Telstra is in the midst of another national outage, this time on its 3G network which supports EFTPOS terminals and mobile devices, as well as taxis, Teslas, ATMs and much more.
The outage was first reported around midday, and though it doesn’t affect Telstra’s 4G network, an outage like this shows just how much technology still relies on Telstra’s aging 3G network.
In typical fashion, Telstra’s updates don’t really describe the breadth of the issue, with the company stating only that it was “experiencing an issue with some enterprise machine to machine (M2M) data services which is impacting EFTPOS devices and ATMs.”
However, it seems that the effects were much more widely felt:
- Taxis were refusing fares because they couldn’t process credit card or Cabcharge payments.
- Payments on wireless EFTPOS terminals failed, because they couldn’t communicate with bank networks.
- Many ATMs were left offline, unable to dispense cash or report to their owners that they’d run out of cash already dispensed.
An unusual knock-on effect was that owners of Tesla cars were also knocked offline. The company’s vehicles have an on-board Telstra 3G SIM card which provides connectivity for digital radio, streaming music and traffic information for Google Maps.
The @Telstra 3G outage has disconnected ATMs, EFTPOS – and my @Tesla which has a 3G SIM card onboard – had to stream the radio via Bluetooth from my phone! Lucky I’m with @VodafoneAU #telstra3Gfail pic.twitter.com/cAnMBjUcLs
— Stephen Fenech (@StephenFenech) November 2, 2018
This is the latest in a number of outages affecting our largest mobile carrier, including major disruptions earlier in May where both 3G and 4G networks were offline.
At the time of writing (just after 7pm) the 3G network is still experiencing issues, with Telstra reporting:
MACHINE TO MACHINE (M2M) DEVICES
We continue to work on resolving the intermittent authentication issue impacting some enterprise machine-to-machine data services. Telstra equipment has been successfully re-set and we are continuing to troubleshoot the issue with our vendor. We apologise for the disruption to services and are working to resolve as quickly as possible.