12 Jul 2012

02 gradually restores UK mobile service

02 finally restores service to all British mobile phone customers after a 24-hour problem caused widespread disruption, preventing calls and internet access to many subscribers.

O2 would not say how many of British customers were affected by the outage when contacted by Channel 4 News on Thursday morning.

O2 said it had restored service too UK customers affected by the fault but would not reveal how many of its 23m customers had service problems. The outage started on Wednesday afternoon and was not based on geography.

“Our tests now show that all our 2G and 3G services have been fully restored for affected customers,” 02 said in a statement. “If any customers are still having problems we recommend they turn their phone off and on again.”

O2 apologised again for the inconvenience, adding all possible resources were deployed. None-the-less, some customers complained of a communications breakdown in addition to the technical breakdown that left them frustrated.

“The response time to work out what the problem was in the first place took a long time to communicate to customers,” said Claire Hopping, editor of Know Your Mobile news and an 02 client.

The problem was due to a fault with one of 02’s network systems, which meant some mobile phone numbers were not registering correctly on the network, Spanish-owned 02 said.

Previous trouble

In January, 02’s mobile phone operator admitted some of its customers’ numbers were exposed while they browsed the internet using their smartphones.

The numbers were given to website owners when O2 customers accessed their sites on smartphones. It is normal for websites to take basic information such as what browser was used to access the website, but mobile phone numbers are not generally included in this.

The flaw was uncovered by Lewis Peckover, a system administrator for a gaming company, who said he was “shocked” by his discovery.