back to article O2 just can't keep it up

O2 again showed its commitment to mission-critical wireless by dropping the national data network on Saturday, another unexplained outage that left customers having to talk to each other again. The statement we finally managed to get out of O2 this morning simply admits that there was an outage, and that it lasted for around …


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  1. G 9

    O2 Suck

    And the best bit is when I rand up to complain, the woman on the phone said "Well I have an iPhone and there's nothing wrong with mine."


    I found the data network was out most of Saturday and intermittent Monday. O2 send my iPhone answerphone notifications at 3 this morning about messages that were sent on 24th August.

    Let's all hope they lose their iPhone exclusivity deal and we can all migrate to proper networks!

  2. BeefStirFry

    iPhone reliant...

    I'm far too reliant on my iPhone... Took a trip up north to Ellesmere Port, my Google Maps with compass direction #FAIL on the way there... Couldn't check my eBay watch or sell list... Couldn't see latest news or keep up to date with my Facebook or Twitter... Couldn't show anyone my Yelp monacle Augmented Reality app... Managed to find an McDonalds and thought I'd be able to use the "O2 Cloud", but no, that wasn't working either.

    However, every Cloud has a silver lining (sic), when I found I couldn't check the football scores. I called O2 customer services to moan about their data service, and the friendly representative went on the internet (obviously their own internet was fine) and checked the Premier League scores and read them all out to me over the phone... now that's what I call Customer Service...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    O2 London

    Still no connectivity during business hours in the Square Mile here, not just data but voice too! O2 currently 'investigating'

  4. marksi

    O2 strange thing

    A message sent from a friend's O2 phone to my O2 phone reached mine, apparently from a completely different number on Saturday evening. Replied to the number it claimed to come from and they'd no idea who I was, and that number isn't in either of our contacts list.

  5. Yves Kurisaki


    I'm getting a bit fed up with this O2 service. I fail to get access to the 3G network in most places (and I live in London!) and when you do get access their data network fails.

    I wonder if I can terminate my contract on the grounds of failure of O2 to fulfill their part of the contract, ie. provide the service as described?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @G 9

    Just sling the iPhone and get something better on a better network.

  7. James Melody
    Jobs Horns

    Saturday outage?

    I had no service for any of Monday. The sooner mobile phone exclusives end the better. I 3GS contract is up in August 2010 and when it does I will be moving!

    Bad steve for sticking us with O2 in the first place.

  8. Jaymeister

    You forgot sunday and this morning...

    All yesterday and this morning I've had no/intermittent data access, and yesterday evening I couldn't even make calls. When trying to call someone for a lift home in heavy rain and all you're getting is a "network busy" message, you really start to wonder why you're still with your current provider.

    Needless to say, with their network being as awful as it has been the last few months, as soon as my contract is up I'm jumping ship!

  9. Robin Szemeti

    Must be bad

    The only plausible reason I can think of for not fessing up to whatever it was that went wrong is: Whatever went wrong is FAR more embarassing and damaging than keeping quiet about it. No one likes being left inthe dark, even "weasels ate the network" is better than silence.

    ISP's normally are happy to tell you that the "Di-lithium crystal pod became magnetized and it took a while to sort out" or some other such guff, but refusing to say anything usually means "the boss got legless and was sick in the core router" or "we didn't pay our BOFH on time, the control room powered down and we dont have an access code."

    Basically, it must be pretty bad.

  10. Ray0x6


    saturday and monday were dead sketchy, no access for 3 days in the middle of august and they also failed to notice i had paid my bill and disconnected me without warning. not impressed with their service this summer.

  11. Josco

    O2 suck too

    I was desperate to have an IPhone, even though O2 reception is poor where I live, a triumph of style over substance I'm afraid, but in all other respects they fail with customer service, price, general attitude in their shops and in their overseas network.

    Please Vodafone, take the contract off them!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Stock O2 response .....

    Good Evening

    I'm sorry for the inconvenience caused to you as you're unable to access the data services on your iPhone.

    I can understand this must be frustrating for you.

    We had faced an issue with our data network where our customers were unable to access the data services on their iPhone. You'll be pleased to know that the issue

    has been rectified and you'll now be able to access the data services on your iPhone. If you're still facing this issue, please reply to this email and we'll help you further.

    Looking for Help! Why not visit our new online 'Support' section. To do so, simply click on the link given below:

    Have a nice evening.

