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O2 Data Network Collapses Yet Again

Gordon Kelly


O2 Data Network Collapses Again

Dear oh dear. O2's mobile phone data network fell over once again on Saturday leaving millions of customers stranded without access to email, Internet or data services.

The blackout began in the early afternoon and was not fixed until late in the evening. Voice calling and SMS messaging wasn't affected. O2 was at least upfront about the problem, telling users on its main message that it was aware of the fact, but was unable to give any indication when the data network would return.

Despite this warning customers deluged the network with calls creating significant waiting times and laying into staff. I called up to get a feel for the problem and the situation was farcical with calls being emergency routed through to the first available agents, regardless of whether they were in the right department.

Of course errors do happen, but O2 has had a sordid time of things in recent months. Saturday was no one off, it was no less than the fourth time since July that the data service had collapsed. A sad fact for a network with exclusives on so many data centric smartphones (including the iPhone) and totally unacceptable for what is the nation's largest network for now.

I asked O2 what had caused the failure and why it had happened yet again, but was declined an explanation. Personally, I'd suggest O2's rapid customer growth in recent years hasn't been matched by equally rapid expansion of its network capacity. A viewpoint seemingly born out by Ofcom slamming O2's 3G coverage (pictured in comparison to 3) just last month. In its defence, O2 has inked a mast sharing deal with Vodafone, but the positive effects of that won't come into practice for some time yet.

In the words of the great Stan Lee: "With great power there must also come great responsibility".

In the words of Gordon Kelly: Get your act together!




August 31, 2009, 5:14 am

The network probably just collapsed at the thought of having to support the Spotify app...


August 31, 2009, 8:00 am

Come February Im unlocking my iPhone and Going with 3, that coverage map ownz blO2


August 31, 2009, 10:55 am

At which point will O2 have been deemed to have broken their side of the contract, leaving users to walk away?


August 31, 2009, 3:02 pm

Ahhh, that would explain why I couldn't check the footy scores on Saturday! Very poor O2.


August 31, 2009, 3:55 pm

This is getting ridiculous now, surely this can be counted as a breach of contract on their part allowing customers to argue their case to the early end of their contract?

Chris Wallace

August 31, 2009, 10:49 pm

Turns out that "Mast Sharing Deal with Vodafone" isn't all it was made out to be...


Wayne Harris

August 31, 2009, 11:14 pm

Leaving contracts early? i wish!

about as much chance of that happening as me becoming archbushop of canterbury! lol

i just got this 32GB iPhone 3GS on an 18 Month Contract, hope 02 arent getting worse?


August 31, 2009, 11:40 pm

i'm paying for a service i'm not getting. that's what it kinda feels like, the number of times i've had no access to the net while out (or at home).

i'm surprised ofcom never questioned o2's ability to support a service when it got the iphone exclusive again.


September 1, 2009, 9:11 pm

T-Mobile were voted best mobile broadband network for the third consecutive quarter! Shame they don't have the iPhone.


September 1, 2009, 9:45 pm

As you ALL will KNOW by now, having read that annoying small print when you signed contracts, the service provider NEVER guarantees provision of the service they are selling to you ALL the time. 'Matters beyond their control' can impact the service you receive, and this does not constitute a breach of contract or entitle you to service credits..

Tall Paul

September 4, 2009, 4:05 am

omg you belive 3 has a better service are you taking the mick. there service is 10 times worse it forever crashes. orange have threatened to ban them from sharing there masts . there customers services are terrerible try and get a non scripted answer from them is non exsistant. also don't think that o2 will loose the i phone for some time


September 4, 2009, 9:21 pm

I just hope that one day we stop all these exclusive deals with networks. Why should any network stop me buying something as a consumer? I would like an iPhone, but I don't want to deal with O2: poor reception where I live and poor service by all accounts. How can we get consumer power to stop it? If I can't get an iPhone then I would get a Palm Pre, as an update of my current Treo. But I hear that O2 are going to get an exclusive deal on the Pre as well!! It is disgraceful.

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