back to article EE: Data goes TITSUP* for Brit mobile customers

EE customers have been hit by a nationwide data outage this morning, leaving grumbling UK commuters with nothing to mindlessly tap on their way to work. According to Down Detector, problems began around 7am, with reports peaking at around around 9am. Customers appear to be affected across the UK, including in London, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ESN

    They are going to have to be faster at fixing things when the emergency services are using them exclusively

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: ESN

      "...They are going to have to be faster at fixing things when the emergency services are using them exclusively..."

      And at communicating them!

  2. The Alphabet

    If nothing ever works with EE all the time, then it must be working exactly as intended.

    Surely?

    Back when i was with T-Mobile i had network issues where inbound calls would constantly divert to voicemail at home despite having signal and trying multiple phones, you'd have to call about 7-10 times before my phone would actually ring. The problems stopped when i migrated to Orange, then when the network merger started i wound up back on T-Mobile's network again and continued until i left EE entirely.

    They told me there was no technical or capacity issues in my area.

    1. paulf Silver badge
      Unhappy

      On a tenuously related issue EE have just closed down the old Orange online account servicing portal. This allowed you to download your bill as PDF, check old bills, check usage so far in the current month - all the usual stuff. It was summarily closed at the end of 2017 pushing people like me, with old Orange branded plans, back on to paper billing. How's that for progress?

      It seems the old T-Mobile portal is still active which suggests to me EE was built on the T-Mobile billing platform (in the same way you found the T-Mobile network was used as the foundation for the merged network). As new customers were routed to the new T-Mobile EE billing platform the old Orange platform withered as customers migrated to EE or others, to the point they figured it was cheaper to send bills in the post than keep it running. Also it acts as an incentive to shift off those old orange plans and shifting people over to the T-Mobile platform would just be too helpful.

      In case you were wondering I have an old Orange Value Promise tariff - one of the old Virgin plans with no monthly charge so you just pay for calls. It's a bit like PAYG but with monthly billing instead of topups. I suspect it won't be long until they just get rid of all the old Orange plans completely.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        >I suspect it won't be long until they just get rid of all the old Orange plans completely.

        From around my way, I suspect they are doing it differently.

        What seemed to be happening around me from last summer onwards was that 'Orange' service was only available on 'Orange' masts. So where a mast was upgraded to EE 4G, the 'Orange' service was dropped. The phone with an Orange SIM could no longer find the Orange network, dismissed both the T-Mobile and EE networks and thus disconnected. So the phone worked fine when in the house and connected to WiFi as it had Signal Boost/WiFi calling enabled, turn off WiFi calling or go down the road. The solution was to unlock the phone and fit an EE (or A.N.Other operator's) SIM...

        If you call EE's Orange service desk and ask for an unlock code (free on PAYM) they will offer you a better deal on an EE upgrade than if you simply do an open market upgrade.

    2. leexgx

      it should of been corrected as that was a mast configuration issue that was causing that issue with phone has a signal but it actually doesn't have a signal (after 1-2 minutes the phone releases this and forces the modem to restart in the phone)

      i have business EE so you tend to get the higher level support people (UK english), there was some 4g to 3g crossover issues that was causing phone calls to fail to drop to 3G when on 4G (so call did not ring so they got voice mail or call would connect but drop or go silent after 1-3 seconds) all seem to be fixed now

      i was also having issues with google voice seems they corrected whatever was causing the google voice passive connection to be dropped (you would say a post code but the phone after 10-15 seconds would give up and fall back to offline google voice watch would type each Letter with a space when doing post codes, witch tomtom could not use)

  3. Anon

    They can't afford to fix it

    Their top-up payment system was broken over the weekend (it may still be). So that's, what, a million pounds? down on what they would have had. Multiply that by the several times a year their payment system falls down and you can see why they can't make a profit.

    ~ Anon of Disgruntledford

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: They can't afford to fix it

      Unlikely... though it might hit "cashflow", there would have a bucket of contingency for that. If they're losing a million pound over a weekend, they can afford to lose 10 million easily.

      However, they haven't "lost" anything... people will still need to top-up, they just couldn't do it when they liked. The only loss is much more easily measurable by "how many customers have we lost". And that won''t be costing them in the millions just because of a weekend's outage of a top-up that customers only do once a month, if that, and that the highest paying regular customers don't do at all.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Awww poor little millennials x

    1. Bill M

      Millenials are now physically grown up and full size, so not little.

      1. Richard 81

        Yeah 25-40 years old isn't that little.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          But still having tantrums when their favourite toy stops working...

          If you can tweet and read EE's updates then you have internet.

    2. Roj Blake Silver badge

      “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

      - Socrates

  5. Dave 126 Silver badge

    EE are happy to send me SMS text messages informing me of their robbing roaming charges (outside the EU) but to get news of data or telephony dropout I have to manually check their Twitter page (via a different ISP, obviously).

