back to article O2, GiffGaff network goes titsup for unlucky punters

Parts of the O2 network have fallen over leaving punters unable to make calls, send texts or surf the web from their gadgets. An O2 spokesperson told The Reg that its systems are having problems detecting handsets. The outage, which started at lunchtime today, also affects operators that piggyback on O2's network, such as …

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  1. Miffo

    Giffgaff?

    Why mention Giffgaff? Anything on the O2 network - Tesco for example. Someone at work is having this issue with his Tesco SIM.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Giffgaff?

      Thanks - it's just that we were able to confirm quickly that O2 and GiffGaff were affected.

      C.

      1. Ball boy

        Re: Giffgaff?

        Thank goodness for El Reg. I've got problems & have rebooted, moved the SIM to a spare phone and still got nowhere.

        Oh - and as of 17:20 the O2 website's support section is nothing more than a terse message saying "Knowledge Server is temporarily busy. Please try again." Helpful, no?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Giffgaff?

      The Register are always quick to point of problems with Giff Gaff. Dunno why. Maybe someone there had a bad experience with them...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not surprised

    As a former O2 customer I thank my lucky stars I'm no longer with them. I used to suffer terrible signal coverage and just random loss of service all the time (and I live in a city centre) My brother who lives 15 miles away had the same issue as did someone I worked with from another city.

    When I rang O2 to leave at the end of my contract I received the worst possible 'customer service' experience. The monkey at retentions had me on the phone for 40 minutes and accused me of lying twice. Once when I said I was leaving for a contract with a rival that actually cost more and price wasn't an issue and the second time when I said their network was awful. He said that I made the issues up and if I was getting problems I should have reported these issues as it could be down to my local mast and not their overall network, which he said as a whole was fine. However he couldn't explain how people in other cities and miles away also had the same issues and we all used different handsets. The only common factor was O2.

    Their initial iPhone exclusive then letting GiffGaff and Tesco and whoever else piggyback on the top of them has got them at breaking point

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Not surprised

      Thanks for your random rant that has absolutely nothing to do with this story.

      1. Blitterbug
        Meh

        Re: Thanks for your random rant that has absolutely nothing to do with this story.

        It had everything to do with the story, as it concerned muppetry of the highest order at O2. Are you employed by O2? Do you work for Logica? We should be told!

        1. fixit_f
          Unhappy

          Re: Thanks for your random rant that has absolutely nothing to do with this story.

          Leave the poor OP alone guys, he was only making the point that he had a terrible experience with a company. I started with O2 in 2005 ish when they had what appeared to be the best mobile data network out there, but once they got the exclusive rights to the iPhone it seemed to get overloaded. After a while I gave up and went elsewhere.

          There's nothing wrong with making the point that you've had a bad experience with a company - after all they're perfectly free to push advertising into your face, if they don't deliver it's your right and duty to warn people. O2 just aren't a very good network at the moment I'm afraid, end of.

        2. Blitterbug
          Happy

          Re: Thanks for your random rant that has absolutely nothing to do with this story.

          Cheers for the inexplicable thumbs down, chaps! (speaking as an ex-Logician)...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not surprised

      It's wrong for them to accuse you of lying but it's fine for you to call them monkeys.

      1. TkH11

        Re: Not surprised

        It's never acceptable for a supplier to call their customer's a liar, and coming from a customer facing department? ! As for him calling them monkeys? In one case their insult is aimed at an individual - him, in his case, he's not insulting an individual he is insulting the organisation.

        So I don't see your challenge to him calling them monkeys is right.

    3. frank ly Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Not surprised

      If you want to end your contract, you tell them to end the contract. You don't enter into long discussions with them.

      If they refuse to give you a PAC code, you make a formal complaint about them, enlisting your new provider for advice and support.

    4. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: Not surprised

      It's well known that O2 typically have their own masts while other operators share. It does however generally mean you get better 3G bandwidth when you can get decent signal.

      At home no network gives me decent reliable fast mobile data. With O2 they at least have a 2G fallback, 3 on the other hand don't now and so in the woods when biking or walking you often get no signal. Just what you want when you may need to call in an emergency.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not surprised

        > It's well known that O2 typically have their own masts while other operators share.

