O2 has said a “full service” will be restored by Friday morning following a data outage, which affected millions of users.
In a joint statement from the CEOs of O2 and Ericsson, a provider for the phone operator, they apologised to customers for the “poor experience” they faced as they struggled to get online on Thursday.
Mark Evans, the CEO of Telefonica (O2) said: “I want to let our customers know how sorry I am for the impact our network data issue has had on them, and reassure them that our teams, together with Ericsson, are doing everything we can.
“We will continue to work with Ericsson, through the night, who have assured us that a full service will be restored for customers by the morning. We fully appreciate it’s been a poor experience and we are really sorry.”
Ericsson’s UK chief Marielle Lindgren explained why users were unable to receive any data.
“The cause of today’s network issue is in certain nodes in the core network resulting in network disturbances for a limited number of customers across the world, including in the UK,” she said.
“We have been working hard on resolving the UK data issue since early this morning.
“The faulty software that has caused these issues is being decommissioned. Our priority is to restore full data services on the network by tomorrow morning. Ericsson sincerely apologises to customers for the inconvenience caused.”
The data outage has meant O2 has seen a strain on users making and receiving voice calls too.
The problem has also hit customers of Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Lyca Mobile and GiffGaff – all of which use O2’s infrastructure.
Earlier, O2 said it suspended planned work or updates to its systems and network.
It said: “This allowed hundreds of people from both our technical teams and our third-party supplier’s teams to focus on fixing the problem, helping us to restore data services as quickly as we can which will also help reduce the high network demand we’re currently seeing for voice calls.”
The problem started early on Thursday morning and has still not been fixed, with customers unable to use 3G and 4G services to access the internet.
Social media users vented their frustration.
“.@02 come on 02 unable to text anyone all my texts are failing, and no data. Currently using my WiFi,” wrote one user.
Another added: “Nice start to today 02 data has gone down, thank God for free Wifi on buses.”
A third said: “Where has all the data gone…..@02 appears to have broken this morning! No mobile access on my phone Good job I have different provider on iPad!”
Users of Japan’s Softbank phone operator – also an Ericsson customer – were among those affected.