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Xbox Live Issues Plague Three UK’s 4G Mobile Home Broadband UPDATE

Monday, March 9th, 2020 (9:51 am) - Score 26,680

Some customers of Three UK’s home 4G broadband service, such as those with their Huawei B535 or other mobile WiFi routers and “unlimited data“, have since the end of February 2020 been suffering from problems when connecting to and downloading content from Microsoft’s XBox Live service.

Several ISPreview.co.uk readers first raised this issue with us via our forum on 29th February 2020 (here) and since then we’ve received a steady stream of similar gripes. The main problem appears to be that those connecting to the XBox Live (multiplayer video games) service are struggling when it comes to successfully downloading content (especially large downloads – smaller downloads seem to be more intermittent).

Customers who initially reported the issue to Three UK appear to have been given a variety of curious responses. Some were told that the operator had blocked downloads via XBox Live, while other agents claimed it was because Huawei’s routers couldn’t cope with the speed of 4G (it can) or that the issue was Microsoft’s fault (it isn’t). A few also flatly denied that any such problems existed.

Complaint Sample 1 (ORbit):

“I’m have the same issue as you, I thought I was going crazy – I spent some time chatting with Xbox customer support and concluded it was Three performing some traffic shaping shenanigans. I’m actually using my personal Huawei 525 but xbox live is being blocked (so I doubt they have just excluded 535 routers, that seems like BS). PSN and Steam are fine, and the Xbox itself reports all services are available.”

Complaint Sample 2 (rubbra):

“Spent ages chatting to CS rep on the webchat thing. First denied all things. then said it was a problem specific to Xbox Live and their problem, then acknowledged that it was weird that it works on 3G and not 4G, then did some tinkering ‘cos he thought there was an account configuration issue at their end with my 4G profile (i.e. not my APN settings). Upshot is 2 hours of time wasted either on hold or texting CS people, and no further forward.”

At this point ISPreview.co.uk decided to get involved, although initially the operator’s media team said they would be “unable to investigate the incidents” unless we shared with them some private mobile numbers from those affected by the problem. Frankly this should not be necessary to check for such a network a problem, but nevertheless we got the necessary consent and supplied the information.

Sadly Three UK were unable to furnish us with a response by our deadline of 5pm last Friday and similarly there has been no response so far this morning. Despite the lack of response from their PR agents, Three UK’s social media teams do now appear to be at least acknowledging that a national connectivity issue exists with XBox Live.

One of the operator’s support agents said on 7th March 2020 (Twitter): “We’ve recently become aware of an issue which is affecting some customers trying to download content on Xbox. Our engineers have been working to resolve that asap. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.” In another response a support agent added that they don’t yet have a time-scale for when this issue will be resolved.

In the meantime some customers have managed to work around the problem by manually switching their router back to a slow 3G connection, although this too eventually runs into problems. Others have also been able to use VPN tunnels, although none of these semi-solutions are ideal. Meanwhile we continue to await a solid update from Three UK.

Mobile operators that hope to serve the home broadband market via 4G and 5G connections really need to be much quicker when it comes to resolving such faults.

UPDATE 12:45pm

We’ve now got the official line from Three UK. A spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk, “Due to a technical issue, large downloads of X-Box Live files are not working for some customers when connecting via the Three network. Streaming and playing games are unaffected. Our engineers are working hard to fix the issue and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Leave a Comment
130 Responses
  1. Avatar Onephat

    I use a three mobile broadband SIM in a tplink 4g router extensively when I travel with work. The last few weeks it has also struggled with NowTV repeatedly complaining of no connection while a mobile connected to the same router works perfectly surfing the net etc. I’ve tried it in probably 6 or 7 different locations around the UK with varying levels of signal being reported.

    • Avatar Ian Lawrence

      I’ve got a Huawei A1 Cube on 3. Sometimes I get not connected but, both my wife & me have 3 phones & they stay connected. My alexa downstairs works OK. The cube which is upstairs good signal. The alexa on it plays up playing 30 seconds of music the after about 3 minutes plays again 30 seconds repeating over & over. Do I reset the cube?

    • Avatar DaveyO

      Wouldn’t bother resetting the cube. Your local mast is running low on capacity by the sound of it.

    • Avatar Cobbler1897

      Also in my experience the 4g with a huawei cube doesn’t work with hive thermostat or light bulbs. It’s no where near good enough or consistent enough to replace a wired line.

    • Avatar Alf Haywood

      Three neads to get new emgerners as thay make things worse every time thay do maintenance on the airel thay have to come back to days later that thay have created thay are worsted emgerners out of the four phone companies three neads to sack them and get people that know wat thay are doing

    • Avatar Robert

      If you start the download via a friend’s different network mobile hotspot then swop straight back to yours it will carry on downloading, but if you stop it at any point you will have to repeat the process, took me a while to work out that work around but works every time

  2. Avatar buggerlugz

    At least the level of customer service remains consistent! (ie: Utterly useless.)

  3. Avatar Connected1

    Three is data speed and ping reponse is so poor until after aboout 10PM in many locations. They seem to have a massive congestion issue in large towns and cities.

    With my tinfoil hat on i’d suggest that Three did this on purpose to mitigate some data strain and have now been found out.

    • Avatar Philip Porter

      I agree, i had issues trying to stream netflix in 4k with a solid 40mb download. The situation had traffic shapong written all over it.

    • Avatar PadraigS

      They are haemorrhaging senior management, many of whom have put up with just how poor three have been historically. Which suggests that the company may be about to fall over.

