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Customers of Three UK Suffering Network Connectivity Woes UPDATE5

Friday, Dec 1st, 2023 (10:54 am) - Score 36,880

Some customers of mobile operator Three UK are this morning reporting network connectivity and signal problems from a number of different locations across the country, which is preventing users from making or receiving calls and stops mobile data (broadband) via 3G, 4G and 5G connections from working.

The issue appears to have started at around 6am this morning (Down Detector) and complaints are currently still rising, although at the time of writing it doesn’t yet appear to be impacting the majority of their customer base.

A spokesperson for Three UK said (here): “We’re aware that a small number of customers may be experiencing issues with our network this morning. Our engineers are working hard to fix this as soon as possible. We’re so sorry if you’ve been impacted by this.”

UPDATE 1:53pm

We are not at all convinced that this is only impacting a “small number” of customers, particularly since the issue seems to be growing and is now also impacting yours truly and nearby family members (it wasn’t this morning). The issue also seems to be hitting MVNO operators that use the same network.

UPDATE 3:22pm

Three has just issued us with another update, but the only real difference is that they’ve now removed the “small number” wording 🙂 . A spokesperson for Three UK said: “A number of customers may be experiencing issues with our network. We are aware of what the issue is and our engineers are working to fix it as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

We have responded to request something more informative than the usual canned statement. Meanwhile, some customers are seeing their 4G and 5G data connectivity return, although it seems to be quite intermittent.

UPDATE 4:25pm

Complaint volumes about this issue appear to have skyrocketed this afternoon. Seems it may continue to get worse, before it hopefully gets better. Sadly, there’s been no solid information from Three UK to explain what is actually happening, save for the vaguest of canned statements. Customers deserve better from network operators, but until there’s some change via Ofcom then vague statements are all we’re ever likely to get.

Meanwhile the service status page on Three UK’s website continues to claim there are no network issues.

UPDATE 6:03pm

We’re seeing some reports of connections returning. Meanwhile, Cloudflare has released a chart that shows how the outage has been recorded on their internet traffic trends for the operator’s network, which highlights a clear drop around 15:00 UTC and it hasn’t returned, yet.


At the same time Gamma’s service status page may give us our first real indication of the cause. According to that page: “3UK have identified a faulty device in their network causing intermittent disruption to service. They are working to replace this device with delivery to site anticipated by 19:00 and are reviewing what additional mitigation they can put in place to minimise disruption.”

UPDATE 2nd Dec 2023 @ 6:14am

Three appears to have restored data connectivity last night via various unspecified network mitigation measures, while some of those experiencing calling issues have informed us that they seemed to have been resolved in the small hours of this morning. But we won’t know if there’s still a major problem this morning until everybody starts waking up to use their mobile phones.

Some posters have also reported that O2, Vodafone and EE were impacted by the same issue, but their complaint volumes are still relatively low (measured in the hundreds, rather than the tens of thousands) – not even remotely in the same ballpark as Three experienced. Most of the rise that does exist could also be explained by customers of those networks being unable to contact those on Three’s service.

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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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162 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Will says:

    I moved from 3 a while back and it was the best thing I did as I’m normally in rural areas. 3 are great in urban areas but I tend to find they are poor in areas outside of cities…

    1. Avatar photo Tom Dick and Harry says:

      Agree with you 🙂

      Once you leave into the country side it’s a different cup of tea 🙁

      One can check (and improve) the community collected data for 3 and others here

      Change between all the 4G Bands that 3 is using 🙂
      as not all are enabled in all locations 🙁

      The higher the frequency band, the
      more difficult it is for the signal propagation ….through objects (trees etc.)

    2. Avatar photo Robert says:

      Funnily enough, I live in semi-rural and moved to Three (SMARTY) after terrible experience with VM02. 02 would frequetly show 3 or 4 bars but deliver excrutiatingly slow service with frequent drop-outs.

      Three has been really good, up until today when they have let themselves down by experiencing a major outage and not even updating their website or ‘Socials’ with this service announcement.

    3. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Seems to work better than others at my partner place and she lives in the stick, sure I have to either go into the kitchen or the bathroom to get a signal, but that is better than other networks. Thankfully, smarty does wi-fi calling, but even that was not working today, so must have been internally where the problem was.