        Really? Not that ownership of the *masts* actually means anything in itself....

        http://blog.o2.co.uk/home/2010/01/happy-first-birthday-cornerstone.html

        1. Blitterbug
          Unhappy

          Re: Not that ownership of the *masts* actually means anything in itself....

          It means everything. For the 12 years and more that I've been with them (cos of the loyalty discount), their reception @ my house is crap. Yet T-Mobile (my wife and kids) phones get 5 bars. It is precisely because O2 Telefonica don't share masts that I can only take business calls on my mobile while crammed against the kitchen window. Often I have to perform a ritual O2 'rain dance', quite literally, jumping and waving my iPhone around in the air until the No Service icon buggers off. This, despite masts being a precious resource.

          1. Severen
            FAIL

            Re: Not that ownership of the *masts* actually means anything in itself....

            And in 12yrs you've not thought of changing networks? Maybe to T-Mobile?

            I hear their network is excellent in your house.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not that ownership of the *masts* actually means anything in itself....

              I find it's excellent there. I check FB while eating my biscuit.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not that ownership of the *masts* actually means anything in itself....

              Did you not see his point about the loyalty discount? It may be crap, but it's cheap!

        2. Giles Jones Gold badge

          Re: Not surprised

          That's why I said typically, they are sharing now but that's about 4 years since I first jumped onto 3G with O2.

          Their 3G coverage is still worse than 3 in many areas. But at least there's 2G to fall back on (good enough for phone calls).

      2. TkH11

        Re: Not surprised

        2G fall back? What's the heck is that? Fall back to GPRS data at 14,400 bits per second (and true performance is dependent on the number of timeslots on the signal).

        Have you ever tried using data over GPRS? Have you actually tried to download a web page at this speed? I bet you haven't. It is unusable.

        1. John G Imrie Silver badge

          14,400 bits/s

          14,400/s, kids today don't know they are born. When I was a lad etc. ...

        2. Giles Jones Gold badge

          Re: Not surprised

          Some people use a phone to talk to people. It's not just a mobile Internet device.

        3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

          Re: Not surprised

          I rather suspect there's more than a few people here who know what V.32bis is and at one point thought 14Kbps was fast..

          Depends on the webpage. *some* pages are still usable at that speed, but with all the javascript, graphics and huge stylesheets it's very difficult to efficiently browse the modern web with anything under 256Kbp/s and about 800Mhz of processor.

          I'd note that until very recently (I'm looking at places like you, National Rail) sites still used WAP, or WAP levels of bandwidth. It wasn't necessary to use any more bandwidth for looking up timetables, but oh no, they had to stick in graphics and suchlike and ruin the experience for old, slow phones. I bet traintimes.org.uk is still usable at 14Kbps.

      3. DJ Smiley
        Facepalm

        Re: Not surprised

        In an emergency (999 not "oh god I need to call my mum to ask her to put some chips on) your phone will use ANY mast.

  3. koswix
    FAIL

    Been flakey since yesterday afternoon

    Up here in rainy Edinburgh I've been having issues since about 3pm yesterday - keep getting told my sim card (giffgaff) isn't allowed on the network.

    Had service this morning up until about 2pm and then nothing since.

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      You don't have any affiliation, but post an affiliate link? Well done.

    2. frank ly Silver badge
      Meh

      Hmmmm ...

      "I don't have any affiliation with giffgaff,..."

      Am I right in assuming that you are the affiliate known as 'snapdragon69'?

    3. chr0m4t1c

      Is GiffGaff is a pyramid selling scheme or something?

  5. teapot9999
    FAIL

    Issue not just in UK

    I have users travelling abroad also reporting their O2 phone not working

  6. AndGregor

    Looks like they are having 'trouble' with their status page too: http://status.o2.co.uk.

  7. LinkOfHyrule
    Terminator

    Opooh

    First the banks go titsup, then the mobile coms - tinfoil hoody guys will be saying this a test run for when they send us dark as part of their evil scheme to enslave us!

