back to article Orange mobile data chucks punters

Orange UK users are reporting that the mobile data service is dropping connections and refusing to let some customers onto the internet at all. The problems started yesterday afternoon, with users unable to connect over 2G or 3G networks. Last night it looked as though the operator had managed to slap a fix together, but this …


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  1. Gary Littlemore
    Thumb Down

    Me too...

    I'm affected by this Orange outage, I've been off now since yesterday afternoon.

  2. Reading Your E-mail
    Black Helicopters

    Nothing to see here...

    That sounds like everything is normal at Orange towers. I've had those symptoms ever since I moved to Orange. Surfing the net with Orange is a complete pig!!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      <sarcasm>But they are usually so *good*...</sarcasm>

      My first thought was "how can anyone tell?"

      Orange's data infrastructure appears to be based on two old baked bean cans and a length of string. This would explain their laughable monthy usage caps and the terrible general performance.

      Their sms service is often almost as bad, with message travel time only slightly better than first class post.

      Mines the one with my PAC and the 3 leaflets in the pcoket.....

      1. Mitch Kent

        Exactly the same

        And I'm sworn off them for my next contract. Data unreliability is annoying, but the SMS delays are simply unacceptable these days.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          you think sms is bad?

          When I was doing my dissertation, one aspect of it was fishing mms's out of a mailbox (mms to email is part of the spec) to grab the pictures. Normally they arrived in a couple of minutes. Every so often you wouldn't see an image for 72 hours. Which is great when you have about 15 minutes to demonstrate what you've been up to for the last 6 months.

      2. VinceH

        Letters, Digits.

        "Mines the one with my PAC and the 3 leaflets in the pcoket....."

        Too right. My PAC arrived the other day, and I've already set up a new contract with a new provider. (Who will inevitably turn out to be just as bad!) When cancelling and requesting the PAC, I told the customer service guy exactly why I was buggering off for mobile pastures new - citing the poor signal (in places I once had a great signal) as one of the reasons.

    2. Egons Proton Pack


      My 3G is off at the moment (im in the Manchester area) , although I agree when it is working its very very slow.

      I did speak to CS about it but all they could do was get me to perform a network reset on the device.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hard to tell

    I got a SIM only deal with orange about 8 weeks ago. Based in Nottingham city centre and had very little data access despite having 4 or 5 bars with 3G coverage. Luckily I was on a 30 day contract and so binned them off and moved to another network. But other users I know who are still on Orange are still having the same problem (although not quite so bad now).

    Phoned Orange customer service and their advice was "if you want to use data on your phone, turn off 3G on your handset". This advice was shortly preceeded by "Orange has the best 3G coverage".

    It appears that Orange may have the best 3G _coverage_ (ie you can get a signal), but they don't have the best 3G _capacity_ (ie being able to actually send/receive data).

  4. Lafleur1977


    I am an orange user in Preston, Lancashire. I noticed some disconnecting issues last night and this morning I have had no 3G connection at all and so have been been unable to use the Internet on my phone. Generally I have always been happy with orange so hope this will be fixed soon.

  5. Danny 14
    Thumb Down


    it has been on and off for the past week but yesterday was a nightmare. Connect and auth but no traffic.

    1. Peter Mount

      same here

      same here except I'm on t-mobile so possibly getting caught by them playing with roaming :-(

  6. Andrew Ducker

    Same here

    I've been having general problems with Orange for a while, but the last two days have been awful. For some reason 2G and EDGE (or whatever it is I'm using when the 3G+ symbol appears) are working fine, but plain 3G is not.

    Is there an Orange Forum somewhere for discussing this kind of thing?

  7. gav_taylor

    been ongoing for weeks

    this has been happening on and off for weeks/months now in the manchester/stockport area.

    failed connections, slow speeds... a lot of the time it will show a data connection is active but you just get page cannot be found errors.

  8. Neil 57

    uk fail

    orange just told me that the whole lot has fellover in the uk, not just regions. hoping to up again 'by teatime'

  9. Andy Scott

    Me too as well

    Its nice to know i'm not the only one having the problem, i thought it was just this stupid phone

  10. Dan Mullen
    Thumb Down

    Problem affecting 90% of users

    I live in Sunderland and have been unable to use any data services on my mobile since last night.

    I phoned Orange earlier and was told that it was affecting 90% of users and that their engineers were working on it as a priority. I was given an ETA of 13:00 - well, it's currently 12:58 and I still have no net connection...

  11. Bottle_Cap

    Fecking Orange

    Not had data for at least two days here. And as I use google maps for satnav is going to become a total pain in the arse. West Midlands area incidentally.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And I was blaming my usual useless coverage....

    Out since yesterday here in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

    Thanks el reg for being of more use than Orange in keeping me informed of problems on their network...

    Nothing on their website that I can find about network problems... glad I've got less than 6 months before I can escape.

  13. Dawid Lorenz


    [irony] I get connection issues with T-Mobile UK on daily basis while commuting, even in areas with good coverage - why isn't that covered by TheReg? [/irony]

  14. Radio

    No connection - West Midlands

    Not noticed any problems earlier than this morning, but not been able to connect at all since 9-ish. Glad to see it's not just me!