  4. Avatar Salek

    Its Funny – they are promoting their 5G broadband/5G Network as the gamers best choice

  5. Avatar Kevin

    This reeks of Threes traffic sense… The tell tail sign is that initially things are ok, until traffic sense kicks in.

  6. Avatar Yorkiebar99

    I can’t help but think the Huawei ban has hit them really hard. Performance in general has tanked since Christmas. I’m not renewing any contracts with them Vodafone have been excellent with absolute night and day difference with ping and speeds.

  7. Avatar chris conder

    Mobile is designed for mobile use. Not huge home downloads?

    • Avatar Zathan

      Not true, especially when three sell this as a fixed line replacement.

    • Avatar At@at.at

      What if mobile is your only option due to ancient hard wiring and lack of network upgrades?

    • Avatar XBlocked3Shifty

      I agree mobile is not designed for that job. Unfortunately it is the only choice for people still on sub-par copper network with no other options. There’s no value in paying for 2mb Down / barely anything Up in 2020, either for work or leisure.

      Hopefully Ofcom won’t allow customers requesting USO to just be shifted onto standard 4G as a solution. It does not fulfil the USO wording on contention, latency or cost parity (excluding Three). It will end up being a case of fixing one problem by creating another.

      A smart and dedicated wireless solution would make a ton of sense to fill in the gaps in cities. Not just straining the existing 4G network.

    • Avatar liveswired

      Maybe 10 years ago when all we had was 3G, but since the advent and massive expansion of 4G and 4GLTE networks things changed. In the same sentence you could say – our copper wire landlines weren’t designed to handle broadband.

      This is a pure error that has taken time to acknowledge because all of Three’s customer services, technical support and engineering departments clearly have no way of communicating with each other. All these issues are the culmination of NO communication and clearly people not knowing what they are doing.

    • Avatar liveswired

      @XBlocked3Shifty I can only speak for myself – but I live in a rural area with exceptional 4G LTE coverage – I’m likely the only one using Three of my nearest mast. Until Threegate in February I was getting download speeds of on average 80mbps and higher, pushing over a 100+, on occasion with perfect conditions my Xbox clocked 250mbps downloads – all at ultra low latency – my landline maximum speed is 2mbps through BT, so fibre is totally out of the question. Once the issue is sorted I will no doubt be hitting those peaks again.

      My issue is the lack of communication – had Three been open and upfront about the current technical hiccups they could have avoided a lot of customer ill feeling.

    • Avatar Guy Taylor

      Rubbish, it was working fine for my XBOX a few months ago!

  8. Avatar Andrew Childs

    Same happened to me, couldn’t download updates using three home broadband SIM (in a draytek router). Had to purchase a pay-as-you-go Giffgaff SIM to get around the issue. This worked for the download, but at it provides 10.x.x.x up address I ran into double bay issues playing online.

  9. Avatar Adam

    There is also an issue with their go binge and poor netflix quality/speeds (fast.com) A few users on the Thinkbroadband forums have said that getting three to remove go binge from their package fixed the netflix issue. It fixed mine, so i appreciate them for recommending that. I’m surprised i’ve not seen an article on it as i’m sure many others are facing poor netflix bandwidth too. I do plan on complaining so they know the issue is there and suggest others facing the same issue to do the same.

    • Avatar Dom

      Good call. Just removed GoBinge from my account as I was suffering from very slow Netflix at times myself (usually VPN would help).

  10. Avatar Mike

    Someone in Three’s outsourced network management team in India is currently trying to find the traffic shaping manual…

  11. Avatar Jeremy c

    All started when smarty rolled out dirt cheap unlimited access, some backhauls are redlining. Xbox downloads or anything over x mb suffers.

  12. Avatar Stuart Adam

    Had this issue since early January. Since registered for real fibre broadband with someone else so currently paying two subs until 3 broadband runs out.

  13. Avatar Robert Lark

    I have a A3 cube for broadband, its totally rubbish on my TV it works for a minute then continues to cut out all the time. Waste of money. Have complained a few times never get a response out of them.

    • Avatar Christopher.j.tainsh

      I’ve been running into the same issue all 3 did was knock £5 off of my monthly bill for compensation. Everything is in my partner’s name so it’s even harder to get an answer out of them.

      I’m in the middle of nowhere so 3 was my only option and have had no issue up until January I wouldn’t even care if I had to use my mobile hotspot but that is even blocked even using 3g and hoping to get some download if it was everything it would be justified but to target a specific service is completely a show that it’s a decision they have made.

  14. Avatar Mark Readman

    We have had the same issue with the xbox and the three broadband but ours started several months ago with it occasionally updating but now it has rendered my sons xbox useless as it won’t do any updates on the games so they no longer work. When I spoke to three they admitted they were aware of a problem and to ring back in 60 days (yes you read that right, 60 DAYS) which to me seams ridiculous. This issue has been going on for months now. I think it’s about time three admitted what the issue is and offer refunds as it’s clear its not going to get sorted.

    • Avatar DaveyO

      Are you free to leave or still in contract ? 3G H3G support group on Facebook have some useful tips on dealing with 3 Customer ” Services “

  15. Avatar DaveyO

    From what I can tell it’s either 1) traffic sense is broken or 2) massive capacity shortages. I’ve tried 3 and smarty Sims over the last month and both have been very slow and very laggy. (0.50Mb in both directions). My advice to anyone is don’t take out a new contract or renew any old ones.

  16. Avatar Duncan

    I had the same issue, I just turned my router on and off again and then it worked

  17. Avatar Mark

    What are the alternatives within the same pricing structure for MiFi? Do other networks offer more reliable service. My contract is up for renewal shortly.

