Rogers blames Ericsson software upgrade for wireless outage

Rogers will apply credits to customer bills after tracing the problem to a software issue that impacted a piece of equipment central to the wireless network, which led to intermittent congestion and service outages.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

April 21, 2021

2 Min Read
Rogers blames Ericsson software upgrade for wireless outage

Rogers Communications is blaming a glitch tied to an Ericsson software upgrade as the root cause for widrespread mobile service outages it suffered on Monday. The software update affected a piece of equipment in the central part of the Rogers' wireless network, leading to "intermittent congestion" and other service issues for many mobile customers across Canada, the company said.

In addition to apologizing for the snafu, Rogers said it will automatically apply a credit on May bills for wireless customers impacted by the outage.

"We’re undertaking an in-depth review in partnership with Ericsson," Rogers said in an online message posted Tuesday and expanded upon in a series of tweets. "We know this was related to an Ericsson software upgrade that caused devices to be disconnected from our network. We will use the findings of that review to help prevent similar issues from happening again. Again, we offer our sincere apologies and will work hard to earn back your trust."

Rogers, which is in the process of merging with fellow Canadian mobile and cable operator Shaw Communications, said full services are restored, including data, SMS and voice calls.

"Yesterday’s events did not meet the level of service we strive to provide to our customers," Rogers CTO Jorge Fernandes said in another online post that also touched on the root cause of the wireless network snafu.

Q1 snapshot

Rogers posted Q1 2021 results Wednesday. It added 44,000 net wireless postpaid subs in the quarter, for a total of 9.72 million. Rogers also posted a net loss of 56,000 prepaid mobile subs, ending the quarter with 1.2 million.

Total wireless revenues were down 6%, to C$1.6 billion (US$1.28 billion), with Rogers attributing the dip to lower roaming revenue due to pandemic-driven travel restrictions, an uptick in adoption of the company's "Infinite" unlimited data plans, and an increased use of home Wi-Fi that also ties back to the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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