back to article O2, Tesco Mobile go titsup for 220,000+ Brits in 13-HOUR 3G cockup

Nearly quarter of a million O2 customers struggled to make calls, send texts and use their mobile internet connections yesterday. The outage, triggered during upgrade work on the operator's 2G and 3G systems, also hit Tesco Mobile and came only a day after O2-owned GiffGaff suffered similar problems. Tesco and GiffGaff are …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suggestions for o2 rebranding...



    O2Gaff - geddit?

    Three-circa-'02 - I remember those heady days of Space1999 re-enactments

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Suggestions for o2 rebranding...

      What about No-2

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Suggestions for o2 rebranding...

        I can't believe I missed that.

        nO2 = N2O

        For other mob telcos at any rate.

  2. Blacklight

    Odds on....

    service credit? No, thought not....

    My phone actually wasted more battery than normal as it spent most of the day looking for a signal....

    1. ADJB

      Re: Odds on....

      Did it check behind the sofa?

  3. Gio Ciampa

    "routine upgrade work"

    a.k.a screwing over the 3G customers because they're rolling out 4G at the moment?

  4. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Bad week for giffgaff

    They started having problems on Friday, thanks to an apparent database cockup - customers were unable to activate or topup until late Monday, etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bad week for giffgaff

      It wasn't a database problem as such, it was actually a failed failover in a duplicated transaction processor (this actually took out two Irish MVNOs as well). The faulty processor failed partially, and because it wasn't completely failed the other processor didn't take over.

      The resulting surge of people flocking to the giffgaff web site to look for help/vent/top-up etc ended up swamping the system (about a 400% increase in traffic I believe) and so a lot of transactions ended up being queued and giffgaff had to take their main web site off line to recover the situation.

  5. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Scale of the problem

    What proportion of O2s total UK customers is 22,000?

    1. TonkaToys

      Re: Scale of the problem

      From the article ""around 1 per cent" of customers, which would be 220,000 based on their latest figures and not including those on Tesco's network", so 22,000 would be about 0.1%

      Not that I noticed any downtime on my O2... I'll leave you to decide whether that's because I was in the other 99% or whether I'm just unpopular (boo hoo).

  6. Captain Scarlet

    Eh upgrade work?

    They told us:

    Update 1 (03 October 12:40): We have 2 links (out of 6 usually available) that are unavailable at the moment. The remaining 4 links are now in congestion and are unable to set up the new calls resulting in potential call failures.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MSC/HLR Which is it?

    The MSC and HLR are different components, a single HLR will hold accounts for a number of users, an MSC will switch calls for a given area, therefore GiffGaff will use O2's MSC's but could well have their own (or a dedicated) HLR

    Given that this seemed to affect a 'random' subset of customers I'd say its an HLR upgrade that went tits.

    Often the MSC & HLR run the same 'operating system' no not Vista but some sort of custom setup from someone like Ericsson so the upgrade program may have been to both MSCs & HLRs but in this case it was the HLR that they broke.

  8. returnmyjedi

    Ah! That explains that. I formally apologise for launching my work iPhone across the room and the obscene comments I made towards ios 7 which is now back as being magical in my head ball.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Thanks for that, I was wondering what the iChav angle was going to be :-)

      1. returnmyjedi

        Ahem. Work iPhone, so I'm only an iChav betwixt the hours of 9 and 5, Mon to Fri thankyouverymuch.

  9. David 155

    I wouldnt notice

    Awful problems on O2 where I live for months and they just arent interested in fixing it. Signal is up and down and barely existent indoors, calls drop regularly.

  10. MrZoolook
    IT Angle

    Customer service with a sense of humour

    After losing data signal, my mate put on the loudspeeker as he rang customer services. First they gave him a different number after finally navigating the dreadful "press a number for the right service" menu. Then THAT number asked him "Why don't you visit our website and avoid delays to answer your question?" To which we both smiled...

  11. All names Taken

    That may explain the non-working, frozen screen huddle of hudls at my local tesco no?

    BTW: gr8 ad T'co

  12. Securitymoose

    And where would O2 run their IT from I wonder?

    Maybe the same place as caused the RBS/Natwest/Ulsterbank outage?

    Forgive me if I mumbai a bit...

  13. David Neil

    Got a mate on Tesco mobile

    Could make outgoing calls, got nothing back in, inc. texts.

    Awkward as he was trying to arrange his Mums funeral at the time and wondering why no-one was callng back

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