    • Avatar DaveyO

      02 voda and ee all do unlimited data Sims for routers / tablets. Voxi from Vodafone has been excellent for me. Unlimited use £10 a month ;);)

  18. Avatar Buggerlugz

    Davey said “From what I can tell it’s either 1) traffic sense is broken or 2) massive capacity shortages”

    I’m going for both being the reason, they’re limiting bandwidth with traffic sense on xbox live because they don’t have the capacity.

    • Avatar Leex

      Traffic sense is supposed to just traffic shape the connection down to a like below 0.5mb speeds if your in top 3-5% on that mast (and has to be congested to be traffic shaped)

      Traffic sense doesn’t interrupt the data session it just slows the data down

      never actually had it happen to me unlike giffgaff in the past where it was very evident even before getting close to your data limit speeds was been traffic shaped to lowest data priority on giffgaff, only got good speeds around 1-4am in the morning with them

      as the speed cap for using 500mb-2gb of data in one go is not reset until after 1am, as that how it used to be when they did 20 and 40gb of data,, they did seem to loosen up the speed caps and stop banning people from buying the £25 goodybag if you used 14gb in past 30 days (it did not reset every calendar month it was 1 day rolling 30 days data history so lots of people was getting a 93 day £25 not so allways on goodybag for using 14gb over last 30 days) , again when it was 20gb I did 45gb on it and didn’t get a warning or ban (they now do 80gb witch should be quite hard for most to use up)

      Somthing is going on with the Deep packet inspector system on 4g network that is dropping connections to xbox live services (mainly downloads, download size doesn’t matter) as doesn’t seem to be a problem on 3g network

    • Avatar DaveyO

      I’ve been on Giffgaff a good 7/8 years ago. I fell out with them pretty soon as I was using “excessive” amounts of data (20 GB). I soon left and went with 3.

      I get what your saying and your right about traffic sense but it’s the caveat of they can shape what they like if the network is under excessive strain. No idea how 3 quantify that though. Does anyone using iD mobile have similar issues ?

  19. Avatar Vlad

    It is not just Xbox connectivity issues. It’s their entire network that is faulty, all over the UK. Lying about improvements and upgrades to 5G to “justify” their s**t service in the last 2 months. I can’t wait to end my 3 contracts with Three.

  20. Avatar badbanana

    The usual with Three being oversubscribed and not installing enough masts to balance loads. If you check mast locations for three compared to other providers they are fewer and far between compared to other network operators. Well at least in Glasgow anyway.

    • Avatar ?

      three are on most ee sites as they share other than deep rural ee have the advantage the thing with three is they only have 5mhz band 20 installed on most masts and not band 3 they don’t have much 4g spectrum deployed it seems since they started switching the new core on last year speeds have dropped I used to get 100mbps in the countryside last year now I get 3mbps max three say my mast is congested yet theres about 300 people in my area and for many miles around the mast it seems like traffic management is being deployed as someone on twitter put a speed test with threes mvno id mobile they was getting 60mbps and three 0.5.

  21. Avatar Danny

    I’ve been with three for years even back when they were just starting out and back then the network coverage was terrible outside towns and cities but that has improved exponentially since then however in the past 6 months I have noticed my internet speeds absolutely tanking on my mobile and it’s so unresponsive its ridiculous especially as I have a 5g capable phone with them too. Seriously considering paying off my contract and going to EE as they seem to have a far better network.

  22. Avatar raggiodisole93

    No, not large downloads, all downloads of games. Xbox’s own updates to things like the store and avatars work, but nothing else does.

    Three need to be embarassed by this atrocious service, but of course its par for the course in the world of Network providers, and I put the blame firmly at the feet of OFCOM, who could step in and shake things up byt they are either unwilling or powerless

  23. Avatar Buggerlugz

    Toothless is the word you’re looking for.

  24. Avatar Brian

    I have found a temp work around especially if you have a phone on another network like EE and if you use lan cable from router to Xbox.
    First disconnect lan cable from router then create a hotspot on your phone then connect Xbox via the hotspot wait until download starts from your phones hotspot then put lan cable back into router you’re downloading should continue then turn hotspot off on phone it works for me so give it a try.

  25. Avatar Paul Box

    All good with 3 until 5 weeks ago, spoke numerous times to India with no answers, have to use vpn for Netflix and even our mobile phone games, utter rubbish and they have the brass neck to be pushing 5g all over the TV etc.

  26. Avatar James Buchanan

    I’ve never seen above 5meg via fast.com on my mobile since I’ve had my contract a week ago. Is this normal?

  27. Avatar Sunjay

    Just moved away from 3 network, home broadband and sim mobile I was lucky if I got above 2 meg download, complete joke. Just moved to EE which I have 4g home broadband and mobile sim only, lowest download speed I seen so far is a whopping 60meg and highest uptown 190. Glad I switch to EE

  28. Avatar Becky Nicholson

    I am beginning to think this is a network capacity issue. I and the rest of my family are on Three Mobile. I have had massive problems since November, repeatedly logged issues, of zero reception / data in Leeds (and now suburbs, like Kirkstall and Headingley). Each time they ask the same daft questions. Where was I, what was the exact location (cant just say ‘Leeds City Centre’). Then they suggest i use wifi, which kinda defeats the point of eating £60 per month for a mobile. They confirm there capacity issues and suggest that the whole family drop onto 3G. Every. Single. Time.
    I got a discount, once, as I’m out of contract,
    but I was told I need to ring up every month to get that. However husband and son have another 12 months, on a service that’s not a service. It’s a bloody joke.
    So – what other mobile providers do you recommend for an Android savvy lady?

