back to article O2 takes a Christmas break

O2 is again struggling to get IP addresses to its customers, leaving many of them without data connectivity since yesterday lunchtime. Anyone who held open a session is fine, but lose your IP address and the operator admits they can't promise you another one - but engineers are working on it. The same thing happened back in …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Changed my APN on t'iphone and it all works grand now. For now.

    Calling o2s corp desk states there is no issue, call consumer and they say there is a problem *ahem*

    1. Robert E A Harvey
      Thumb Down

      If you can

      Good job you have an iPhone, then. I once bought an HP614c & there was no way to edit things lipe APNs. All you coud do was tell it your operator name. It thought it knew best after that.

  2. Noogie Brown

    Is this for 3G data or home broadband?

    Inquiring minds want to know

    1. Annihilator

      Inquiring minds

      "is this for 3G data or home broadband"

      Logical minds would probably jump to the conclusion it's 3G data, just from the references to APNs and iPhones. Or by reading the linked article where it's happened before.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Working fine here

    at 14:40 GMT near Bolton (Lancs).

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I don't think it's quite that straight forward... all yesterday i couldn't send or receive MMS (requiring a data link), but did have WAP. My wife however had no data service at all. About 3am things came back on, failed again mid morning in the same way for me, so still no MMS, but I do have WAP data... although I might still be on the mobile APN from last time it went titsup

      What's really fun is when you speak to CS and they try and sell you mobile broadband. FFS, please fix it for current customers before signing up more. What's the point of unlimited data add-ons when the system's on its knees all the time.

  4. SuperTim

    Mine is ok.

    Every time they say the network is down, my phone is never affected. I can use the 3g just fine.

    I think its a conspiricy!

  5. Chris Miller

    2.5G OK for me

    O2 working fine at 14:56 (GPRS not 3G, don't know if this would be expected to make a difference).

  6. Scho


    You'd have thinked they'd have learned, but admittedly I wasn't an o2 Iphone fanboi in July so this is my first 'outage'.

    Changing the APN to worked a treat though; got a connection almost instantly and before I even saw the El Reg article! Once finished I'll be safe and reset the network connections and ensure it returns it all to normal; may need to pop any wireless keys back in though but might be better in the long run.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    o2 are utter crap

    I'm off to a rival network as soon as my contract expires. They could have locked me in for another 18 months if they'd offered me a reasonably priced upgrade to a 3GS but they preferred to be greedy so I'm off to a network that doesn't block the iPlayer over 3G.

    1. ChrisB 2

      O2 milking their customers. Never!

      Agreed - I've been working in Europe a lot this year and my O2 bills have been quite high at c£300 per month. They'll very kindly waive the one month ETF if I upgrade to a 3GS and sign a new two year contract. Generous in the extreme.

      I'll be moving back to Vodafone in the New Year.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little googling

    Brings up this fellow:

    Who: "Decommissioned Nortel GGSN and deployed Ericsson GGSN into the O2 core infrastructure." at some point during: November 2008 — May 2009 (7 months)

    So it would appear to be Ericsson kit. . . doesn't necessairly mean its the GGSN at fault. Could be furthur down the line such as RNC.

    I wonder if any 02 bod's care to comment . . . . . .

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The problem is a lot bigger than an RNC....

      An RNC will only cover a specific area and would normally affect 3G voice calls as well as 3G data. As most people are fine with calls, but not data that discounts the RNC. If I recall correctly back in July when they had major problems they blamed a "DHCP server failure", this time they are saying it's an "IP Address allocation" problem. The simple fact of the matter is it's their GGSN that has croaked, but as yet they won't admit that because they can spin it as something completely different this time, it's not. Their GGSN failed on Saturday morning about 11:30am and they have been wrestling with it ever since. The worrying thing is after all the problems previously they still don't have any resilience in their data network when problems like this arise. It's a fact of life that at some point a machine will give you problems, the trick is to be able to isolate the offending platform and have spare capacity to carry on - which by all accounts O2 don't.

  9. Tony Murphy 1


    Nothing up with my iPhone's connection today :-)

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Yes, annoying as hell yesterday.

    just switched to APN, works fine now - Central London 3:10pm

  11. Daniel Bennett

    Down here

    iPhone going mental giving me errors saying it cant activate. Got no 3G Signal, only EDGE. Data failing miserably.