    1. Killfalcon Bronze badge

      I dunno, if the network's mucked up, I don't think it's wise for them to dump an extra load onto it.

    2. MJB7

      Actually, no they are probably miserable as sin about having to send you those texts (they would rather you just roamed away, and only found out about the prices when you got home) - but they don't have a choice. I think it's an EU regulation (too consumer friendly to be Ofcom's idea).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    stop paying Kevin Bacon so much Moolah

    and spend it on your network.

    We don't need no stinking free Apple Music, we need an effing network that actually works.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: stop paying Kevin Bacon so much Moolah

      Upvoted, but with the understanding that this is NOT Kevin Bacon's fault. :)

    2. Blitheringeejit
      Boffin

      Re: stop paying Kevin Bacon so much Moolah

      Remember they are now BT, so the same applies to Premier League foopball, and all the other BT Sport content. If your network is run by a content provider (which both of mine are, no realistic alternatives), then ultimately you can expect that your network will become a shop for buying the provider's content, and nothing more.

      The perfect business model for your ISP/content provider is the Kindle.

  7. diver_dave

    Actually - Stab at justification....

    The morning and evening commute is my main time to catch up on my OU reading (MA in Classics if anyone is interested)

    Now that they are online course materials only I download the main module to Kindle on the phone, but, they use a lot of inline links to external papers.

    That's a bit of a pain...

    Nice knowing the phone going straight to voicemail and not ringing isn't just me though!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EE

    Emergent Excretia

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: EE

      Tautology?

  9. Aqua Marina Silver badge

    “leaving grumbling UK commuters with nothing to mindlessly tap on their way to work.”

    I thought that’s what the steering wheel was for?

  10. Not also known as SC Silver badge
    Trollface

    However, some folk were less than impressed about the lack of updates from EE

    If there was no data connection how did they post to twitter?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "If there was no data connection how did they post to twitter?"

      Maybe they sent a text message to a special Twitter number? You know, like how Twitter was born.

  11. P.Nutt

    Even with the issues, Its still working better than O2 ever has - At least where I am anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @P.Nutt

      I think that it would be news if O2 was working well

    2. M_W

      Where you are is the key phrase there.

      Where I am, I was on Orange and EE for years. When the merger happened they turned off my local mast so my coverage went from 4 bars 3G to 2 bars 2G. No 4G at all.

      Whereas my O2 phone which I've now had for a couple of years has 4 bars 4G and will happily speed test at 25Mbits/s consistently.

      And this isn't the first time EE have had major data issues. When I was a customer it was every few months that they would lose data. To be fair, since I moved to O2 I think I've seen 1 outage in 5 years...

  12. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    Front

    > At best, *at best*, you're checking bus schedules

    Or train times - since the ToCs have decided to cancel most of their services based on the mere threat of snow.

    On the plus side, snow-plough trains will be able to run unhindered because there will be nothing else on the line.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Front

      >snow-plough trains will be able to run unhindered because there will be nothing else on the line.

      wrong type of snow?

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Front

        It seems *any* type of snow is the wrong type. Even hypothetical not-yet-fallen snow.

  13. Timmy B Silver badge

    Today fine - yesterday I'd have gone mad

    Yesterday morning I cruised through 6 gig of my allowance downloading test data and code to my laptop. If it had gone down then I'd have been stuffed. See... some people occasionally use mobile data for something other than YouTube.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Today fine - yesterday I'd have gone mad

      Back in 2008, I had a similar large data download problem(*), fortunately, back then Internet Cafes were still around so it was relatively easy to find one with a decent Internet connection.

      Now things are a little different with no local Internet Cafes, so when the EE network went down last year and I had a similar data need, it was round to the inlaws and plug into their 100+Mbps VM service.

      With the arrival of Gigaclear in the adjacent village last year, we FTTP enabled their village hall. So currently the only person in the household who is inconvenienced when the FTTC goes down is my son, as his Xbox is barred from the mobile broadband service.

      (*)Mobile broadband round me has remained at the 2~7Mbps level, so good enough for normal SoHo usage, but a bit slow if you find you need to download 6+ GB as part of your current project.

      Moral of the story: If you rely on a decent Internet connection for your work, ensure you have contingency, indepth.

  14. Kane Silver badge

    "wrong type of snow?"

    Wrong type of plough.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At best, *at best*, you're checking bus schedules

    Before or after cats and pr0n?

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: At best, *at best*, you're checking bus schedules

      And, pray tell, where exactly does this leave our beloved El Reg?

  16. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Just fine here

    EE 4G was just fine this morning here in the southwest. Long may it continue!

    Unlike Virgin cable, where not a ping has been seen since about midnight.

  17. juice Bronze badge

    Not just in the UK...

    My EE internet access went down while I was walking around Berlin yesterday morning. Thankfully, the A-GPS on my S7 kept working, so I was able to navigate (with occasional muttering) across the city.

    Does make me wonder what the cause of the outage was, given that I was in a foreign country and on someone else's network at the time!

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