    • Avatar Tom

      I kept complaining about it as I have two unlimited B535 router contracts. Not having issues with Xbox like others but with everything else over the last few months.

      They dropped £3 a month off both lines so they’re not only £14 it’s dirt cheap but at that pricing you can see where the capacity issues come from.

    • Avatar DaveyO

      Voxi from Vodafone has been excellent on my 1 mobile and 1 4G router. Unlimited use 😉 for £10.

  29. Avatar arron west

    Hi I have very problem but its not three it’s the actual 4g device because I also have a three mobile and the only way I can download was to disconnect my 4g device and use my mobile wifi hot-spot via my mobile phone which is on three at 4g and its strict yes but gets the downloads started on the xbox and a second after it starts plug the ethernet back in from the router 4g three to the xbox and yes it goes funny to start but picks up and carries on that one download if u have more you have to do it every time for each download I did complain to three but they didn’t listen well I got fobbed with the technical team was off duty

  30. Avatar Steve Wilson

    Take a look at #threeisbroken and @Three_Is_Broken on Twitter for thousands of 4g speed and signal issues across the country.

  31. Avatar Guy Taylor

    It’s been happening for a lot longer than February this year. Try since about May. We are on Three WiFi and have been for a while, it has been no end of issues, very frustrating. It’s an unlimited 24 month contract and we will definitely be leaving once the contract is up. I have not been able to update games or install others because of a fully functional connection. #ThreeBeDamned

  32. Avatar Bill

    You can use the Three ‘Report a Signal Issue’ page to log any issues with their network:

    (although I’m not convinced they take any notice of reported issues)

    If you contact Three Customer Services and ask to make a complaint regarding their network, if they are unable to resolve your complaint, then you can request a ‘deadlock letter’ which will then enable you to refer the issue to the Ombudsman by filling in the details on the Ombudsman Services website at:

  33. Avatar Lee

    I had 3 broadband with AI cube. After 2 months trafficsense kicked in due to my nest camera and made it unusable. The product is only fit for very low users, so generally not fit for the UK market. Avoid at all costs

    • Avatar DaveyO

      I had something very similar with a smarthings camera. Would stream fine just not in HD. Wasn’t traffic sense kicking in just a busy mast with no capacity.

  34. Avatar joanna

    My son also having problems hes been using my wifi through my samsung phone also with 3 network hes lost his xbox live gold i bought a year pass he contacted xbix a fiew occasions they told him to reset his x box which he has done a fiew times so now hes without his x box and no pass someone needs togive me my money back for the yearly pass as this seems a rip of and gives me no confidence in my network or x box

  35. Avatar Dave E

    Seems like it’s not just an xbox problem, games played on iPad will not move on to the next level when levels are completed. Even though the iPad is connected to the network the games show, no internet connection, so no progress can be made. Using a HUAWEI cube with Alexa.

  36. Avatar Buggerlugz

    Today my Three connection has been useless generally. Saw 4mb down and 1mb up today, rebooting my router took it 5 minutes to find a mast to connect too, then 3 times it dropped back out to red before turning cyan on the router again.

    Xbox today has been predicable, best i can get is 1mb download speed and its incapable of watching you tube during this time, won’t even play a video! I can’t believe Three is selling its 5g package as something to make gaming so good, when it can’t even provide enough bandwidth to its existing 4g customers!

  37. Avatar Ed

    I still get messages saying adult filter is on when browsing random sites(website is blocked and browser redirected to three website) when I have disabled it years ago when I signed the contract(also checked my three online account and it says filter is not active/off. The temp solution is to just switch to airplane mode to change the IP.

  38. Avatar Tristan Hawkins

    It’s such a shame. I was really impressed when I first switched from Virgin Fibre Broadband (where the price had continually crept up to almost £40) to Three 4G for £18.

    Speeds are around 70Mbps down and 25Mbps up. More than enough for my usage.

    The Netflix poor quality and buffering seems to have been resolved by turning off Go Binge but the Xbox issue is infuriating. Communication seems dreadful between departments. I hope it gets fixed quickly but based on their response so far I’m not overly optimistic.

    Until then I’ll continue to manually switch to 3G in the router settings which seems to be working at the moment.

  39. Avatar dave

    I haven’t used XBox Live for ages however a few years back, I used to get terrible download speeds from XBox Live (and buffering/quality issues on XBox Video) when I was with Sky. Everything else was able to reach my full line speed, just not XBox Live.

    I’m not entirely convinced that Microsoft isn’t at least partly to blame here.

  40. Avatar Tony

    I too have the same problem,two x three sim routers plus two phones.i can download but only when my nat type is on strict,stops when it is moderate or open.have even bought new router not huwei and still not working.going to Vodafone as they now do unlimited for £38 month ,dearer but worth it I think as it will take some time to sort there problem out

  41. Avatar josh

    Been having this issue for at least a week and Three doesn’t want to know about it. Customer support is useless with basic advice “Turn it off an on” blah blah.

    Even switching to 3g does not resolve this issue for me.

    Anyone got an update? feel free to follow my rant

    twitter – jbreamo

  42. Avatar Brandon D

    Another temporary option is to re-route the traffic via a PC/Laptop via Ethernet cable.

    Xbox > Laptop > Router

    Connect the Xbox to the laptop via ethernet cable. Laptop connected to the routers wifi or cable if you have a USB 3-to-Ethernet adapter.

