Vodafone hit by three-hour mobile network outage in Germany

FILE PHOTO: Different types of 4G, 5G and data radio relay antennas for mobile phone networks are pictured on a relay mast operated by Vodafone in Berlin, Germany April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - Vodafone said on Monday that operations on its German mobile network were returning to normal after the failure of control equipment caused a widespread outage lasting more than three hours.

The German unit of British-based Vodafone, the telecoms group with the most users in Europe, said its network was hit by problems in several regions at 1:50 p.m. (1250 GMT), leaving more than 100,000 mobile phone users cut off.

Tracking site Downdetector showed a steep spike in outages, with hotspots in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt and other cities.

Vodafone said the network problem had been caused by the failure of control equipment in Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin. The customers who were shut out of the network were reconnected at 3:30 p.m. and network traffic was normalising by 5 p.m.

“Our technical experts are working flat out on the exact root cause analysis and sustainable fault clearance. The network elements will be observed very closely in the coming night and tomorrow,” Vodafone said, apologising to its customers.

Vodafone’s 2020 mobile revenue is forecast at 5 billion euros ($5.9 billion) in Germany. That gives it a market share of 19.3% - third behind Deutsche Telekom (31.7%) and Telefonica Deutschland (25.5%), according to the VATM telecoms lobby.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Alison Williams