  12. Anonymous Coward


    24hrs without data connection and counting....o2 cusotmer support useless.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    IP address? I can't even get decent signal

    My iPhone struggles to get 2 bars of signal in my house. I get great data down my wifi but just can't get calls or texts but who needs those anyways :s

  14. Greg D

    Shit network

    the iPhone (and other exlusives) have fucked O2. They have the worst data network in the country and it's FOREVER going down because it's just too overloaded. I manage my companies fleet of mobiles and the data network is forever fucking up as well as their Xda range of phones being utterly useless. It's a wonder our staff can get emails at all.

    Thank god we've just signed a new deal with another network, which starts in Jan.

  15. pete23

    intermittently down since last night at least

    Couldn't use GMaps to find the damned pub we were going to:-(

    Seemed to work much later in the evening, briefly.

    Dead again today. Grrrrr. Might try the APN workaround...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Beyond fed up

    I was on Orange for many years and never had a problem.

    Moved to o2 just to get my mits on the iPhone 3GS. The handset has been brilliant and even better than I'd hoped but I've had nothing but problems with o2.

    First I bought a tethering package to cover me during my house move which coincideded with a big outage. Then they failed to refund the deposit I'd paid correctly. Then more data outages and now this.

    How on earth do they hope to keep customers now that iPhones are available everywhere?!

    o2 if I were you I'd start planning to downsize after Christmas 2010 when my and other people's 18 month contracts are up. I really can't leave fast enough.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O2 working fine

    iPhone is a pile of Mr Whippy!

  18. F1reman

    Thank you!

    I have not been able to get data connectivity since yesterday and yes this did happen before. When it happened before (presumably July but can't remember exactly) I phoned o2 who told me there were no problems and that I should wr erase my device and restore from backup, which I did, twice and it must have been coincidence that it started working after the second restore. Guess what I did last night? Fuck o2 and fuck companies who don't fucking have the balls to tell their customers what is really going on they could have saved me a lot of time.

    I'm going to Three as soon as my contract runs out with o2 in March. I've already unlocked the handset so good to far away from o2 as possible! Although 3 customer support is apparently worse who cares when you're paying £16 pm for the same deal as o2 charge £45. Oh, and apparently 3 have much better data coverage.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      ....that's bollocks

      1. F1reman
        Jobs Halo

        live life in ignorance then...

        ....I'm not sure about customer support, i.e. 3's might have improved but as for data coverage:

        u anonymous numpty

        Halo Steve just to wind you up a bit more. Haha!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    NAme and shame

    Perhaps they're not naming the vendor because currently there is no vendor, hence it's not working??

  20. John Shaw-Miller
    Thumb Down

    Still waiting....

    for a call back regarding another completely separate problem from O2 - only been three weeks now....

  21. Patrick 14



    Not had problem with data as I use my home wifi, BUT I cannot make fecking phones calls from my sofa. When it got this bad with 3 I left them..and that was not at the end of a contract. Screw them, if no service I'm not paying why should i, and yes I know I signed a contract with them, but it works both ways, I even had letters from them telling me the service was bad in my area..that was 3, let hope 02 get there finger out.

  22. David_S
    Thumb Up

    I've switched

    My contract with O2 runs out in January, however, I'm sick of O2's dreadful data network. I'm now using a T-Mobile sim card. £20pm. 30 day rolling contract. 1gig data (fair use).

    Browsing the web feels faster than it did with O2, and I no longer get dropped calls, or calls going straight to answerphone when I've got full bars showing.

    I use my phone in Central London mainly.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    fingerprint it?

    i'm not on O2 so cant be bothered to check this out - but you should be able to 'fingerprint' the DHCP server if done using that method...just like the DHCP server can fingerprint your OS.

    however - I suspect the addresses are handed out by some other backend system to the network - such as framed IP address value handed out by eg RADIUS. so in that regard it could be some nice little part of their infarstructure has gone b0rky. corrupt DB or just overloaded etc.

    with experience of this sort of thing I'd suggest maybe one or two people know this bit of their system (and maybe even they are contracted) and those people are perhaps busy, on holiday etc and getting some rather nice offer to come in and fix this..heck. even document it for some lower laccy to deal with next time it happens...last time it happened was also during holiday season so suspect the issue is common and rapidly fixed by the same people when they are normally in :)

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't be surprised

    if the software development leading to constant epic fails was outsourced to be coded in India....

