Massive Cellular Outages in UK and France

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Customers of UK mobile provider O2 (Twitter) have been unable to make calls, sends texts or use data services since Wednesday afternoon following a widespread network outage, reports Light Reading. The problem started around 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday and appeared to have been resolved (at least for some) shortly after 9:00 a.m. Thursday (local time).

O2, which has about 23 million customers, provided the following explanation for the service outage early Thursday morning:

“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.”

It’s not known precisely how many customers have been affected, though it’s clear that O2 customers throughout the U.K. were affected. Customers of O2’s MVNO partners, such as GiffGaff or Tesco Mobile, have also been affected, according to this BBC report. Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones explained why the O2 mobile network suffered disruption.

O2’s disruption follows the major network outage that Orange France suffered last week, where 30 million customers were left without service for 12 hours. According to Orange, a software fault in Alcatel-Lucent equipment caused problems on a home location register (HLR). In testimony before France’s National Assembly on Wednesday, Chief Executive Stephane Richard said that the software had undergone an update roughly 48 hours before the 10-hour outage.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Thursday, July 12th, 2012 at 8:27 am .

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