back to article Between you, EE and the lamppost ... this UK cell network is knackered

UK cellphone network EE has struggled to provide a decent service to Brits for most of today. Folks have complained for several hours that they've been unable to make calls or download stuff from the internet using their smartphones. EE's customer service has blamed a "PDP failure" for inconveniencing "a small percentage" of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jennyfer reveals: "No internet in Glasgow, showing a PDP problem. Driving teenage daughter mad."

    In England we have Wifi to back up our 4g connections...

    However I do sympathise, having to put up with a stropy teen can be a problem if you're a soft arse parent.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC

      No you miss her point.

      Jennyfer is driving her teenage daughter mad!

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: @AC

        Yeah probably saying things like in my day we didn't have inetrnet, now go watch "Why ddon't you".

    2. IsJustabloke Silver badge
      Meh

      Surely the real problem here is the ridiculous spelling of her name ?

    3. boltar Silver badge

      First world problems eh?

      No mobile internet? Heavens, how will all the sheeple cope not being able to talk crap on Whats App or read the latest egotistical rubbish from someone they barely know on facebook.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: First world problems eh?

        When my teenage son pays for goods and/or services and they don't get delivered as per contract, I fully support him getting mad about it. I encourage him to deal with it calmly and professionally, because that is part of growing up; but I don't say "ooh, back in my day, people never had to abide by legally valid contractual terms, ooh, first world problems" because if I did he'd think, correctly, that I was an idiot.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: First world problems eh?

          Its more the fuss being made about it rather than the non provision of services which will be refunded anyway. I doubt it would have been mentioned here if BBC TV had gone off air in various regions of the country for a few hours even though people have paid their license.

          "I fully support him getting mad about it. I encourage him to deal with it calmly and professionally"

          You can't have it both ways, mad or calm, make your mind up.

          ""ooh, back in my day, people never had to abide by legally valid contractual terms, ooh, first world problems"

          No, but you could have said: "No service is perfect and they all go down occasionally so deal with it. Find something else to do for a few hours instead of whining like a baby."

  2. gizmo23

    PDP

    My immediate thought was "They're running their network on a PDP?!"

    Haven't had to support one of those in *cough* years. An 11/23 with RL02's IIRC.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: PDP

      Have an upvote. I have an 11/73 System in my Workshop. It controls my NC Lathe.

      Runs RT/11. The kernel is < 6Kb in size.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PDP

      They probably forgot where they put the BRU SYS tape

    3. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: PDP

      > My immediate thought was "They're running their network on a PDP?!"

      If it was running on a PDP it probably wouldn't have gone down!

  3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    The BT effect

    Everything that BT lays its hands on turns to shit.

    1. PNGuinn
      IT Angle

      Re: The BT effect

      Not quite fair this time.

      They were already s**t.

      That's the smell that probably attracted Big Thief. Synergy and all that...

      Icon because of who's being mentioned in dispatches ... again.

      1. PeterM42
        FAIL

        Re: The BT effect

        Bunch of Tossers + Errors Everywhere is a recipe for disaster.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EE == Excrement Everywhere?

    That is all...

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: EE == Excrement Everywhere?

      I asked an EE person if that was really what the initials stood for, but he poo-pooed it.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: EE == Excrement Everywhere?

        Good honest mobile, from Yorkshire? EE by 'eck.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: EE == Excrement Everywhere?

        Is that you General Melchett?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Landing - Error

    I can't even log into the EE website to see how much my new tariff is going to be...

    Landing - Error

    We're working on fixing this page.

    In the meantime, find help at ee.co.uk/help

    What happened?

    A serious error has occurred that is preventing any further progress for this action, please try again later

  6. gbru2606

    MIlk cows?

    BT? They milk cows don't they? Very good at it too I believe.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: MIlk cows?

      TB?

  7. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Bit confused here

    Someone said they had a call failed? Is that classified as packet data? In short the primary use of the network (phone/text)..is that still working?

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Bit confused here

      A PS data sessions is often referred to as a "packet call", and KPIs include PS dropped call rates, which would roll up various causes in the network.

      I'm on EE and couldn't access data between around 2pm and 5pm yesterday, voice (circuit switched) services were unaffected (for me, at least), as this goes elsewhere in the core network (MSC).

      As I couldn't get on the network on either 3G or 4G, it's either the link from the packet domain into the authentication server, or they're running a combi-box that is performing MME/SGW (4G) and GSN (3G) functionality, and that fell over in some way.

  8. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Well, duh

    A spokesperson for EE was not immediately available for further comment.

    OK, you have just written about their network being down and it surprises you they can't be reached?

    :)

  9. Nigel Brown

    Just today??

    Anything other than 4G is pretty dire every day.

  10. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  11. Ian Emery Silver badge

    To EE customers - it could be worse

    You could be on O2/GiffGaff.

    My local speeds (with full 5bar H+) are.....

    0.02Mbps.

    That is day in, day out for FIVE YEARS.

    Even complaining to the CEO hasnt got it fixed.

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: To EE customers - it could be worse

      "...That is day in, day out for FIVE YEARS...."

      Why not ask them for a boost box (femtocell) to send the signal down your broadband? They work rather well, although I moved from O2 a long time ago because they never seemed to have a good signal anyway.

      But I'm more curious, if they're so shite, why you're with them after five years?

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: To EE customers - it could be worse

        Could be many reasons to still be with them - perhaps all the other networks have zero bars. Perhaps it's a work phone. I'm in a house with near-zero bars from all operators. May well have to invest in a phone that supports wifi calling - although conflicting messages from EE customer support as to which phones will work (might ring a few more times and see how the votes tally).