    This should bypass any issue that Xbox live services can cause with the connection as well

  43. Avatar Josh

    Update from Twitter with no ETA – some customers are having trouble with large downloads of Xbox Live files over our network (streaming and playing games are unaffected). we’re working hard to fix the issue asap, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience in the meantime -Suzi

  44. Avatar Nigel Jones (planetf1)

    There’s a lot of talk (especially from three) about it being an XBox issue. There may be an issue that affects xbox, and maybe it’s causing the same I see, but what we get is constant STALLS in attempting to make a connection – ie browse to a new web site and once in a while it just doesn’t load.

    Alexa too suffers from issues trying to do basic things like streaming radio

    this isn’t a speed issue per se – in that speed tests will work ok (occasionally they don’t load). But it’s everywhere. cross device. The network is just not working properly.

    Getting nowhere with three tech support beyond reset/try again/force 4G – the usual delaying tactics.

    meanwhile vodafone in the same device (B535) – awesome, but at a £.

    • Avatar Bill

      Your description of the issue (webpage loading stalls, speedtests ok but sometimes don’t load etc) are *exactly* what I have been experiencing for almost 1 month now (I’m located in Wirral).

      And I have tried raising this issue with Three twice now & get the usual “try another SIM” etc advice. I referred them to Ofcom but I’m not expecting any kind of solution other than to rack-up the pressure on them to admit they have a national network issue (and it needs others here to complain to Three & to Ofcom to get this resolved).

    • Avatar DaveyO

      Voxi from Vodafone is a perfect replacement SIM for a router. It’s an open secret that all packages get unlimited data. Im using one in a B618 speeds are very good 120/30 pretty much constantly. I’m on the £10 a month plan and used 964 GB last month.

    • Avatar DaveyO

      Voxi from Vodafone works out MUCH cheaper. It’s an open secret that all voxi users get unlimited data even on the base 8 GB package. I’ve got one in a B628 router 120/30 Mb constant speed.

  45. Avatar Nigel Jones (planetf1)

    Just to add — I did bring up the issue of GoBinge on the forum. That seems a specific issue whereby streams seem capped at around 2.2 Mbps to netflix at least with GoBinge active (or a speedtest to fast.com). This can be quickly disabled by CS, and restores speeds to ‘line speed.

    Unfortunately it seems independent from the main issue

  46. Avatar Bill

    In my Twitter messages, Three replied to me saying:

    “you directed us to a thread specifically about Xbox Live downloads, so we were letting you know we’re aware of that issue, and working to fix it asap”

    (I directed them to this thread)

    However, they went on to indicate that they are not aware of any other issue (such as the page loading stall issue) & asked me exactly where I was located as my issue may be a local mast fault (I’m in Wirral)

  47. Avatar Buggerlugz

    Just posted a complaint letter recorded delivery to Three.
    Here is the address is anyone else wants it.

    Three Customer Complaints
    Hutchison 3G UK Ltd.
    PO Box 333
    G2 9AG

    I’ve just had enough banging my head against the wall with them. The customer support web-chat bots and phone line staff are incapable of resolving anything for customers. Totally pointless even picking up the phone it is.

    Three is buying their heads in the sand, when its blatantly obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse they have serious network problems. I’ve seen latency of 1200ms this week! Hell, I never saw it that bad on 56k dial up 20 years ago!

    What’s really frustrating is when I joined them in September last year I got absolutely brilliant speeds (70mb+) and low latency (<40ms) 24/7 and my routers still in the same place.

    What a difference a few months make eh!

  48. Avatar Bill

    Your comment that Three’s “customer support web-chat bots and phone line staff are incapable of resolving anything” is 100% correct.

    In my 40+ years working in IT & as a consumer of countless technology gadgets & services, I have NEVER come across a company so poorly geared towards customer support. They are simply mechanoids employed to ‘deflect’ as many customer issues as possible such that their figures & statistics stand up to market scrutiny.

    Ofcom – get your act together and fine Three £billions for once again failing to provide customers with the service they pay for!!

  49. Avatar Jonathan

    I’ve had these Xbox issues and web pages timing out etc for around 3 months since I joined, customer services are terrible and I can barely understand any of them.

  50. Avatar Bill

    Latest response from Three to my Twitter message regarding their network issues:

    “we aren’t having a UK wide issue with 4G just now. there was an issue that affected data for some customers over the last couple of days, but that’s been resolved now, so a quick restart will help reconnect customers”

    So they continue to deny that there is ANY issue with their network. We are apparently all wrong.

  51. Avatar Bill

    Further drivel from Three Customer Services via Twitter:

    “it’s not UK wide, otherwise every single customer would be having issues, and that’s not the case. yes, our 4G network generally needs investment, but we’re actively doing that while we’re rolling out 5G too”

  52. Avatar Karl

    Strange that I can use another sim card (Smarty, which runs on Three) and the downloads work fine. Stick a Three sim back in and it stops…

    Three network has been rubbish since the big outage last year.

  53. Avatar Nathan

    I outed Three on Twitter and this was the response I got “ we’re aware that some customers are having trouble with large downloads of Xbox Live files over our network (streaming and playing games are unaffected). we’re working hard to fix the issue asap, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience in the meantime -Jen”

    • Avatar Karl

      I am on with technical support right now and the response I got was “it’s because I have used the sim card in a phone before I used it in a router”. They don’t have a clue what the problem is.

    • Avatar Chris

      What’s weird is I has the same issues but it still works fine on ps4 and switch! Can download like a madman on them and no issues (other than it being slow during peak hours)

  54. Avatar Bill

    Indeed. They don’t have a clue what the problem is. They’re just trying to fob-you-off with any old rubbish to make you go away. You need to a) raise a complaint with Three, then b) refer your unresolved complaint to the Ombudsman.

