Why mention Giffgaff? Anything on the O2 network - Tesco for example. Someone at work is having this issue with his Tesco SIM.
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 …
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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
Its been affecting me since about 1220 Wednesday, at first full strength signals 3g etc on the phone but not receiving calls or texts. By 1630, No Service, nothing. All this time, my wife's phone has been working fine. All very odd. Is it because I switched to a cheaper tariff last month??????????
Laughable attempts at recovery from an outage, but hardly surprising. Have O2 been juggling and prioritising customers between HLRs and where are the business continuity measures? Will O2 be able to reliably implement access overload measures during the Olympics...? See what you can't do.. with O2.
The O2 situation seems to be getting worse. There is still an outage, calls are being dropped rather than going to voicemail. The O2 website is titsup.com and the call centre staff went home at 8pm (And it costs 5p per min to call them).
Meanwhile on Twitter the O2 account says 'Engineers are working hard to fix it' but there is no ETA. We are not some 10 hours into the outage. At this point they should have an idea of the root cause and an ETA.
Heads need to roll and there needs to be an investigation.
What utter rubbish! Most phones like iPhone will NOT settle on a cell unless it has GPRS availability.
If there are two cells visible from your handset... first with 5 bars and no GPRS and second cell signal 1 bar with GPRS working, the iPhone (or smartphones) will then settle with the 1 bar signal because data availability has been programmed as highest priority in the iPhone (or smartphones) firmware.
Because the SGSN does not appear to be available on 3G (seems to work fine on 2G hence NOT a HLR fault) that suggests the problem is SGSN or GGSN related. So, NO 3G cells have data enabled so the phone doesnt settle with any 3G O2 cell it finds...
Conclusion: If smartphones cannot detect GPRS data from a cell it keeps "Searching..." until it does find one with working GPRS data...
This explans why our phones have been "Searching..." (to no avail) all day long....
O2 have some serious explaining to do to customers. I will settle for 1 years free line rental as compensation :-)
Schoolboy error from me - obviously forgot the internet existed. Had problems at work since lunch, got home and swapped sims with a working (contract) phone in the same house that found the network on my phone and assumed that my sim had somehow died. Then proceeded to register a giffgaff card that i'd had lying around for a while, only to then look at twitter and the Reg to find out about this. Ah well.
The reg article describes all the symptoms of a HLR outage. Customers could be anywhere in the country which could be affected by this issue. Depending on how O2 arrange their customers on HLRs you may find that business customers are not affected or could be equally affected. If you are currently un-affected don't reboot your handset as your handset will location update so will reference the HLR and you could then loose service.
Our phones are on a BusinessSharer tariff, and my personal and business numbers dont work, and haven't since lunchtime in sunny Cumbria. My wife's phone on the same contract doesn't either, but that's probably more to do with her introducing her BlackBerry to the inside of the washing machine than owt else...
I tipped El Reg to the fact that Orange France's mobile network was out of service for 12 hours on Friday afternoon to Saturday early morning. I guess El Reg didn't feel that a software fault hacking off mobe comms to 27 million subscribers was a story worth following.
So here's one for you. Two large mobile networks suffer severe failure, less than a week apart. Mere coincidence? I'd find that hard to swallow. A good tech journo might try contacting both companies to try to see if there's any common ground here. Same hardware? Infrastructure? What?
Agreed. I have been on holiday in France for the last week and the complete Orange outage was front page news over here. It just so happens that I am piggy-backed on O2 and had no service here last night. This morning it is working perfectly though. Never mind, it is 30 degrees and sunny!
As someone whose phone has been converted into an iPod touch since since 2pm yesterday I've been massively inconvenienced, but my main concern is the lack of effort on O2's part wrt communicating with customers. Why do I find better and more useful info on ITV, Sky News than their website? And why is it OK for O2 to email me saying "your bill is ready, please do cough up" but NOT to say "we realise you're affected and apologise for the inconvenience. We are trying our hardest & will be in touch later with a full explanation & hope to make it up to you."?
On GiffGaff, 7:30 AM Thurs, can text and make voice calls but no t'internet.
My reception at home has always been bit poor/variable - but in the days leading up to yesterday it was much worse than usual dropping down to "No Service" then "Emergency calls only" then popping back up randomly to 1-3 bars and back down again.
Still having problems.
Haven't had a data connection since yesterday and now at work, where I normally see a full signal, I am stuck with my handset saying "searching".
O2 were good (business contract, three handsets - never 'big' money to O2, but still £130 a month) when I joined them three years ago but their customer service attitude these days is "stuff you. give us more money". I've even considered buying out what is remaining of the contract, it's that bad.
Most people are pragmatic if something breaks, as long as you do them the courtesy of telling them you know about it, apologise and let them know you are fixing it and when it will be back.
If however, you make no announcement, your website status pages remain down or inaccurate, and your customer services goes home, like O2 have done, then this will piss off your customers more than initial fault.
O2 are obviously run by spineless wankers, too afraid to be honest with their customers.
I'm running on an o2 simplicity tarrif and I'm having minimal inconvenience. Text, calls and data are fine. 3g signal is present but no data appears to be coming though, most of the time, so I just dropped back to edge. (My trusty iphone 3gs also seems to want to drop back to this by default at work anyway)
Interestingly I changed my cellular data login info from idata.o2.co.uk to mobile.o2.co.uk as I was having a few issues about a week ago.(the first technical issue I've had in 8 years of being with o2) Its unlikely to be the reason why mine is still working though as those settings only affect data services.
