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Mobile Calling Bug Still Impacting UK Vodafone, EE and O2 Users UPDATE2

Tuesday, Sep 5th, 2023 (7:56 am) - Score 9,688
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Some customers of mobile network operators EE (BT), Vodafone and O2 (Virgin Media) are this morning continuing to report problems with making and receiving calls between the aforementioned networks (this also impacted some landline calls), which is an issue that first began around midday on Monday (4th Sept).

Just to recap. Yesterday afternoon quickly turned into an ugly affair of customer frustration after some of EE and Vodafone’s customers began complaining of problems with calling between the two networks, which also appeared to hit a much smaller portion of O2’s customer base. A tiny portion of Three UK’s customers also complained.

At the time, Vodafone denied that there was a problem on their own network and pointed to “an issue with the EE network“. A spokesperson for EE soon apologised and acknowledged that some customers were indeed “unable to make or receive calls from a Vodafone number” and that they were “working quickly to resolve this“.

The BBC later added some colour to all this by reporting on an update from Vodafone, which said that numbers transferred or “ported” from EE to any new network, including Three UK, O2 and Vodafone, were also affected – apparently because three of the digits in the mobile number still identified them as “EE” numbers (this messed up the call routing). While those former EE customers could call within their new network, calls to other networks were being affected by the problems at EE.

Fast-forward to this morning and customers on EE’s community forum are still reporting problems with calling (examples here, here and here), albeit not to the same level as yesterday, but then it’s still early doors. The Downdetector pages for EE (here) and Vodafone (here) are also showing a similar up tick in complaints as people slowly wake up.

Some EE customers have also reported that not even EE’s own support team can call their customers about the ongoing issue, which would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

Example EE Complaint 1 on 5th Sept

Sill not working. If I call my mobile from works landlines I get the ringing tone but my mobile is not ringing. If I call my other mobile (voxi) from my mobile I get the engaged tone. If I call my ee phone from voxi that call can’t connect. And in all of this EE are not keeping us updated.

Example EE Complaint 2 on 5th Sept

I have the same – I’m unable to receive calls. When I try to call myself it says I have dialled an incorrect number. I contacted EE who said a technical advisor would call me. They then text me saying they tried to call me but “but due to an issue with all networks customers are having issues making and receiving calls so we were unable to get through. EE”.

It’s now the next morning and still not resolved. I am also waiting for important calls. Why have EE not contacted affected customers to tell them what’s going on and when it’s going to be resolved??!

Example EE Complaint 3 on 5th Sept

And no updates on their website. Ironically when I check my postcode for issues guess what it says. Our network is working fine!…….oh no its not. Also expecting important calls. Can’t even forward calls to my voxi number as its affected by this issue as well.

Example EE Complaint 4 on 5th Sept

Still seems to be ongoing today. I can call one person on O2 but everyone else gives three beeps and then disconnects. When people call me they hear ringing but phone doesn’t work unless they are on Vodafone when nothing happens.

Example EE Complaint 5 on 5th Sept

Just had a text saying its sorted but it’s not. My voxi number is now working but my ee number is not. I can dial I hear it ring but phones not ringing and did the restart as requested but as you say office not open.

One of the biggest frustrations that is coming across from customers has been the lack of communication from EE, which is underlined by the fact that the best source of information yesterday came from rival operator Vodafone. You know you’re doing something badly wrong when your rival is keeping your own customers better informed than you are.

UPDATE 8:17am

A spokesperson for EE has just released this statement: “The issue impacting some customers’ calls to and from a Vodafone number has been resolved. We’re very sorry for any inconvenience caused. Calls to other networks, mobile data and text messages were not affected.”

We’ll keep an eye out over the next few hours to see if the complaint volumes fall away.

UPDATE 8:54am

We’re still seeing complaints about this, with some customers reporting that they had to restart their mobile handsets 3-4 times before they started working normally again.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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22 Responses
  1. Avatar photo andrew says:

    It will impact a smaller number of o2 users…. no one wans to be on o2…. it’s garbage

    1. Avatar photo Matt says:

      A month or so ago I’d have agreed with you but for the past month the 4G speeds I’m getting on O2 where I live (a mid-sized ton in Northern Ireland), and work (the next town along) have gone from about 2.5Mbps to about 70Mbps. Its a constant improvement too, not just non-peak times.

      Part of O2s problems traditionally have been backhaul so I suspect it’s that which has been improved. Hopefully whatever they have done round here will be rolled out across their network.