  55. Avatar Ben

    We have same X Box issues. Online Forza 4 stopped working end of February. I’ve been through all self help stuff online, set NAT type to open, moderate, strict, ensured UPNP enabled, updated router, updated Xbox and game software. Still doesn’t work. Tried it with WiFi hotspot also on ‘3’ mobile and works fine. Using Huwawaei B525 router. Have experienced same thing with their customer service. Stupid delay tactics like switch to 3G and call back in a week. It’s very poor.

    • Avatar Bill

      If you have an Android phone, try installing the huaCtrl app:


      and connect the app to your B525 and try using the app to switch the B525 to use a different 4G Band to connect to the Three network (usually B1, B3 and B20 are your choices for Three 4G). It might successfully connect to your nearest mast on a different Band or it might switch to a further away mast to connect on the chosen Band. If it connects okay on the Band you want, then switch it back to use multiple bands (B1, B3, B20 or choose Auto) and it should then stay on the Band you chose but with the extra bands available for ‘aggregation’ (ie. 4G+)

      By using the huaCtrl app to force your B525 to swap to a different Band on the Three network, you might find you get better performance (although different bands have different max download abilities). Don’t forget to re-enable it for the other Bands (B1, B3, B20 etc) or you’ll only every get a single-band connection and not aggregated 4G+ speeds (at least until you reboot the B525 when it’ll go back to using all available bands).

  56. Avatar Steve

    OK so I’ve been hit by it now too three state they are aware of the problem but don’t understand what it is. Personally I do think it’s a bug on traffic sense. Anyways the way round it is to start the download/update leave as is when stopped don’t pause it. Either hotspot from the phone via 3g or change router to 3g only once the download has started switch back it will continue to download. Note if your switching router way you will be stuck on the 3gmast if its different to the 4g mast but will get the max 3g speeds around 2 1mbps if you use phone hotspot then plug cable back in you get the full 4g speeds 40 – 60mbps also to note this has only happened since three added 4g+ to the area I was fine on the standard 4g so it’s either sense bug or something to do with it being multichannel downloads which is what 4g+ is it’s how you gain the extra speed

  57. Avatar Bill

    The ‘web page stall’ issue, sounds like it’s related to the XBox download issue as you have to open a web page in a browser, it stalls, you have to stop the page trying to load (or even exit/kill the browser) & then try to reopen the page a 2nd time and it loads fine.

    I’ve also noticed some apps (social media, weather, news etc) just won’t load/sync data on the 1st attempt, but 2nd time around they work fine.

    This issue started around mid to end Feb. I was using 4G+ on my B535 before then, so I don’t think the XBox & page-stall issues are specific to multichannel downloads being enabled on the Three network in certain areas.

  58. Avatar Bill

    If you use a VPN, the ‘page load stall’ issue disappears. So I suspect it’s something to do with whatever ‘packet inspection’ or traffic snooping that Three do with your data (which they must be doing in order to determine when your watching NetFlix on GoBinge).

    • Avatar Steve

      Hi man how are you using the vpn on Xbox it won’t allow it or connect when I try. I can’t understand how vpn would get around traffic sense though its still using the same amount of data and still has to connect to Xbox liver services. If you wouldn’t mind a quick step by step to get vpn running please

  59. Avatar Steve

    I’m probably wrong like I was just going through things that have recently being changed. But 4g+ was only activated 2days ago as I got hit with the error at the same time seemed very coincidental. I’ve also noticed the mtu values are different too Xbox 1386 and router 1480 I know mtu is something to do with max bytes in each packet sent if there different values would that stop downloads that have bigger packets?

    • Avatar Mark Drury

      i also think the MTU is signficant for Xbox updates…mine is in the 12 hundreds (1276)…i believe it needs to be 1376 ish

  60. Avatar Steve

    What we need is an engineer in this trade to see and post back what it’s most likely to be and if there can be a fix for it. Xbox is the only reason I have the net and cause where I live HULL UK it’s the only viable option or pay 100+ pounds for the only fixed line net we can have kcom Hull sucks. If there is no fix looks like I’m guna have to argue out of the contract with 3

  61. Avatar Adrie

    Joined Three in December solely for Xbox. I tried Vodafone’s Gigcube first but Vodafone has a Strict NAT Type. So I went with Three. Immediately got 30mbps down speeds. Than local masts went down during Storm Ciara, Three fixed next working day. Since Storm Jorge the network has been congested again, it’s getting worse with the coronavirus business. I suspect congestion but it’s not good enough. Yes I’m in a rural area, just want the service I subscribed for. I can’t get line broadband. Will join the Facebook support group for ideas

    • Avatar Mike T

      Correct me if I’m wrong. But I’ve gamed on 4g for years. All networks will give you a strict NAT? I’m on three and (when it was working) I get a strict NAT. I’m also on EE and that too gets it as does my old Vodafone one too.

  62. Avatar Michael W

    Three previously didnt use a CGNAT setup so they unlike other providers allow you to have an open NAT (I’ve used xbox live on 3’s 4g for 18months and its always been open bar the last few weeks with the issues)
    Question for you Mike T, doesn’t the strict NAT restrict your connectivity to chat functions and other online gaming functions. If the answer is no then I shall switch to another network post haste!

