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O2 and other networks suffer issues following Ericsson glitch

Tim Maytom

Customers subscribed to UK mobile network O2 and MVNOs that operate using its infrastructure have been hit with widespread problems leaving them without access to data services. According to O2, the technical issues, which have impacted millions of consumers, are due to supplied problems with Ericsson, which makes the mobile network equipment used by the operator.

The difficulties, which were first reported in the UK at around 5.30am on Thursday, have impacted O2’s 25m customers, as well as consumers subscribed to MVNOs which operate on top of its network. Those include Sky, Tesco, Giffgaff and Lycamobile, and together account for a further 7m users. Japanese operator Y!Mobile, which is owned by SoftBank and also uses Ericsson technology, has also been affected by problems.

“We believe other mobile operators around the world are also affected,” said an O2 spokesperson addressing the outages. “Our technical teams are working with their teams to ensure this is fixed as quickly as possible. We’d encourage our customers to use wi-fi wherever they can and we apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

The problems have left customers without access to data services, meaning they are unable to get online or access many app functions. According to O2, voice calls are unaffected, although there have been limited reports of O2 customers being unable to make calls or send texts. The outage has also had a knock-on effect on other services that make use of O2’s network, including Transport for London’s electronic timetable service at bus stops.

O2 has blame the problems on an issue in a third-party supplier’s system, while SoftBank has said the Y!Mobile outages are due to problems at exchanges for its high-speed LTE network. Ericsson, which provides network infrastructure equipment and technology for both firms, has issued a statement, saying it is aware of the issue and working with the networks to solve it.