Wednesday, November 4, 2009

T-Mobile Outage A Valuable Lesson For Health And Security Reasons

According to T-Mobile, only 5% of its 40 million-ish subscribers suffered yesterday's outage.  Oh wait, that's 2 million of our fellow mobile warriors.  Anyway, I hope no Onxo readers had to go through that.  I was fine on my G1 and I kept testing it once I found about this little hiccup.

And 2 million of more than 250 million mobile users in the United States is a small hiccup but it is a blip.  According to T-Mobile, the hours-long outage was caused by bad programming.  Or something that to effect.

Over at On Android, I mentioned that I believe it is what it is as T-Mobile said it was.  But because it only affected less than 1% of the mobile market (and most of them might not have known unless they were using their phones at the time), it will quickly be forgotten.  But that's unfortunate as there is much we can learn from this.

It's not a terrorism situation but what if it was?  Everyone talks about how vulnerable our docks, water, electrical grid, and transportation systems are but no one has said anything about our wireless networks.

Sure, we hear stories now and again about cyber threats.  Sometimes it's the Russian mobsters or freelance hackers with ties to the Chinese military.  And we hear about identity threats.  What about attacks against the wireless networks?

After all, these towers are just sitting out in the open.  And forget about the physical attacks on the wireless infrastructure.  I'm wondering about the security of the servers that run these wireless networks.  We don't hear anything about it but I wonder how secured they are against outside attacks?

Further more, as we head into the cold season in the Northern Hemisphere, traditional flu has taken a backseat to H1N1 with even the Department of Homeland Security being asked to help out by issuing federal guidelines for businesses.  One of the recommendations is for workers to use wireless networks should the need arise to work from home.

There's two reasons why mobile warriors need to pay attention.  First, the wireless networks is congested as it is with the FCC trying to figure out what to do about spectrums.  Second, more and more mobile users rely exclusively on their mobile phones or smartphones by forgoing their landlines. that means more people will be using their phones to make calls or tethering the laptops for Internet access.

I just hope that T-Mobile's outage is something the wireless providers pay a lot of close attention to.

Personally, I've got my landline for DSL access as well as my G1 services.

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