    • Avatar Steve

      Hey man strict Nat will stop you connecting to anyone that doesn’t have open Nat if your playing with another strict or moderate you will experience lag and drop outs or not connect at all in some peer 2 peer games. But chat will work fine

  63. Avatar Jason

    I use three for mobile gaming when at work with good results. We have a 3 SIM in a mobile router but it’s cheap and doesn’t work well. The router is to blame there… I also have 2 mobile devices both with a 3sim. The device i use mostly is a Samsung S6 tablet but my Samsung S9+ also works fine for hotspot to the Xbox.

    Downloads simply will not start if your using a 3 SIM card. Dropping to 3G didn’t work, using a VPN didn’t work and neither did a combination of the 2.

    Solution.. as mentioned in a previous comment is to start the download via another network. Fortunately my friend is on EE and allowed me to hotspot off his phone for the 1st 4mbs of the game download just to get it started. I then switched back over to my tablet hotspot on 3 and it continues the download just fine.

    Hope this helps…

  64. Avatar Mr Tristan D Hawkins

    Can’t seem to get the 3G switch to work anymore. Previously I just changed preferred network to 3G in the app and then the downloads resumed but that doesn’t seem to have any affect on getting the download working again. Any ideas?

    • Avatar Steve

      Yo it doesn’t work switching router anymore but if you have a phone even on 3 it works still. Start the dl on the 4g router leave it alone turn Xbox off unplug ether net (have to be wired) for it too work hotspot from phone using 3g only switch it in settings on your phone turn Xbox on connect to the hotspot give it a few seconds then just plug the cable back in it will auto switch to it turn hotspot off give it 30 secs itl start downloading as normal if you pause or turn Xbox off even while in instant mode you have to repeat the whole process. Annoying I know but at least can get updates

  65. Avatar Roger

    Has anybody asked 3 for an update to the “Due to a technical issue, large downloads of X-Box Live files are not working for some customers when connecting via the Three network. Streaming and playing games are unaffected. Our engineers are working hard to fix the issue and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”? Surely they can’t leave it open ended?

  66. Avatar Steve

    Yeah it would make a nice change for some transparency from them and not just them they all do it. It really can’t be that complicated of a fix. Just back track what has been changed/updated test after each event until its narrowed down. Simple common sense either revert the change update too previous version if its software debug the update then reupdate if its hardware then a simple replacement and realignment is all that’s needed

  67. Avatar Cal

    Switching the router to 3G only via the Hilink app (Settings-Network carrier-Preferred network), starting the download and switching back to 4G only works for me.
    Not ideal and I hope they fix it soon.

  68. Avatar Steve

    Rang again today they still have 0 idea of the error no fix date I’m guna demand at least 50% off the monthly bill until its fixed if everyone insists on the same it may make them pull there fingers from there asses and fix the bloody thing the hotspot from another device and so on is not good enough they ain’t holding there end of the contract by not providing a full service. Also the data used after switching from 3g to 4g doesn’t register on the app or via xboxes data info. I downloaded around 70gb yesterday 2 games xbox stated I used 4gb were as three I used nothing no data has passed through the counter or however its measured weird

  69. Avatar Roger

    How do we invoke an Ombudsman investigation? Anyone know?
    Surely they’re obliged to communicate something better than ‘no idea mate, ETA-mmm?’ after three weeks.

    • Avatar Bill

      1. Raise a complaint with Three (ask for the Case ID)
      2. When they tell you to do all the usual rubbish like reboot, reset, change to 3G etc, you must do them but make it clear their proposed resolutions have NOT resolved the issue.
      3. As Three have failed to resolve your complaint satisfactorily, you are now in ‘deadlock’ (you can complete steps 1-3 in a single WebChat session and so reach ‘deadlock’ within 1-2hrs)
      4. Request that Three send you a ‘deadlock’ letter in the post (take 1-3days to arrive)
      5. You may now refer your unresolved complaint to the Ombudsman. Go to https://www.ombudsman-services.org/ and create an account. Enter details of your complaint (the correct company to select for your complaint is “Three” and not “Three Broadband”). Upload evidence appropriate to your complaint. Hit the Submit button.
      6. Three will then be able to upload their evidence.
      7. The Ombudsman will then review all the evidence and make a final decision.

  70. Avatar Kieren Keeling

    Hi ive have this issue just wondering if anyone had an update as still having this problem

  71. Avatar matt

    I have set up a VPN directly on the router to see if it would work and yes it allows my son to download games through Xbox game pass and use live. Three need to sort this as I have only just purchased this router and had high hopes from it.

    • Avatar Bill

      Best to use a reputable VPN. Most reputable VPNs that provide the necessary details to configure it in your router, require a paid subscription.

      You can use a reputable VPN such as Windscribe for free on your phone/laptop but the free version is limited to 10-15Gb/month. They will also be slower for downloads.

      I’m not an XBox user, but as far as I am aware, the only way to use a VPN with your XBox is by configuring it into the router. So the free version would be of no use on the XBox.

      As using a VPN appears to resolve the XBox download and ‘web page stall’ issues, it points to the root cause of the issue being whatever packet inspection or snooping measures Three uses on your data (which they must be doing to determine when you’re consuming “Go Binge” data). So, nothing physically wrong with the Three network as such, but with the software that handles the data flows. And it’s not likely they will be changing their data inspection regime any time soon.

      Incidentally, if using a VPN on a non-unlimited data package, then it will not be possible for Three to determine your “Go Binge” data, and so you may use up your monthly data allowance MUCH more rapidly.

    • Avatar Bill

      Oh, I also meant to say: the problem is NOT the router (Huawei B535-232 in my case), it’s Three. And specifically, I believe, the method/software by which they handle your data. Quite possibly for the purposes of determining when you are/aren’t using “GoBinge” data (I’m not aware if other networks such as Vodafone, EE etc have a “GoBinge” equivalent – perhaps this is why they don’t have an issue!?).

