O2 UK could receive compensation of up to £100 million from Ericsson following a network outage caused by the vendor, which led to mobile data issues for millions of customers last week.

UK newspapers reported O2 UK will push for damages worth millions from Ericsson over a software failure the vendor admitted it was responsible for. The issue meant customers using O2’s network were unable to access mobile data on 6 December and 7 December.

The Guardian reported O2 chief executive Mark Evans is set to meet Ericsson executives over the coming days to review what caused the outages and negotiate a compensation package.

Around 30 million people use O2’s network, of which 25 million are direct subscribers and 5 million are customers of MVNOs Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile, GiffGaff and Lycamobile. The company also has a number of big corporate customers including Transport for London (TfL), which provides live location data for 8,500 buses in the city.

High stakes meeting
Ericsson issued a statement last week admitting it was responsible for network outages which also affected SoftBank in Japan and several other operators.

An initial analysis suggested the failure was due to expired software certificates, but this is yet to be confirmed.

A source said Evans will hold a high-level meeting with Ericsson to conduct a full review and audit on both sides looking at the vendor’s software and how it was managed, along with discussing damages. While the £100 million figure is widely touted, a full analysis of costs has yet to be conducted.

As an apology of sorts, O2 offered contract customers a limited amount of free data, while pay-as-you-go customers are being offered 10 per cent worth of extra credit on their top ups.

It is likely Japan-based SoftBank and other operators impacted by the software outages will also push for some level of compensation from the vendor.

Details released by wireless mapping company OpenSignal (pictured, left, click to enlarge) showed the dramatic and simultaneous drop in LTE availability as a result of the outage on O2 and SoftBank’s networks, along with Mobifone in Vietnam which was also affected.