        Reasons to get shite thru'put: your account profile may be such that you're deprioritised, your phone may not be of the correct category (e.g. if it's old, or a grey import that doesn't have the right frequencies) to use the service better, the network may be misconfigured, an annoying neighbour is sucking up all the resource (unlikely for 5 years, tho).

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        But I'm more curious, if they're so shite, why you're with them after five years?

        Because they keep buying up whoever I try and move to to get away from them.

        They're the last ones round here now.

      3. Steve Gill

        Re: But I'm more curious, if they're so shite, why you're with them after five years?

        In oh so many areas of the country they're the only network available as the others 'focus on' (i.e. only cover) dense metropolitan areas so they can claim, quite honestly, that they cover over 90% of British homes.

        The last 5% have little to no chance of ever getting a signal off anyone except O2.

      4. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: To EE customers - it could be worse

        Because it is a freaking firmware problem with the tower, UPLOADS are about 1.8Mbps.

        Waitrose run hotspots sponsored by O2, the store is about 200m from the mast, and (like my office), has a direct, uninterrupted line of sight to the mast; guess what the connection speeds are??

        Yeah, that's right - 0.02Mbps.

        Effing pathetic.

        Luckily, we dont use mobile data much, and if we do, it is usually away from our local area, where the masts are all configured correctly.

        0.02Mb - you cant even load a blank webpage without it timing out.

        My next phone upgrade and I will be switching to THREE.

      5. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: To EE customers - it could be worse

        We joined for the cheap calls, especially to China Mobile, as my wife is Chinese; this is the only reason we have stayed; but my wife now usually uses Weechat or QQ to talk to her family, so mobile data is more important that cheap voice calls; we will be switching networks either this Spring, or when I go for my next phone (maybe late summer).

        The CEO of O2 personally promised to get it sorted out months ago, but nothing has happened and now we have run out of patience.

        No wonder O2 is circling the drain.

  12. M7S

    This will be the network carrying UK Emergency Services traffic?

    Oh goody.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This will be the network carrying UK Emergency Services traffic?

      Let's hope there's no tendency for people to get on their phones when there's a major emergency!

  13. this

    BT Speak

    a small number of customers = everybody

    may have = have

  14. dotdavid

    "Funnily enough, there is one thing still working at least: EE was able to text people today warning them that their tariffs are going up in March."

    I'm quite surprised that they're still doing that; none of the other networks have within-contract price rises inflation or not and it was one of the many reasons I left them.

  15. jason 7

    Fear not folks!

    5G will save us!

    Like 4G was meant to and 3G before that and GPRS...GSM...

  16. Yugguy

    Obligatory EFA

    UK cellphone network EE has struggled to provide a decent service to Brits since its inception.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best thing I ever did was to dump EE, in the words of Paul Calf, bag o' shite.

    1. KeithR

      "Best thing I ever did was to dump EE, in the words of Paul Calf, bag o' shite."

      I've been with them for donkey's years - both mobile phone, and home BB - and I've had barely an issue with them in all that time: odd short-term outages at home, and NOT A SINGLE PROBLEM with the mobile.

    2. Vince

      6 weeks... 6 weeks too long with EE

      I joined "EE" on 2 year contract. I left after 6 weeks (4 weeks more than I wanted but it took that long for them to acknowledge my legal rights). Absolutely pathetic.

      Data services frequently just stop passing packets.

      Some non-HTTP/HTTPS services are either blocked or have some capping/issue maintaining throughput

      Coverage is a joke - it's supposedly the largest 4G network but I found a lot of time was spent on 2G, and mostly 3G if not, and throughput again horrid. By chance, this was during a time where I was travelling around quite a bit so I got to experience this repeated horror a lot.

      I'm used to getting in my car and streaming audio along my journey - as I always do on 3. It's quite rare for me to lose my stream, and there are some fairly long journeys now (2-3 hours) where I don't lose my stream once. With EE, I'd be lucky to get from one junction to a motorway to another.

      Even when I forced my phone to only do 3G/4G so it could hold onto a weak 3G signal rather than drop down to 2G ... it didn't get much better.

      As a result, I spent the majority of my time on EE using another of my 3 contracts to get things done, which I'd been sensible enough to retain.

      I also experienced several service outages due to EE network issues in that time - given all the other issues, I didn't fancy spending the rest of a 2 year stint with such a woeful network, and ported back to 3. Haven't had an issue since then.

  18. SiempreTuna

    Appalling!

    Yet another appalling outage that I knew nothing about.

    They should tell me when my service isn't working - I can't be expected to notice it all by myself!

  19. jessemoore

    It was the Everest DataCentre

    Everest in Reading lost power on one of their A/B feeds, affected other companies aswell.

  20. Rob Daglish

    Oooh! I noticed a problem this morning...

    For once, I appear to be in the "small number of customers".

    Mind you, I've noticed a pattern when there is a mobile outage: when it's O2, everyone complains O2 are terrible. When it's 3, everyone complains 3 are terrible. When it's EE, everyone complains EE are terrible. When Vodafone is out, everyone complains Vodafone is terrible.

    I'm left to conclude we have no decent mobile phone service providers in the UK.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Oooh! I noticed a problem this morning...

      A Pebble Mobile SIM?

      I have no idea how good they are, I just know they're an MVNO which roams on all four networks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oooh! I noticed a problem this morning...

      I've come to the conclusion we all like a good moan.

      99.997% uptime isn't bad for a retail mobile service in my books

    3. KeithR

      Re: Oooh! I noticed a problem this morning...

      "I'm left to conclude we have no decent mobile phone service providers in the UK"

      Probably more reasonable just to conclude that shit happens, sometimes...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This:

    "Driving teenage daughter mad."

    You pathetic wanker....

  22. KeithR

    "Network down for a while"

    Is this REALLY news?

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