    2. Avatar photo ACdeag says:

      Depends where you live

    3. Avatar photo 10BaseT says:

      I can say the same about Three and Vodafone, all depends where you live really. O2 isn’t great but still better than these two for me and improved recently when they’ve upgraded to 5G in my town. Not to mention that I have roaming free of charge while travelling to EU for holidays 2-3 times a year but this can be irrelevant for those travelling abroad to Scotland and Wales only 😉

    4. Avatar photo 4chAnon says:

      Re: 10Base

      That would be domestic, Scotland/Wales/NI/England aren’t countries, only regions of the United Kingdom

  2. Avatar photo S. says:

    Iirc how mobile porting/routing works, it will have impacted anyone who has ported from EE to Vodafone, even if they’re now on another network (explaining the small no. of other customers). When a number is ported the original network points calls to that number to the new network, who, if its been ported again, points it to that network etc until it reaches the network its actually on.

    1. Avatar photo Dan says:

      Not quite.. that would become an absolute nightmare if you ported your number numerous times.

      What happens is that the original network points the number to whichever network you’re on now. So if for example your number was originally on EE then you ported to Vodafone, EE would point the number to Vodafone. If you then ported to O2, on the day of your number port, EE would make a change at their end to point the number to O2 instead of Vodafone.

    2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      it would only go through two networks – the one that “owns” the number and the one that it was ported to.

      leads to interesting chains of announcements if you don’t have voicemail enabled. my EE mobile plays the EE announcement, then the three announcement (number originates from them) and then sometimes a third announcement if you are calling from a third network (eg vodafone’s “try later or send a text”)

    3. Avatar photo Clive peters says:

      how can you tell who ‘owns’ your number?

    4. Avatar photo Dan says:

      @Clive Peters

      It’s whichever network your number was with first. If you can’t remember, you can use https://www.ukphoneinfo.com/ to look it up.

    5. Avatar photo Paul says:

      It’s the same for traditional land line providers such as BT, when a number is ‘ported’ they are routing the numbers to the new service provider.

      There have been issues for SIP customers where the routing has been removed by the range holder.

  3. Avatar photo Mark Smith says:

    Just you a voip service to call people such as WhatsApp until they fix the issue.
    I used what’s app and FaceTime audio, teams, etc. all the time to call colleagues around the world, with no performance issues at all.

  4. Avatar photo Ian says:

    EEs service has been going down for the last few months, poor data and dowmload speed, network jumping between 4g and 5g. Everytime I complain all I get is the usual no issues found. Paying for data I cannot use as I spend more time using wifi 🙁

  5. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

    I am hit by this issue, which I believe (at least in my case) is a failure in the forwarding of a call from the range holder to EE. I can make calls fine, but can only receive calls originating within EE. My number’s range holder is Vodaphone. It rather defeats the point of having a phone…

  6. Avatar photo Shakeel says:

    But then this still makes no sense. I couldn’t call my brother or sister. Who both are on Vodafone and have never ported their number (new number)

    1. Avatar photo Lexx says:

      New number doesn’t mean it hasn’t been used before

  7. Avatar photo Burble says:

    Looks like it’s gone down again.

  8. Avatar photo Dave smith says:

    This issue is still going on myself and lots of family members are having similar issues can call some people but others we can’t as says number not recognised same as some people can call us but others can’t as they get similar unknown/not recognised number

    1. Avatar photo Mark Cunningham says:

      Has this been resolved for you?
      What network are you? And which network is trying to call you?
      I am EE and I can’t receive calls from vodafone landline numbers.

  9. Avatar photo Mark Cunningham says:

    This is still ongoing with EE. I am an EE Mobile customer. I can’t receive calls from a Vodafone landline number. Each time I ring they said they can’t find an issue. Initially when the person rang my number it would go straight to my voicemail. Now when they ring, when I try to answer it won’t connect and they hear an engaged tone. Going to leave EE very soon if this is not resolved.

  10. Avatar photo Ian Williams says:

    I’m getting this again today 22 November but oddly it only seems to be while connected to the mobile network- when on WiFi calling (on EE) everything works as expected…

  11. Avatar photo Wendy Foster says:

    This issue is still ongoing. My dad who is with EE can not phone me on 02, neither can my dentist optician and goodness knows who else!! This is not good as my dad is 91years and can not phone me, I have no problem phoning him but if he needs to contact me in an emergency he can not.

Comments are closed

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