  25. Faster Better Greener
    Jobs Halo

    iPhone data. Vodafone also to cap bandwidth

    So O2 data network craps out again. Plus ça change. But I wouldn't be so sure that Vodafone are going to profit terribly much from disgruntled O2 users. I note from their email launching their price plans yesterday that they (like Orange) will be capping data usage (excluding WiFi data) at 1GB on most plans.

    Sounds like a pretty surefire way to ungruntle data-junkie iPhone users pretty quickly.

  26. Bill Buchan
    Paris Hilton

    O2 - complaint blog

    55 of us signed a petition and complained to O2, MP's, Oftel, the whole 9 yards. Its all online and can be found here:

    What I've found is that no-one at O2 knows whats going on. Even the chairmans office cant get the network team to give dates for fixes, etc.

    In the end the particular base station we were complaining about - Southwark Street in London - magically burst into life.

    What they try and do is claim that because I'm in an area with unforseen demand, they don't have to actually provide network coverage. In our case, the base station was less than 400 feet away - my fillings were picking up the signal - but the bandwidth available to the base station was underspecced.

    We're now trying to press them for some sort of compensation - which of course they're refusing.

    One comment on this page needs further explanation though:,39029453,49302921-2,00.htm

    "In 2008, Ofcom warned O2 that if it didn't pull its finger out and improve its 3G coverage, it would take back its 3G licence early."

    The O2 blog is the usual corporate-lies marketing rubbish but some of the comments are hilarious:

    And finally: Top Tips while calling O2 customer service:

    - Settle down for a long wait - 30 mins on average. Dont try and do this with a weak bladder. Warn co-workers in case they want to listen and laugh.

    - Always get the operators full name and ask them for a number to get back to them should the call accidentally drop. Oddly enough 1 in 3 calls to O2 mysteriously get dumped, but not if you ask em for their name and make clear that if the call gets 'dumped', you'll get right back to em

    - Get a reference number for the call. Even the O2 chairmans office don't know how many support calls are actually answered, nor when you called in to complain. If the operator doest allocate a reference number, its not logged. You might as well have been howling at the moon.

    - Keep a written log or blog, and dont be scared to escalate to the chairmans office. The complaints escalation team are a joke and have never got back to me.

    - Dont believe anyone who claims that the network team will call back. I've been promised this dozens of times. Never happened. Its as if the 'network team' dont actually exist. Perhaps they were outsourced first ?

    Paris ? Because she's the only thing I know that sucks more than O2.

    ---* Bill

  27. jtweed

    Strange MMS problems too

    Not sure if this is related or not, but MMS messages I sent yesterday were appearing to come from someone else.

    That's not acceptable or excusable under any circumstances. In the T&Cs O2 state that they will be a "competent mobile telecommunications service provider exercising reasonable skill and care".

    I wonder if they consider that the same breach of contract that I do. I'd very much like to end my current contract early. Things have really taken a dive in London over the last couple of years. Huge delays on messages, calls going straight through to voicemail even though I have a signal and now I can't even be confident they can route something between the right two phones.

  28. My New Handle
    Paris Hilton

    O2 sucking off

    The O2 network sucks big sucky things like its national suck day! They are truly awful.

    Apple did them a huge favour with the iPhone exclusive. But no amount of PriOrity offers will keep customers, especially those like me who don't bother with their Meejia stuff...

    My contract expires 1/2/10 - on that day I shall be calling CS for the one and only time for my PAC that will end up on a 30-day SIM-only Vodafone tariff. I have well and truly had it with O2. I knew it was a mistake going to them. I should have waited it out but, mercy, I couldn't :-)

    Paris, 'cos at least when she sucks its got a decent outcome!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are a few things that it could be

    It was probably an issue with the ggsn, networks are really bad at quickly fixing these things.

    An APN name is just a DNS address that points your pdp context to a set of servers. it could be anyhting from there that isn't handing out the IPs properly.

    If you already have a session its likey that the radius server is buggered.

    as for 3's data coverage. Its one of the best in the UK. Voda, O2, orange are shit and T-mobile shares the wireless network with 3 so they have the same coverage.

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