This is the message currently being displayed on the o2 website under all of this:
Making calls and using data
05:40 - We're continuing to drive the recovery of this issue with our support teams and vendors. We're working to restore service as quickly as possible. Unfortunately we're unable to confirm any timescales for service restoration at this time. We'll let you know as soon as we can. We apologise once again for any inconvenience this incident is causing.
03:25 - We're still working with our support teams and vendors trying to restore service as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused whiile this recovery work is in progress. We'll provide further updates as soon as we can.
01:00 - We can confirm that the problem with our mobile service is due to a fault with one of our network systems, which has meant some mobile phone numbers are not registering correctly on our network. As a result, some customers are having difficulty making or receiving calls, sending texts or using data. We, and our central supplier, have deployed all possible resources and are working through the night to restore service as soon as possible. We apologise again to customers affected and will provide further updates as soon as we can
23:00 - Our engineers and vendors are continuing to deal with the problem as a priority and we hope to restore full service as soon as possible.
19:00 - We continue to manage the problem on our network that is affecting some of our customers. Customers may still be having difficulty making and receiving calls, sending texts or using data.We are sorry for any inconvenience. Our engineers are dealing with the problem as a priority and we hope to restore full service as soon as possible.
16:45 - We're currently seeing a problem on our network affecting some of our customers.As a result, you may have difficulty making or receiving calls, sending texts or using data.Our engineers are dealing with the problem as a priority and we hope to restore full service as soon as possible.
08:00 - We can confirm that our 2G network service has now been restored. Customers who were affected should now be able to make and receive calls.
Our 3G service is starting to restore and customers should expect to see a gradual return of data services as the day progresses.
Customers affected may wish to try switching their mobile phones off and on as service returns.
We are sorry again for the inconvenience this has caused some customers and can provide reassurance that we continue to deploy all possible resources, and will do so until full service is restored.
Still ZERO bars for me though...
On a Samsung Galaxy Note with no voice, no texts but data works fine.
Wifi is turned off and I don't enable bluetooth, so something is going on...
Oh, the phone is showing HSPDA:9 with a signal strength of -107dBm 3asu (whatever they mean).
Service state is out of service but I am connected to the network...
This is what happens when you have a change freeze ('service protection period') for the Olympics that lasts 2 months. All the hundreds of engineering teams and suppliers all try and cram 2 months' worth of changes into 2 weeks before the change freeze.
Under that sort of pressure the change management system starts making bad decisions and authorises changes that would normally have been vetoed. The engineering teams get overambitious because they want everything fixed so they're not babysitting a half-working system for 2 months.
Result: botched changes and upgrades, and resultant loss of service.
Orange's less publicized outage last week was probably for similar reasons.
It seems counterintuitive, but the networks would probably have had fewer problems if they hadn't had a change freeze at all.
We've been significantly impacted by the issue too, and our bet's also on this being a bodged change being rushed through before the change freeze. Most major issues are caused by changes anyhow, so this isn't such a great stretch of the imagination.
I also know that some environments have pressure on them to achieve certain standards to be ready for the Olympics, and still are trying to complete this work. It's not like the Olympics weren't expected....
Given the intermittent impact and how not everyone is affected, I've got two possible theories for the cause of the issue:
1. work to some load balanced kit that turned out to not be able to cope with the full load when under a partial outage
2. Or, having seen the link to Cornerstone earlier in the thread ( http://blog.o2.co.uk/home/2010/01/happy-first-birthday-cornerstone.html), perhaps the issue is only affecting this, or the other way around (given that this appears to be a seperate set of shared infrastructre).
I rang into O2 Customer Services in 2007 informing them I can not make or receive calls in Windsor High Street, as I was working at the time so having a O2 phone was absolutely pointless. I had to ring in about 5 times over the course of 6 weeks to get a response that an engineer has been assigned to look at it and we will update you. Needless to say they never did, so I rang up 6 months later explaining I still can not make calls and I reported the issue 6 months ago.
Fast forward to TODAY and still not possible to use iPhone to its full potential as you barely get Edge reception.
I however switched to three 6 months ago much much better 3G signal all over the country.
Conclusion: too much focus on other streams of revenue and not paying attention to your core product!
Im not too sure on whehter Huawei have the contract now, either way their network is not what it used to be pre-iphone era. Too much strain no investment, rather a mast sharing deal with Voda to save money I suspect.
then the addition of giffgaff and Tesco furhter strained the network! and by the way Telefonica the parent company of O2 has £57 billion defecit which it needs to reduce so I very much doubt there will be money invested just ways to make money
The Huawei deal does show, however, that Telefonica decided that selling phones and marketing tariffs rather than running O2's cellular network is its core business, in the same way that RBS decided that working cashpoints and providing balances are not related to its core business of securing huge bonuses for underperformance, paying LIBOR and PPI fines and scrounging rescue funds from the UK taxpayer. Reminds of how Sainsbury was persuaded by Accenture that having a warehouse that worked or the ability to replenish shelves wasn't core either. My guess, for what it is worth, is the most likely common factor is the selling of shallow and self-interested fads to senior executives by McKinsey.
Am I the only one to think that 200 'engineers' (probably includes hole-diggers and plug-wirers) doesn't seem a lot for a national network?
Well done, O2! That has to win an Olympic gold in the Pompous Corporate-speak Bullshit event:
"We're continuing to drive the recovery of this issue with our support teams and vendors."
Time, it seems, for me to articulate a progressive distancing from the 02 supplier / user interface eventuating in separation totality.
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