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Mobile Operator Three UK Suffers National Network Outage UPDATE2

Thursday, October 17th, 2019 (9:46 am) - Score 4,718
three uk mobile broadband

Customers of Three UK are reporting that the mobile operator appears to have suffered a significant network outage overnight, which began at just after 11pm and is still on-going for some users. Most of the problem appears to be centred around data (mobile broadband) connectivity, although access issues with text s and voice calls are also reported.

At the time of writing we note that customers in some parts of the UK are reporting that their data connectivity is slowly crawling back to life. Meanwhile Three UK has just posted the following service status update (this should have been done sooner!): “We’re currently experiencing technical difficulties with voice, text and data, meaning some of you will be experiencing intermittent service. Please accept our apologies, we’re sorting this out right now.

As the issue began late last night then most people may only now be noticing it, particularly once they move outside of the comforting blanket that is home WiFi and WiFi Calling. We should point out that all of the major mobile operators have suffered big problems with national connectivity at one point of another.

UPDATE 12:26pm

We’ve had an updated statement from Three.

A Three Spokesperson said:

“Following technical difficulties with our services across voice, text and data, some customers will be experiencing an intermittent service.

Our engineers are working to fix the issue and the service is returning to normal, and we expect it to be resolved over the course of the day.

We advise our customers to turn their phones off and on or turn airplane mode on and off, which may resolve the issue.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”

UPDATE 4:08pm

The latest update has just been issued.

A Three Spokesperson said:

“Following technical difficulties with our services across voice, text and data, some customers have experienced an intermittent service today.

For the majority of customers, the network has been restored so they can make calls, send texts and use data. We are aware that some customers are still experiencing issues and our engineers are continuing to work to fix this. To help with the process we advise our customers to turn their phones off and on or turn airplane mode on and off, which may resolve the issue.

The service is returning to normal, and we expect it to be resolved over the course of the day.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”

Leave a Comment
32 Responses
  1. Avatar StillWaitingForSuperfast

    Appalling response from Three. Our service dropped off just before midnight last night and is still off this am. There was nothing helpful on their website apart from ‘our store is still available’!. No information or apology.

    They have seriously gone down in my estimation – you do not treat customers like this (not if you want to retain them anyway)

  2. Avatar Guy Cashmore

    In West Devon we have the usual strong 4G signal but zero data flow, manually switching to 3G restores service at typical 3G speeds.

  3. Avatar Phil

    Seams both three.co.uk and the linked online store get “Danger!
    Geeks at Work!
    Sorry, our fleet of geeks are doing essential maintenance work – but our site will be up and running soon.

    In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new SIM, phone or Mobile Broadband device, you can still check out our online store.”

  4. Avatar Mark

    I have a home brew Raspberry Pi application that continuously checks and logs the state of my internal network and external link, and the Three 3G fell over and came back 10 times between 23:32 yesterday and 9:02 this morning (south Cheshire). It’s been stable since then though.

  5. Avatar hv

    They have now their web pages back up and running – there is no mention whatsoever of any past or current problems. When using their network status detector tool with any postcode I can possibly remember, I get this very informative message:


    The mast you’re connected to has a lot of traffic right now. We know about this and we’re working on expanding the capacity of the mast to let more people use it. This should fix the problems you’re seeing. We’re aiming to have this sorted by 17 October 2019.

    They must be super active and extremely synchronised with their expansion plans…. it appears they are planning to switch on a bunch of new masts exactly today in SE London, West London, Central London, Southend and Cambridge. No mention whatsoever about any outages or problems.

    Outages do happen occasionally. Technology sometimes fails and it is life. But I guess customers will not be overly happy about how they have handled public relations and keeping customers informed.

  6. Avatar Adam

    It’s not so much the lack of service i’m annoyed about, but the lack of information from them. Not even a single tweet, even after a few hours of it going down or a single peep of it on their website.

    • Avatar StillWaitingForSuperFast

      Agreed. I feel the same. Three have been pretty reliable so I have no problem with the occasional outage. Eleven hours is pushing it a bit but I understand that tech problems are not always easy or quick to fix.

      I judge a company on how they respond when things go wrong though, and Three have been found sadly lacking on this occasion.

      How hard would it have been to post a message on their website saying ‘Our network is down due to a technical issue. We are trying to fix it. Sorry for the inconvenience’ (and a time estimate)

  7. Avatar SHARNE FAIRCHILD

    I had problems from 4pm yesterday and was putting it down to being at the o2.

    As of this minute i still have no access only via wifi so contacting anyone is a big no. Cannot get to their status checker

  8. Avatar EDWARD McCourt

    My three wifi hasn’t worked from 4 PM yesterday now working intermittently going down every day as i am on a 24mounth deal can I cancel it

  9. Avatar StillWaitingForSuperFast

    Finally Three have posted an apology on their website:

    “We’re aware of network issues and are working hard to fix them.
    We know the impact this is having on your day, and we’re sorry.
    Rest assured, we’ve got our best minds on the job”

    Better late than never?

  10. Avatar Michael V

    Had signal on my phone but no data this morning, but I did have data on my home WiFi account. Seems not all accounts suffered.

    I’m not the type of person to get mad, these things happen. It’s back online now.

  11. Avatar Smash

    Thought I was going mad. Trust the network to go down when I’m working remotely with no WiFi!