    O2 Customer Service

    Getting your query right the first time you email us is very important to us. If your query has not been resolved this time, please reply to this email with the words 'Need More Help' in the subject field.

    Telef?nica O2 UK Limited, Registered in England No 1743099. Registered Office:

    260 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire SL1 4DX.

  13. Paul Eagles

    It all becomes clear now.

    This would explain why I only got voicemail notifications in the early hours of the morning.

    Well done O2. Bravo.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Rob McDougall


    Not only did the data go out on Satuday but I couldn't get through to anyone at the Notting Hill Carnival yesterday - verrrry frustrating...!

  16. BigSpoon0

    O2 don't seem to care

    Following the outages last month, I cancelled my rolling 30 day contract and moved to T-Mobile (excellent so far...). When I phoned O2 to get my PAC code, I was asked why I was moving and quoted the recent network failures.

    I asked if any refunds were available and I was promptly told my PAC code would be sent a few days later...

  17. Dino

    apple u suck for what u forced on iphone customers

    This is the thing that stopped me from getting an iPhone... Pay through the nose AND get locked into a carrier (doesn't matter which carrier just getting locked in is bad enough). Now O2 are proving themselves unworthy to boot...

    I'm sure I'm not the only one - come on apple I want to buy an iphone without locks FFS .. don't deal with carriers - look at the grief u're getting re google phone and ATT with FCC ...

    I'm sure it would sell more without all these silly arrangements...

    Then have carriers offer bundles for people who only want sim only deals... and carriers can choose to provide iphone specific features to attract iphone customers... then handset manufacturers would go back to making handsets for customers that actually use them...

    Alas this is too common sense for it to actually happen .... sniff...

  18. Vince

    More than 2 hours.

    It was definately longer and still not fully resolved. My O2 Data PAYG Dongle isn't working, naturally I'd just stumped up my cash (that bit worked fine) for the top up but now I no longer need it, could theoretically try... oh no wait.... it STILL isn't working.

    Until O2 got the iPhone it was always reliable and trusted - I never had reason to complain, but it is so commonplace now. The biggest issue I have is that my main phones are all on a 2 Year Business contract with them, so I'm going to have to argue to end it.

  19. M E H

    PGP failure

    My data access was out for most of Saturday daytime from what I recall. I was too pissed in the evening to notice the state of the signal.

    When I rebooted my iPhone and tried again it told me "PGP Authentication Failure" or something similar.

    And I had been trying to race a mate to with me on Safari on my Jesus phone and him with Opera on his Nokia Communicator brick. Both of us on O2, neither of us could get data.

    Badgers because they obviously nibbled through a cable.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This could a lot more painful..

    .. AFAIK, mobile operators are deemed part of the Critical National Infrastructure. Not so good for O2's chances in government..

  21. helen wilkinson-makey


    T-Mobile are just as bad they have mini outages. Just moved to Orange, even though its slightly more expensive.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Rationing mentality strikes UK again?

    For me this is merely a manifestation of the strong rationing mentality without a meaningful formal complaints structure.

    It's the same with NHS, local government stuff, central government stuff, monopoly-oligopoly stuff, ... and I fear that few nations would endure quite as long, quite as willingly as the UK.

    It is yours because ultimately you deserve it?

  23. Alex 32

    Very Odd

    Was in London on Friday, Essex on Saturday, Brum on Sunday, and Manchester on Monday. At no time did I experience any data drop... And I use it virtually every hour for business...

    Odd indeed...

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. adrianww


    ...there's something to be said for living out in the sticks after all. I haven't noticed any problems with either an iPhone 3G or a Nokia 5800, both on O2.

    OK, admittedly, we don't use them much for data anyway, mainly phonecalls, but all of this network chaos seems to have passed us by.

    Overloaded cells in more heavily populated areas perhaps? (Basic failure of network capacity management in other words?)

  26. Chris Miller
    Thumb Down

    Not just data

    Several voice messages left by the missus on Saturday afternoon have gone to the great bit-bucket in the sky.

  27. Anonymous Coward


    Could this all be down to O2 underestimating the volume of data that was going to be transferred when they tied up the contract with iPhone. Seeing as when it was released it was the most desirable phone in a very long time, I'd imagine alot of people switched over. If O2 hadn't predicted the extra volume, their back-end infrastructure wouldn't be sufficient for the massive peak in data usage...

  28. Anonymous Coward

    They are lying

    if they claim it was 2 hours. It was a lot longer.

