Alcatel-Lucent global chief executive Ben Verwaayen has copped the rap for the repeated, and as yet unexplained, failures on Telecom’s XT network.
"It is not acceptable and I take responsibility," said Mr Verwaayen this morning, speaking to Radio New Zealand National from New York.
Yesterday, Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds said he had personally called Mr Verwaayen to “put Alcatel-Lucent on notice.”
And, it seems, Mr Reynolds may have also requested a mea culpa media appearance.
It's a role Mr Verwaayan clearly does not relish; during his interview he often sounded repetitive and awkward.
"I apologise to the customers of the network. They have the right to expect a flawless service - that is what they are paying for. We have let Telecom down on that and we are going to make sure we rectify it.”
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Although Dr Reynolds was short on specifics as to what this involved, he said all of the French company’s competitors had been calling Telecom and “we will talk to them.” The chief executive also emphasised Telecom’s long-standing relationship with Alcatel, however.
Alcatel-Lucent, designed and built XT, and is responsible for its operation, Dr Reynolds said yesterday - although he added that following the recent outages, Telecom staff will now take a stronger hands-on role in the day-to-day running of the network.
Telecom's XT communiqués have been noteable for making more and more references to Alcatel-Lucent as the outages have worn on.
Dr Reynolds noted that Alcatel-Lucent mobile networks for other carriers around the planet do work.
Mr Verwaayen picked up this point with, "In the case of Telecom we have to take responsibility. This is proven technology, this is stuff that is running around the world very satisfactorily and if there are things happening in New Zealand, of course we take responsibility."
Alcatel-Lucent New Zealand country manager Steve Lowe resigned on Friday, soon followed by Telecom CTO Frank Mount, whom Dr Reynolds described as closely involved with the design of the network.
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The French company, which was formed by the 2006 merger of Alcatel with US company Lucent Technologies (an AT&T spin-off), has also recently been in the news over bribery allegations.
On February 19, Alcatel-Lucent paid $US125 million to settle the charges, brought by the US Dept of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission.
Wed, 24 Feb 2010