Optus opts for crowd-sourced mapping of service problems

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Optus opts for crowd-sourced mapping of service problems

Accepts problem reports from anywhere in the world.

Optus has added a new crowd-sourced tool that for the first time allows customers to provide network feedback to the telco and log service faults.

By dropping a pin on an online map, customers can report issues like network congestion and service outages for voice, messages and data to Optus for investigation.

The reporting feature is called Network Experience Maps, or NE-Maps, by Optus.

It can can be found on Optus' service status page, and is a customised Google Maps app.

It allows the telco's support teams to check network performance for voice, text and data loss and data degradation.

Prior to NE-Maps, there was no other way for customer to provide feedback on network conditions, or to log a fault, bar calling Optus directly, the telco said.

In iTnews' testing, it was possible to report faults outside of Australia as well. NE-Maps accepted a network issue report located on an island in New Caledonia and gave it a reference number.

It was also possible to report faults in Australia, from a New Zealand-based internet provider.

However, an Australian 10-digit mobile phone number is required to make a report. NE-Maps accepted any Australian phone number and any email address entered for updates, in our testing.

When asked if this could lead to false service issues being reported from outside Australia, Optus said it has taken measures to prevent such things.

“The processes we have in place will ensure the issues we investigate are genuine and provide real benefit to our customers’ experience of our nationwide network,” Optus’ head of customer experience Charles Weiser told iTnews.

iTnews understands that geofencing is performed behind the scenes in the system to root out potentially bad reports, but that international reporting is offered so that customers can still report issues while roaming on overseas providers' networks.

Customers can also opt-in to email and SMS text messages for updates on issues.

Using NE-Maps for network feedback and outage reporting requires a working data connection to the internet.

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