    Mysteriously, it also made iPhones fail to authenticate with BT Openzone, which must surely narrow down the possibilities for the cause.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    The title you are reading has not been recognised

    Seems their front-end systems are just as ropey atm. It took me 23 minutes to log in to the notoriousy-flaky "My O2" service. Note that it didn't take 23 minutes of repeated attempts and timeouts, oh no, I'm pleased to report that it worked first time. It just took 23 minutes.

    Then it arbitrarily booted me out after a further 15 minutes of frustrated attempts to get at the account info I had logged on to get at in the first place.

    Way to go O2.

    Mind you, I've been with O2, Orange and Vodafone in my time and Vodafone were the only ones to show any sort of reliability. Orange PAYG was by far the worst - utterly useless.

  30. Steve Evans

    Tut tut...

    Relying on a data connection for your maps has always struck me as far too much faith in technology. I'm far happier with Nokia maps' pre-loading ability.

    I also have paper maps in the car in case of a terminal technology failure, and I'm also known to check routes before departing (shock horror!). Then again I'm one of those rare few who can still read road signs, and doesn't just blindly follow sat navs down rivers and over cliffs.

  31. Seanmon

    Has everyone forgotten

    O2 were spun out of Cellnet, which was a division of BT. This means I wouldn't touch them with your bargepole, no matter how many shiny geegaws they offer.

    Also means that cloud computing/always connected is still a pile of poo, at least in the UK. You can have my CAT5 cable when you pry it... etc. At least for the next few years.

    Grumpy luddite b*stard icon, please.

  32. Professor Quatermass

    So I'm at my girlfriend's in Bethnal Green ...

    ... she's just moved and isn't connected to the outside world just yet (and I'm shocked and appalled that Virgin cable isn't available - I've been on cable here and in New York for 12 years - with a two year hiatus in hell with BT DSL) ... but I think "what ho, my iPhone can do ANYTHING!"

    As I check to see the location of the nearest B&Q, I have the all-too-familiar 3G signal, but "can't find server" or "can't authenticate" or "O2 sucks, when is Orange getting the iPhone, too?" messages.

    The outage lasted from roughly 10am all the way until 6ish in the evening.

    Methinks the total lack of transparency is the maddening bit. At least I can ring Virgin and hear some palliative message that may or may not be true but at least gives the appearance that there may be customers that actually use their service.


  33. Brian Witham

    Touching Wood

    Hate to tempt fate here but Vodafone's data network has never given me anygrief - in fact only windows mobile has. No iphone for me until I can use it on ANY network I damn well please

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    All those jesus phone lovers that jumped onto the O2 bandwagon when they got the exclusive agreement with Greedy Steve and Co (aka Apple)............HA. Another blatant example of O2's utter incompetence, cheap and nasty infrastructure and lack of resilience. The last outages were caused by GGSN issues but as even the wi-fi wasn't working this time it seems they have gone even further to shoot themselves in the foot with their latest "glitch", it could be an HLR (Home Location Register) at fault this time but that would only affect a percentage of customers.

    The only reason O2 got the iPhone contract was they were the only network that were prepared to be bent over and royally plumbed by Apple, every month between 10 and 20% of your bill goes straight into Greedy Steves coffers.

    I wonder if O2 are going to use the "DHCP failure" again.........not that there is a DHCP server in the wireless data network, that's one of the functions of the GGSN.

  35. Richard 51

    Bloody O2

    I had no data service all day on Saturday in Brighton and Portsmouth. This is happening too often and not a squeak from O2 with an explantion.

    While every mobile operator has problems, O2 seem to take it to extremes. If we had options for service provider it would probably force people like O2 to improve their service.

    I look forward to compensation or at least an apology, I won't hold my breath.

    Man with my coat, its O2 lifting my wallet...

  36. steve-C

    Not just jesusphone victims affected.

    Their mobile broadband was acting up over the weekend too, with all attempts to connect crapping out as soon as the modem "dialled".

    It came back about 0300 or 0400 on sat, slow and horrid. Was also slow and horrid last night.

    I had to force DNS servers on it as well months ago as theirs are utterly utterly useless.

    Tux, cos he's the main penguin.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Only 4 more months to go

    and then I can make O2 unlock my iphone and try using someone who actually has a 3G network - those 3G coverage maps of the UK, showing O2 to have the worst 3G network of anyone, were very telling.

    O2's business model seems to be to get all the smartphones going on exclusivity deals, and then not provide any network to use them on. Shame.

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