused and asked its customers to be patient. Unsurprisingly, the operator’s customer and intelligence services were stormed.
On July 4, problems were still present on some voice calls despite the improvement in the situation and the intervention of KDDI on its VoLTE switch. At the opening of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Nikkei), KDDI saw its shares fall by 3.9% while they were up 26% since the start of the year. It stabilized at -1.66% throughout the day until the close of trading when the Nikkei was up 0.84%.
Telecommunications Minister Yasushi Kaneko spoke about the outage saying he was ” extremely regrettable to see that so many people cannot have access to telephone services for such a long time “.