In a recent report from the Swedish regulatory authority PTS the most common reason to disturbances are software related problems. Software related problems generate the highest number of minutes of disturbances, both in total, and as average length of disturbance. The report concludes that extensive testing, updated routines and processes can minimize this type of problems, which is also the reason why it is so important to test thoroughly prior to software updates.

Besides software problems, the most common reported problems according to the report are (in order from the most common, to the least common):

  1. Software
  2. Overload
  3. Cable cut
  4. Hardware
  5. Power/electricity

The two most common problems, as well as the fourth most common, could most likely be avoided by improved test coverage. The practical way to minimize disturbances in the network is by no doubt to introduce test automation, simply because you can then increase test coverage without the need to hire additional resources, and at the same time release new software and services faster. The report (in Swedish) can be found here.