O2 mobile operator investigating reports customers facing data and voice service issues across the UK

(qlmbusinessnews.com via cityam.com – – Thur, 6th Dec 2018) London, Uk – –

(Reuters) – British mobile operator O2, which is owned by Spain’s Telefonica (TEF.MC), said on Thursday it was investigating reports of customers facing issues while using some services.

Britain's second-largest mobile operator initially said here in a tweet that it was looking into issues with data and voice service usage. It later said in a separate tweet that voice calls were working properly.

O2’s data network is down across the UK this morning, the mobile operator said, owing to a “global software issue”.

O2 is investigating reports of issues when using 3G or 4G data, adding that “voice calls are working OK”.

“We apologise for any inconvenience,” the firm said, after problems were first reported at around 5.30am.

It blamed a software problem with a third-party supplier for the issue, but gave no estimate for when engineers would resolve the outage.

“We’re aware that our customers are unable to use data this morning. One of our third-party suppliers has identified a global software issue in their system which has impacted us,” an O2 spokesperson said.

“We believe other mobile operators around the world are also affected. Our technical teams are working with their teams to ensure this is fixed as quickly as possible. We’d encourage our customers to use Wi-Fi wherever they can and we apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

Downdetector, a website that tracks digital outages, said 1,662 complaints had been made before 7am, with the outages affecting London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds and many other towns and cities.

The outage had knock-on effects for systems reliant on O2's network, such as Transport for London's electronic bus timetable, which was not working this morning.

As one of the UK's biggest mobile operators, O2 could count affected customers in the millions, with 25m relying on its own network and 32m when considering the various networks it underpins, such as Giffgaff.

Angry users took to Twitter to look for answers or to simply vent their anger.

O2 directed users to a status checker to see whether their local network was affected.

Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, advised affected users to keep checking O2's network status tracker, and to download Google Maps on Wi-Fi in order to get around.

“O2 users affected by this mobile data outage will understandably be concerned and frustrated,” he said.

“While it's positive that voice calls are still up and running, without a projected timeframe for a fix, this is likely a worrying situation for a large proportion of O2's some 32m UK customers.

“For the millions of users who are out and about and rely on smartphone maps to get around, it's worth considering that apps like Google Maps allow customers to download maps on WIFI and view them offline.

“With little idea of when this problem will be sorted, it's worth preparing before heading out to make sure you're not caught out by this data downtime.”

It comes as BT Mobile customers also suffered a network outage. BT Mobile customers said they couldn't send or receive text messages, after first reporting problems yesterday.

By Joe Curtis