  12. Avatar Dan

    Our whole house is on three 4g Internet. They switched us off without warning last week for four days due to mast upgrade. Problems today also. Relying on one mast as we do is the weak point with 4g provision. We are now cancelling three and going back to wired provision.

    • Avatar Guy Cashmore

      We are in a similar situation, except for us no usable wired alternative exists, we run both Three and O2 accounts, so we have backup. Annoying but necessary as they do go off, sometimes for a few days. No service is perfect, fortunately they are both cheap now.

    • Avatar Leeman

      Wired suffer outages as well you know.
      With technology, you never know. Things break.
      Three is up and running now and for me, my speeds are faster than ever.
      48 down. Hopefully it stays this way.

  13. Avatar dave

    My three voice call ability won’t work. I tried rebooting my android phone but that didn’t help. Also their website won’t show my data usage for my plan either.

  14. Avatar John Holmes

    Considering the problems I used to get with BT when I had one of their flaky copper wires this is nowhere near as frustrating. I use a shared Three/EE mast for my 4G and last month added a Vodafone 4G unlimited sim card as a backup as their mast is 3km from the Three/EE mast, powercuts locally are a problem and if a mast has its powercut then I thought it prudent to be covered. The Draytek dual Wan router combines the 2 data streams and will send it all onto one when it sees the other is broken, so I did not see the issue except in the logs.

  15. Avatar Timeless

    so just changed my phone thought the settings had messed up (my last phone developed a fault with the micro usb input and the power button was requiring more presser than needed to turn the screen on) so between yesterday evening and today lve been migrating over and findally after lunch got around to dropping down to the local Hermes drop off point to grab label and send off my old one expecting to be able to easily scan the QR code for the label only to find l couldnt even access a thing, thankfully my mother was with me and l was able to use her phone (ironically also on three) to scan the QR code, just glad her battery held out at 10% while l dropped into the third place which actually had a working machine to scan the damn code and get a label to return my old phone to amazon lol

    hope the fix the damn problem soon, though it makes allot more sense why l was having issues given the information.

  16. Avatar Mike

    Always a good idea to have a backup sim.

  17. Avatar William

    Three call themselves disruptive. I have to say that I now understand why!

  18. Avatar Callum

    Cancelled my contract today. I rung them at 3:08 and after 2 hours the line went dead. It was nearly 6 by the time I had signed up to a new mobile provider. I knew 3 would put up a fight but never anticipated they’d pull this.

    3 is by and large the worst service provider I’ve dealt with. Their call centre is actually very polite, it is their terms and conflicting statements where things go haywire. While call centres are honest and polite the staff at stores is a very different story. They sell you anything they hear you mention and do not think about if you can afford what they offer.

    The customer centre and even their YouTube channel say “oh yeah you can upgrade but you get a fee”. Go in their stores and they will tell you the opposite.

    “We cannot cancel things in store”
    “You cannot upgrade while in your contract”
    “It sounds like the most amount of useless tat I can provide is what you are looking for”

    Seriously 3, hire honest workers in your stores and not two faced business clerks interested in preying on the gullibility of every sucker who walks in the store. And if your stores really cannot do mid term contract upgrades or cancel contracts, teach them to. Your call staff are so polite yet your stores refuse any sort of responsibility.

  19. Avatar Bill

    Wi fi calling still NOT WORKING in my flat and I have no cellphone signal .

    • Avatar Stuart

      Re Wifi Calling problem – I have a Galaxy Note 9 – turned on aeroplane mode – then reset phone causing it to reboot – once rebooted I then turned off aeroplane mode and the wifi calling icon appeared – tested my phone by calling a number and it worked fine…worth a try to see if this remedies the issue for others…

  20. Avatar Tracey hunter

    Still no wifi in scarborough not worked for 5 days now what a load of crap

  21. Avatar R Breslaw

    I’ve had no WiFi calling for days now. Been waiting on a live chat for over an hour. Is this linked to problems advice anyone know?

    • Avatar Stuart

      Re Wifi Calling problem – I have a Galaxy Note 9 – turned on aeroplane mode – then reset phone causing it to reboot – once rebooted I then turned off aeroplane mode and the wifi calling icon appeared – tested my phone by calling a number and it worked fine…worth a try to see if this remedies the issue for others…

    • Avatar Stuart

      Re Wifi Calling problem – I have a Galaxy Note 9 – turned on aeroplane mode – then reset phone causing it to reboot – once rebooted I then turned off aeroplane mode and the wifi calling icon appeared – tested my phone by calling a number and it worked fine…worth a try to see if this remedies the issue for others…

  22. Avatar Emma wood

    Same problem as R Breslaw no WiFi call is available meaning I am not contactable during the day and I am getting messages and calls too late.

    • Avatar Stuart

      Re Wifi Calling problem – I have a Galaxy Note 9 – turned on aeroplane mode – then reset phone causing it to reboot – once rebooted I then turned off aeroplane mode and the wifi calling icon appeared – tested my phone by calling a number and it worked fine…worth a try to see if this remedies the issue for others…

  23. Avatar Stuart

    Re Wifi Calling problem – I have a Galaxy Note 9 – turned on aeroplane mode – then reset phone causing it to reboot – once rebooted I then turned off aeroplane mode and the wifi calling icon appeared – tested my phone by calling a number and it worked fine…worth a try to see if this remedies the issue for others…

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