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Heat wave fries Vodafone network

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Heat puts pressure on infrastructure

As temperatures soared and people tried their best to beat the heat yesterday, infrastructure was put to the test across Victoria.

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Tens of thousands of Vodafone customers have been left without mobile phone services after an airconditioning meltdown at a major Melbourne switch.

As the mercury peaked at 39.2 degrees at 6pm on Thursday, a spokeswoman from Vodafone confirmed extreme temperatures had caused the failure at the Tullamarine switch which was causing widespread outages.

Spokeswoman Karina Keisler said the failure was affecting about 50 per cent of Victorian Vodafone customers and up to 15 per cent of Vodafone customers nationally. Customers on the 3 network are also believed to have been affected by the outages.

Spokeswoman Karina Keisler said the failure was affecting about 50 per cent of Victorian Vodafone customers.

Spokeswoman Karina Keisler said the failure was affecting about 50 per cent of Victorian Vodafone customers.

Ms Keisler said the failure meant many customers could not receive incoming calls.

"It appears that calls going out are working but calls coming in are being impacted. I can't tell you confidently because we are still investigating."

She said the failure occurred at 7.45pm and technicians were working to resolve the problem.

"My understanding is that the airconditioning has failed which has created an overheating in the switch and a failure as a result," she said. "I believe it was caused by today's extreme temperatures."

"We've got technicians there and more on the way and we hope to get it sorted as quickly a we can."

But it wasn't the only meltdown.

Melbourne train commuters endured hot and lengthy delays on Thursday night as the state recorded its highest November temperature.

Several lines on the network were affected by signal and equipment faults, however, it was a bunch of runaway balloons that became ensnared in overhead power lines, between Flinders Street and Southern Cross stations, that left tens of thousands of commuters waiting for up to 30 minutes in the extreme heat.

Ouyen in the Victoria's north-west was responsible for the state's record November high when it reached 45.8 degrees on Thursday. Mildura had its own November record of 45.5 degrees at 3.36pm. The town's previous November high was 45 degrees in 1905.

With summer officially not due to start until Saturday, Mildura has already had a heatwave, with six consecutive days above 35 degrees, including 40 degrees on Wednesday.

The hottest November day in Melbourne was 40.9 degrees in 1894.

Firefighters battled several grass fires, including one in Edenhope in the state's far west that broke out in the morning and covered 12 hectares.
In St Kilda East, a driver suffered minor injuries when a power pole exploded, causing his windscreen to shatter but authorities aren’t sure if the incident was heatwave-related.

- with Carolyn Webb

10 comments

  • That's the end for me with Vodafone.
    Trying to call 000 and my phone kept dropping service and I was unable to finish the call. Drop outs during rining, mid way and part way through. Of 5-6 calls none were able to be completed. I was outside, full signal bars.

    Commenter
    Scott
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    November 30, 2012, 7:56AM
    • "it was a bunch of runaway balloons that became ensnared in overhead power lines, between Flinders Street and Southern Cross stations, that left tens of thousands of commuters waiting for up to 30 minutes in the extreme heat."

      Thanks for the inspired fault reason Metro!! It makes a change from 'Cancellation due to vandalised trains' , or "Cancellation due to track fault"

      Commenter
      Hopeful Traveller
      Date and time
      November 30, 2012, 8:21AM
      • So you expect the trains to run with the wires tangled by the baloons? Jeez some people are ALWAYS quick to blame and whinge aren't they?

        Commenter
        peterh_oz
        Date and time
        November 30, 2012, 12:37PM
    • *shrugs* The issues with Vodafones network have been ongoing for years now...don't sign up with them if you want reliable service.
      People go for them 'cos they're a cheapa$$ option, then whinge when their network does what it always does...fails.
      It's like people going to McDonalds and complaining that they can't get a side order of caviar.

      Commenter
      Jimmy
      Location
      Melbs
      Date and time
      November 30, 2012, 8:23AM
      • Spot on, Jimmy. When are people going to learn that if you pay bananas, you get monkeys?

        Commenter
        The sky is the limit
        Date and time
        November 30, 2012, 8:57AM
    • ... there I was thinking how lucky I am to be on a train with the air conditioning failing again, or like the werribee line, never on... only to surf with no internet conection.... I love Melbourne!!!

      Commenter
      Garym
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 30, 2012, 9:11AM
      • It lasted 2 hours! Awesome response time Vodafone in adverse conditions. I love how quickly you guys responded in a bad 'after hours' situation! Don't listen to the idiotic, ignorant haters or the people making up stories that are blatantly untrue because Vodafone bashing seems to be cool at the moment. Anyone else remember the Telstra exchange burning down a few days ago?

        Commenter
        in for structure
        Location
        Here
        Date and time
        November 30, 2012, 3:17PM
        • So Vodafone say that the failure happened at 7-45pm, well I noticed at 3-45pm they were off air here but may have been earlier. Came back early hours of 30/11/12.Glad I left them in late July when they were off air for at least 4.5 days then, now it is my wife's turn to leave enough is enough.
          And no Jimmy (Melb) they are not cheap there are others at a fraction of the price if you care to look, Telstra is pure and simply expensive.

          Commenter
          RollinRock
          Location
          Echuca
          Date and time
          November 30, 2012, 10:59PM
          • In addition to my previous post I said Vodafone down was noticed at 3-45pm well I didn't mention that was on Tuesday 20/11/12

            Commenter
            RollinRock
            Date and time
            November 30, 2012, 11:08PM
            • Malcolm Turnbull wants to put a fridge size box on nearly every street corner as part of his FTTN NBN. These boxes will require power and air conditioning to operate properly. There will be thousands of these boxes across the country. What a nightmare awaits us is Abbott gets in!

              Commenter
              Bob Smith
              Location
              Brisbane
              Date and time
              December 01, 2012, 1:58PM
              Comments are now closed