  15. SG76

    Not the first time

    Ooh, must be all of about 6 weeks since the last nationwide data outage on Orange, though that one only lasted half a day.

    Back to Vodafone in 9 months time.

  16. Lottie

    Problems in Yorkshire too

    Normally Orange is pretty good round here. I've never had a network attributable dropped call and quality is always fairly decent.

    What this issue DOES highlight, for me at least, is how often I check my emails in a day.

  17. Barely registers
    Black Helicopters

    Edinburgh too....

    How will the Camp Climate people coordinate their attack now?

  18. John P

    me too

    no access in Northamptonshire area since sometime this morning.

    Blamed my brother in law for breaking it as first noticed it while he was playing with my phone. Think I will carry on letting him think I blame him though, just for a little bit longer...

    Badgers in the works could be the cause.

  19. calumg
    Thumb Down

    Orange Wednesdays out too

    Last night at the cinema there were about ten people who hadn't got their "Orange Wednesdays" text through. We just bit the bullet and paid full price.

  20. BeefStirFry

    Just moved to Orange

    And this is the thanks I get...

    I thought I'd installed a dodgy Cydia App on my iPhone, almost uninstalled MobileSubstrate to see if that would fix it, glad I didn't because just about every App relies on it.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    This is a nationwide issue

    The issue is specifically the device authentication (AAA) in the core network - basically dial-up issues. it's something that will affect all users with no regional bias.

  22. Steve Mason

    Midlands down too

    No 3G today at all, normally a bit slow but not too bad.

  23. boyofjohn


    My flat mate noticed this last night on his phone but meanwhile I was able to use my Orange broadband dongle on my netbook no problem!

  24. Linker3000

    Not surprised

    Orange has data network problems...or "Thursday" as they call it at Orange.

    The unreliable data service was the reason I moved our corporate phones from Orange to Vodafone about 3 years ago. Seems little has changed.

  25. dwoodwar

    Nottingham Outage

    Been in Nottingham all day. Have currently got zero data here too.

    Well at least there is no chance of going over the new data limits recently imposed.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Joining the predictable chorus of "I hadn't noticed". I find data coverage dodgy as hell at home or work (wifi at home helps, mind). Travelling across London, it's usually really spotty too. I just assumed that I happened to try to get connectivity in blackspots.

    As to the quite reasonable question of why, if it's so bad, I don't change network- it doesn't help. Friends on other networks suffer just as many problems, 3G coverage is still not much cop, even in big cities.

    Also, there seems to be a lack of cheap plans out there for people who don't need many minutes, but would like some data and a moderate chunk of texts (or unlimited text). I feel pretty ill-served as a spoddy smartphone user who prefers texts and emails to bellowing their banal business in crowded trains, and who also wants the sci-fi frisson of pulling up satellite imagery to help find your way around your immediate area (which is very video game, and still amuses).

    That was a bit longer than I was expecting (argh, that needs a Paris icon, surely).

    1. Drem

      Have a look at Virgin Mobile

      They might be a virtual carrier, but I'm still quite liking the £18 for 150 minutes, 500 texts and 1 gig of data that I'm on with them...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Cheers, Drem...

        That's the closest yet to what I want. Still paying too much for stuff I don't need, but pretty good.

        I'd rather get 100 mins and 500MB of data and pay a tenner or such. Most months, I hardly make any voice calls. Texts.. hrm, I probably am unlikely to get through more than a couple of hundred in a month. At the moment, I am keeping my data use in check to avoid spending a lot outside of allowances, but would cheerfully use more if I had it (google maps and the like).

        I think the objection is the balance, they assume that everyone wants to make loads of calls- I feel a little odd holding what I think of as a PDA to my ear and talking into it.

        Anyway, food for thought, thanks. Which network is underneath Virgin?

      2. kinglee0001

        150 mins..

        @drem, £18 for the deal you have isn't good. T-mobile give 600mins, unlimited texts and 3gb data with an android phone for £20 pm. And virgin use t-mobile anyway..

  27. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Down

    yup same here (Norn Iron)

    Is there anywhere on their website that keeps the punters informed about their tech issues? I mean we all know they happen, the worst bit is not being kept abreast of the problems with the service we pay for...

    1. SG76

      Yeah right!

      It's Orange, I'm actually impressed their call centre knows about it. Usually they deny all knowledge of network problems and just offer the 'turn your phone off and on, remove and reinsert the SIM' mantra.

  28. miknik

    Good old Orange...

    Glad to hear its their fuck up, and nothing to do with the ROM I put on my desire last night. Had me worried for a minute there...

  29. Oliver Ray
    Thumb Up

    Seems to be working again now

    I had no data from yesterday afternoon. It seems to be working again now (Cambridge)

  30. Dan Mullen

    Back up?

    My net connection started working at about 14:15 - it's up at the moment, hope it's a permanent fix!

    1. geekguy

      nope still broken

      its not mine still does not work (leeds, wyorks)

  31. captainstu72

    Go Orange...

