back to article Ofcom probes EE over 4G outage that may have stopped folk contacting emergency services

The UK's communications regulator has launched an investigation into mobile network EE after an outage earlier this year may have left some customers unable to access the emergency services. On 21 May, the day before the network's 5G rollout, EE's Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) services went down for several hours, …

  1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Incomplete response

    I thought it was obligatory for any statement to include the phrase "for our company <whatever we are being bollocked for> is always our highest priority"



    VoLTE is IP based i.e. SIP and all phones would switch to 3G for any sort of voice interaction let alone Emergency call so this makes this a non investigation...

    unless they somehow managed to make sure the phones never switched to 3G and routed the calls into /dev/null

    does anyone know how to tell if a phone sends a SMS when they make an emergency call ?

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: weird...

      VoLTE is IP based i.e. SIP and all phones would switch to 3G for any sort of voice interaction

      Would such a change in routing be considered VoLTE-face ?

    2. Test Man

      Re: weird...

      I'm thinking the latter - the phone would have stayed on 4G (for the "data") but VoLTE probably didn't work. In that situation, the device wouldn't knock it down to 3G because 4G was technically "available".

      EE phones used to switch to 3G for voice calls because I think EE's 4G implementation initially didn't have VoLTE but it has it now, so devices aren't going to switch for voice calls automatically.

      1. leexgx

        Re: weird...

        it will drop to 3g if voLTE is can't connect the call (the issue is the call was connected as far as the phone was concerned it was been dropped at ee end)

        due to a issue internally on EE side the call was connecting as a working so the phone would not drop to 3g, but due to some goof at ee end when ee internal network tryed to make the call, it would drop the call

        under normal conditions if the phone cant make a 4g connect to mast it will drop to 3g or even 2g to make the call (even in active call it will switch between 3g and 2g to keep the call going, even wifi calling switch if phone supports it)

    3. leexgx

      Re: weird...

      if the call can not connect via VoLTE it should automatically drop to 3g or even 2g to make the call connect (i have had it happen a number of times where i made a call and it dropped to 2g for some reason to make the call work)

      so the call was likely connecting to EE services fine but failing at ee side and resulting in it failing to drop to 3g (as it was dropping the call like the other person was not available the phone/mast side was working fine) EE should of disabled VoLTE so calls drop to 3g when they get or make a call when the 4g calling was broken (the Volte icon would of disappeared assuming your phone shows 4g calling icon typically )

  3. Commswonk Silver badge

    Hold On A Moment...

    From the article: EE is also in the process of replacing the Airwave radio service with a £1.2bn 4G Emergency Services Network (ESN), turning off the previous network by 31 December 2019.


    The National Audit Office also recently warned that the project is likely to be three years late and £3bn over budget.

    So what has become of the savings that were supposed to accrue as a result of migrating from Airwave to ESN? By my reckoning the figure is now very much in negative territory.

    1. MatthewSt

      Re: Hold On A Moment...

      Depends if the "over budget" includes paying for keeping the original system running

  4. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Reminds me of something.

    From the article: An EE spokesperson told The Reg: "It is in no way related to the 5G switchover at all."

    Oddly, the way that is phrased reminded me of the following quote from Blackadder: "We didn’t receive any messages and Captain Blackadder definitely did

    not shoot the delicious plump breasted pigeon, sir."

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