O2, EE, Vodafone, Tesco Mobile and other UK leading mobile providers were all down today (March 17).
The extensive network issues across the board left countless customers unable to make and receive phone calls as Britain began to roll out its Coronavirus lockdown plans.
Just as trusting Brits followed the advice of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to work from home, many found themselves cut off from colleagues when they reached for their phones.
Frustratingly, in addition to not being able to text and make or recieve calls, there were several complaints from furious customers claiming they also weren’t able to log onto the internet via their mobiles.
“O2 is down. Can’t make or receive calls. This is not good given the current climate,” one person vented on Twitter.
Another added: “Is this the sign of things to come? I sincerely hope not. Monday, it was Microsoft Teams down, this morning EE, O2, Vodafone & Tesco mobile down. Now it is Waitrose who are down….. time to plant veg? #planahead.”
Moments later, a third wrote: “Mobile network is down for the past couple of hrs no calls no data Hats off to vodafone its the second time in this week #Vodafonedown.”
A different Twitter user also commented: “Still problems with internet and mobile connectivity – text messaging currently down! No point asking people to work from home when the infrastructure can’t cope!”
Giff Gaff, 3, Virgin Media and BT were also among the service providers experiencing technical difficulties.
According to the operators, the issue stemmed from a faulty piece of equipment the linked them all together, which is why customers were unable to contact friends, family and colleagues on different networks.
In an official statement, an EE spokesperson explained: “A technical incident with equipment that connects the UK’s mobile networks together has caused some customers to have problems making phone calls today.
“Data was not affected, and emergency 999 calls were completed successfully. This was not related to any increase in calls created by a rise in working from home.”
An O2 spokesperson added: “Specifically, O2, Vodafone and Three were unable to connect to EE and EE customers were unable to connect to O2, Vodafone and Three.
“At a time when the country needs connectivity most, it is important we work together rather than pointing fingers before facts have been determined.”