    And by the way, I am in no way affiliated with The Register, I am just a happy customer

    1. localzuk
      Alert

      Re: Opooh

      Its a fire sale!! *Enter Bruce Willis*

  8. Andrew Barr
    FAIL

    Ooops

    Aren't O2 the olympic mobile provider

    1. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: Ooops

      He said the O-word without being an official sponsor! Sue him! Sue him!

  9. AlexMorris
    Black Helicopters

    Contract fine, PAYG broken

    I carry two O2 phones, one a company phone on a business contract, the other a personal phone on a pre-pay tariff.

    Curiously, the company phone (on a very lucrative contract - my employer has several thousand employees and phones in the UK alone) works perfectly, with nary an interruption in service.

    Conversely, the personal phone on the scum-of-the-earth my-monthly-spend-doesn't-buy-one-cocktail-for-the-MD pre-pay tariff doesn't work.

    Not that I'm in any doubt whatsoever that this is a genuine "fault" and not the result of O2 carrying out some unspecified changes to the network designed to affect pre-pay customers...

    1. Copyright Action

      Re: Contract fine, PAYG broken

      Nah, the fuckup is equal ops. and apparently extensive to judge by the howls of annoyance on Facebook. We have 3x O2 contract phones here (W7 London). All show good signal on O2 but connect to nothing. There's a tri-tone beep when dialling other mobiles. Oddly one attempt to call landline worked, once, then didn';t.

    2. philbo

      Re: Contract fine, PAYG broken

      Problem with extrapolations from n=1 data is that they aren't usually correct (though you may find you can get a job at the Daily Mail based on this kind of analysis). In this household, we have five giffgaff PAYG phones, only one of which went offline (and one had no charge, so might have done, who knows).

      I like giffgaff, even though they do make me top up £5 every three months to keep the calls to the other family mobiles free.

  10. Oscar

    Re: Contract fine

    Contract is not fine for me Mr Morris ;) Been down for over an hour and was acting weird for the hour prior to that ...

    1. AlexMorris
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Contract fine

      Hush you. Don't confound my cynicism with tricksy facts.

      1. philbo
        Happy

        Re: Contract fine

        Upvoted, because a witty, self-deprecatory reaction to being corrected is far better than the sort of knee-jerk pettiness that often happens round here.

  11. miknik
    Happy

    Mine wasn't working

    I had no signal for a couple of hours earlier. However, the planet kept spinning and life went on, it was actually quite peaceful.

  12. Just a geek
    Unhappy

    On O2 or rather not on O2 this evening as I have no connection at all. The O2 website just tries to sell stuff rather than having an update there so you have to go to 'http://status.o2.co.uk/' which might or might not work depending on how busy the server is.

    Clicking on 'Contact Us' gives this:

    'Knowledge Server is temporarily busy. Please try again.'

    If the measure of a company is in how well than handle an outage then O2 have a lot of work to do for the next time.

    1. Blitterbug
      Happy

      If the measure of a company is in how well than handle an outage ...

      Indeed. Flogged off most central IT support to parts foreign, is my guess, a la Bobby Diamond.

  13. CmdrX3
    WTF?

    Out in Belfast as well..... sort of

    Well actually, my contract one is out of service, my wife's PAYG is fine. Both iPhne 4S and both in the same location.

  14. Anonymous John

    Flaky in E Sussex too.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only thing that will cause an outage like that is losing one of their home location register platforms.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC: 19:36

    Oh, I dunno. Vodafone had a server stolen in a break-in, and that caused a 3 day outage UK wide not too long ago.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Manchester

    I'm affected by this and I'm in Manchester, but apparently according to the postcode search facility on status.o2.co.uk all is well in Manchester ... not!

    I can't wait for the signal to come back so they can text me my PAC code

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Manchester

      I've checked my phones, most of them aren't working, but thankfully my iphone is working.

      Looks like I won't be getting any out of hours support calls tonight :-D

      I do feel a bit dumb having kept to one network, I wonder if there will be TV adverts for free Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone SIMs in the next few days? I'm sure there will be fewer of the O2 ones ha

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