July 12, 2012

O2 Network Outage Stretches Into Second Day

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

The network outage that hit hundreds of thousands of British customers of mobile and broadband provider O2 continued into its second day on Thursday, with many frustrated customers still unable to make calls, send text messages or access the Internet.

The company, whose motto is "We're better connected", says its engineers are working around the clock to fix the problem, although it did not provide a specific timetable for total restoration of service.

“Our engineers are dealing with the problem as a priority and we hope to restore full service as soon as possible,” a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

"We're continuing to drive the recovery of this issue with our support teams and vendors. We're working to restore service as quickly as possible. Unfortunately we're unable to confirm any timescales for service restoration at this time.”

In an update early Thursday morning, an O2 spokesman acknowledged that its 3G data network remains down for hundreds of thousands of subscribers, but said its 2G network is now restored and that customers should be able to make and receive calls.

The company advised affected subscribers to turn 3G off on their mobile phones in order to access consistent services through 2G.

O2 is part of Spain´s Telefonica group, and is Britain´s second-largest mobile operator with some 22 million customers.

Subscribers to networks GiffGaff and Tesco Mobile - who use O2's network — were also affected by the outage.

O2 has not said what caused the network to fail, but the fault is believed to be related to the way that mobile phones register with O2's network, rather than a network outage affecting a particular geography.

In other words, an affected user could theoretically be standing right next to other O2 subscribers who are able to use the access the network without any problems whatsoever.

The outage is the second network failure for O2 in recent weeks, and follows a previous outage in June that left thousands of customers unable to send text messages for an entire day.

Many customers were aggravated by the lack of information coming from O2. The company´s Twitter account was inundated with complaints, which were met with apologies and pledges to restore service as quickly as possible.