    I don't think it is a complete failure, as someone else has hinted at, the consumer broadband section is up.

    I was browsing the net via HSDPA Orange Dongle on my laptop whilst phoning Ornage to complain.

    Now trying to see if I can get the consumerbroadband APN to work on my phone :/

    Fed up with Orange and their failings recently...

  32. Dan Mullen

    Spoke too soon...

    it's gone again :(

  33. James Owen

    well that'll explain it!

    performed a radio update on my Villainrom running Hero yesterday, and thought I'd bricked it! Spent most of today rolling it back to the new Orange Eclair release hoping to fix it! Thank god for El Reg keeping me informed, because there's nowt on the Orange website!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mostly down

    Mine has been mostly down since yesterday afternoon, in the home counties area. It's popped up every now and again, but overall, my first Orange contract has been an unreliable one. Oh well, only 17 months to go...

  35. geekguy

    nope still broken

    leeds wyorks user and still no 3g

  36. gribbler

    No connection in London

    I got stranded last night trying to find a restaurant- jumped off the tube, fired up google maps to tell me which way to walk (I can't find my own way down a one-way street) and... nothing! Caused me no end of bother and meant I turned up late and missed half the free bar time at the event.

    Like many other commentards, I had assumed it was down to some dodgy app I'd installed and was planning a factory reset tonight on my Desire. Many thanks to el Reg for saving me the hassle. I'd ring up Orange and complain if I thought it was worth the effort. Other than maps I try not to rely on mobile data since it's always a bit shit.

    Very little beer for me...

  37. NotAgain


    Orange should be ashamed, this outage or the potential of a possilbe outage should have been notified to all customers before any work commenced on the intergration with t-mobile and if this is nothing to do with that work, then the decent thing would have been to send its customers a text or even post some kind of notification on it's website of the issues and the possible time scales for them to be resolved. Instead they clunk up there telephone lines with angry customers who have been trying to connect to the data services since yesterday, when the service first went down and wasting everyone's time... i don't know about others, but i initially assumed that I had broken my phone somehow... it would have been nice to have known there were problems. Disgraceful..!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That would require

      Mobile operators to behave like a proper comms company.

    2. G0mez


      Isn't that just the Reg guessing though? There's no confirmation yet that is what's happening

  38. JonahBee

    Seems about right for this company...

    For a telecommunications company, Orange's communication leaves much to be desired... I also assumed I'd broken my iPhone or the network settings had glitched. Cheers for the heads-up Orange... :/

  39. G0mez

    Might be related

    Orange Switzerland data was dead yesterday/Tuesday

  40. Anonymous Coward

    regained data network about 30 minutes ago

    I'd been off all mobile data services since around 9pm last night, and I seem to have been reconnected this afternoon around 4pm.

    I hope everyone else is back working.

    1. DB77

      Nearly 2 days with no internet on iPhone 4

      Central London. No 3G, never received EDGE, ever, and no GPRS. Whole thing is dead making my phone useless. Incredibly bad service. Wish I had never left O2.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just another example

    ..of how mobile data isn't really ready for "utility" status. It's way too hit and miss, feels like a toy or novelty, a lot of the time- the fact that it's working.

  42. fritz from london

    "The problem started yesterday afternoon" my foot

    Same here - in London there are several holes in the coverage, including where I work (around Oxford Circus) which is annoying.

    Additionally even if you get full bars on the phone, it's a 50-50 chance whether you'll be able to use it or not.

    I called help desk, got send a SIM updated with a new connection point in it, but no change.

    I'm using my phone mostly on WiFi, and moving off Orange as soon as my contract ends.

  43. NX1977
    Thumb Down

    T-mobile having issues too

    3g dropping and stalling since mid afternoon yesterday.

    So appears they are messing with the network, possibly load balancing using t-mobile's better data capacity.

  44. Apocalypse Later

    Free service, can't complain

    I just signed up for an Orange contract, with 500Mb per month data, but wasn't so foolish as to get one that costs money. I went through one of the CPW online subsidiaries who were offering 23 months free on a 24 month contract, and I got the equivalent of another two months refunded through TopCashBack (totally free service- - just got 60 quid back on my car insurance too). So they are paying me. And I got a free Samsung Tocco Lite of course- got to have a touch screen to surf.

    Yes, there is a catch. You have to remember to put in for the money. If you are lazy, forgetful or disorganized you might end up paying after all.

  45. A Noony Moose

    Orange faces all round...

    Orange custard services said that it went down on Wednesday but was back up later in the day and went down again at about 8am on Thursday.

    Seemed to come back up again Thursday afternoon.

    It seemed to be down this morning for a short while (Bristol area) but came back up at about 9:15.

    I think it would be a good idea if The Reg started a data network reliability survey which runs continously and allows people to report whenever they have a problem with the data network on their phones (logs phone operator, 2G or 3G connection, area of the country & length of downtime). Every six months or so, the results could be published to try and shame the operators into giving a more reliable service (whether the operators take any notice of it is another matter...).

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Working Now - Greater London

    Seems to be working now.

    Cheers El Reg for the updates when nothing was forthcoming from Orange themselves.

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