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All four UK operators suffer network outages

Jasper Hart
March 17, 2020

Calls between different networks not working

Update: According to an O2 spokesperson, the key issue was that people were unable to make calls between networks.

The spokesperson said: “Today the industry experienced an issue that meant some calls between different networks were unable to connect. Specifically, O2, Vodafone and Three were unable to connect to EE and EE customers were unable to connect to O2, Vodafone and Three.

“At a time when the country needs connectivity most, it is important we work together rather than pointing fingers before facts have been determined.

“As this was a problem for a multiple networks, there is a National Emergency Alert for Telecommunications and Ofcom call at 2:30pm this afternoon to determine the route of the issue to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

EE said that data and 999 calls were not affected. It added that the network issues were not related to an increase in remote working.

Original: All four UK operators have suffered network outages this morning.

According to network monitoring site Downdetector, the number of complaints about poor network service for O2, EE, Three and Vodafone increased sharply at around 10AM this morning (March 17).

The worst-affected regions for all four networks are London and the northwest of England.

MVNOs such as Tesco Mobile and Giffgaff are also affected. The reason for the outages is not clear, but it comes as many people have started working from home to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

An O2 spokesperson said: “Some customers may be experiencing issues when making and receiving voice calls on our 2G, 3G and 4G networks. Our mobile data and messaging services and O2 Wifi are not affected. This is a cross industry issue and our technical teams continue to investigate, working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

A Three UK spokesperson said: “We are aware of an issue affecting around three per cent of voice calls. We apologise for any inconvenience and our team is working to fix this ASAP. The rest of the network is stable.”

A Vodafone spokersperson said: “There was a relatively short-lived problem with around nine per cent of voice calls on 3G not getting through. All the operators are working together on the matter.” Vodafone added that its service is back to normal.

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