      Conclusion: dump Three, switch to Vodafone, EE etc (that’s what I’ll be doing when my 24month contract is finally up!)

  72. Avatar Steve

    Not everyone has the option to swap I live in Hull and because its private lines we can’t use any fixed line providers ie virgin bt sky etc etc we have kcom or mobile only Vodafone ee etc use a wired connection for there services so they can’t be used here either. We have 3 options in Hull use kcom at 100+ pound per month three homefi or over the air fiber from the likes of pure broadband etc none of them are ideal over the air fibre is completely rubbish kcom is a ripoff three don’t work properly anymore. Also for a letter of deadlock you have to give three an allotted a mount of time to try fix it before offcom and deadlock route can be used I’m sure it’s 2weeks

  73. Avatar Steve

    So I got a direct number after an intense session with 3 support. Too the 2nd line technical team been on the phone to em they don’t know what the problem is as of yet didn’t seem very happy I got given the number but was very helpful and sounded genuine the issue is raised and they are looking into it at least but its sorta been backlogged by the nationwide outages by the way he worded it they don’t know why its failing. Il keep you updated as il be calling every week.

  74. Avatar Bill

    As regards reaching deadlock, you do NOT have to wait weeks for Three to come up with a resolution. If Three set out their final decision with regard to your complaint and you do not agree with that decision, then at that point you are in ‘deadlock’ and have the right to request Three provide you with this in writing (a deadlock letter).

  75. Avatar Steve

    Mainly correct regarding the deadlock but ombudsman services state they look at giving them 14 days to acknowledge the complaint then 8 weeks to resolve the issue then you in deadlock territory that’s from there site bro not trying to be an arse or contradictory. You can certainly pre order it of sorts though if no resolution has been made they should auto send the letter on the 8th week whether they would or not is a different story but I have made that clear with three also I’d be taking it further on the 8th week

  76. Avatar Bill

    Yes, that is correct, but if Three set out their final position as regards your complaint, and you do not agree that your complaint is resolved, then you are at deadlock WITHOUT having to wait 8 weeks and you may request a deadlock letter.

  77. Avatar Carl Wright

    I’m glad it’s not just me, it affects everything you Microsoft related. I’ve just discovered that this fiasco. I literally can’t use my xbox online

  78. Avatar Three-set

    Not sure if this will work for everyone, but resetting my Huawei B535 seemed to fix the problem. Ever since Three said they would be working on my nearest mast on March 9th I’ve been having issues. Phone seemed to rectify itself fairly quickly, but HomeFi was definitely not right — it kept stalling when loading web pages, seemed to be running a lot slower than usual, and Xbox game downloads and updates stopped working. Tried a VPN, which fixed the Xbox issue (I installed in the router using the VPN option), but speed was still lacklustre.

    Then tried using the reset option to revert the router to factory settings, and set it up again like new. Speeds, which had dropped to 10-13 Mbps, are now back to around 50 Mbps. Xbox also seems to be updating/downloading without needing the VPN switched on. This may or may not be a fluke, and it’s only been a couple of days, but things do seem to be back to normal. Might be worth someone else trying and seeing if it helps?

  79. Avatar Steve

    BTW this is still a problem for me. After banging my head on the wall for days I found this article.

    A neat trick; put router in 3G mode, initiate the download, switch router to 4G, the download will then continue with 4G speeds…

    What a pain in the arse

  80. Avatar Steve h

    The fac reset option or any other option still doesnt work in Hull anyways. But as I stated earlier tech line 2 or what ever they call there selves are actually looking into it and I’m now receiving text updates from them. Il try resetting again tomorrow but I have little hope.

  81. Avatar Steve h

    So factory reset worked and now free to download updates and games as normal. The fac reset via app doesn’t do a full reset I had to login via then advanced settings and reset that way but its all working as should be aside from an odd stutter every few mins

  82. Avatar Steve h

    If anyone still has the issue send me a pm il share the direct number with don’t wanna post it here cause it get flooded

  83. Avatar Nathan

    Not sure about anybody else, but miraculously mine has now started acting normal! I can now freely download games and updates, I didn’t factory reset or anything but it’s back!

  84. Avatar Ben

    Been following this post religiously since roughly around the 9th of march. I have tried everyone’s recommendations however still no luck. This is in Bristol so not sure if it’s nationwide.

    • Avatar Steve h

      It was nationwide problem but only effecting a few mine didn’t work until I factory reset in the router not the app the app didn’t seem to do it fully. Login via enter your pw go to advanced factory reset. Should get you back on if not log it with three ask for customer relations then ask for 2nd line tech support. Vua Web chat or phone

  85. Avatar Steve h

    Is anyone experiencing long hangs since the fix come out. It takes a good minute for it to start sd own loading sometimes having to pause restart to actually get it going not just downloads either it’s most things on Xbox on a cold boot seems to hang until refresh app or page or whatever I’m on. Never did it till the fix for downloads

    • Avatar Bill

      I think you’re describing the ‘page load stall’ issue which many of us (without XBox’s) have been experiencing since mid-Feb. Three deny this is an issue and are not investigating.

  86. Avatar Steve h

    Thanks bro I shall be calling the tech team line 2again and il try to explain it. It seemed to work out with the Xbox error after getting through to actual tech not customer support. Update on here as and when I get bit info.

  87. Avatar glenn

    still cant download updates on a fresh xbox. completely stuck

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