    4. Avatar photo Sam P says:

      I found Three to be outstanding in rural areas here in south-west England.
      I can be in the literal middle of nowhere and have gigabit 5G speeds, it’s really surprising.
      Meanwhile my Vodafone or EE sim will have absolutely nothing.

  2. Avatar photo Tom Dick and Harry says:

    Looks like the 4G has gone down.
    3G I can make at least calls and sent SMS (but no internet)
    Not sure what the 5G is like, as no signal here.
    Do they have 5G “SA” network running somewhere already?

  3. Avatar photo Jammie says:

    My smarty sim went to emergency calls for 30 mins this morning between 10am – 11am.

  4. Avatar photo Karen says:

    Riddle me this: I have a Smarty SIM in my phone, I can’t use data on it ATM for the outage.
    My home 4G router also uses a Smarty SIM, it works perfectly! Both devices are currently using the same phone mast…. Go figure

    1. Avatar photo Raymond says:

      Very similar experience
      My smarty SIM in my phone is not connecting at all and my 4g router with smarty SIM was working fine.

    2. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      Three told me this was possible. My wife’s smarty phone was working but my Business SIM is not. Same place same cell. It’s dam odd I grant you!

  5. Avatar photo M says:

    Oh yeah, just realised why I wasn’t getting a text message, as i’ve got no damn signal whatsoever on three..

    Luckily i’m dual sim..

    1. Avatar photo Keith says:

      Mine is completely down too. Unfortunately I’m not dual sim – so interested to know more.

    2. Avatar photo M says:

      I spoke too soon

      EE now absolutely fubar where I am. Down detector says similar.

    3. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      EE stayed up for me. In fact I didn’t even know they were affected until I came here.

      @keith. Some phones can take 2 physical SIMS. Either 2 physical sims or 1 physical SIM and an eSIM which is where there is a blank SIM module in the phone and you can download operator details into it and then delete the when you are done with the service or want to change. It’s secure in the sense it’s encrypted in the phone and you need to scan a physical code to get it to connect/download

      For example I have an Iphone where I have EE on Physical SIM and Three Business on eSIM.

  6. Avatar photo Frank ham says:

    Mine is Down completely and I live near 5g mast been a bit of a
    Nightmare really kid got sick at school

  7. Avatar photo Ivor says:

    haven’t they been banging on about their shiny new cloud core? have the clouds turned a bit grey?

    Perhaps a harbinger of what’s to come if VodaThree comes into being, with customers then only having two other choices.

    1. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      What’s especially worrying is that the company have stated a piece of equipment failed. If one piece of kit going down can bring the network to its knees, then that’s a single point of failure and would show that Three are not fit to run critical national infrastructure. If we had a competent regulator, they’d investigate vigorously and make sure it doesn’t happen again. But as it is we’ve got the poor joke that is Ofcom, and they’ll do nothing.

    2. Avatar photo Me says:

      @AndrewG oh get real! Even all broadband providers can have major network outages due to one piece of equipment failing. Sure they can double up on every single piece of equipment and every backbone connection but then they can charge you double for that privilege too. And pay fines to government for breaching CO2 emissions due to all the extra equipment working. One frigging day isn’t going to ruin your life. They replaced the faulty equipment which most likely cost a lot.

    3. Avatar photo XGS says:

      @Me No ISP worth their salt will have any single point of failure outside of the very edge where the customer connects so a failure there will impact a limited number of people.

      No reason to have a huge proportion of a network reliant on a single chassis let alone a single line card.

      Having redundancy isn’t some unusual thing it’s the standard thing. Even very small ISPs have a couple of NNIs with each of their network providers and a ring for their connectivity to the wider Internet.

      Very unusual to have core network with no resilience and it usually happens in error.

      After a massive outage Rogers in Canada not only had to modify their network to improve resiliency they ended up building a parallel network with a different vendor.

      Believe BT have a multi-vendor network for this reason too, to provide protection against a software issue wiping out a network let alone relying on one line card.

      Mobile network cores should be delivering 5 9s reliability. No excuses.

  8. Avatar photo Flame Henry says:

    This outage has caused a great deal of suffering. Three shouldn’t be allowed to do stuff like this, especially on the coldest day of the year of all days. People could be freezing to death!

    I’ve just had to endure a treacherous two hour walk after I was unable to summon loved-ones, or an Uber to pick me up from the Gym.

    It’s just as well Apple Pay use a different network as I was at least able to purchase a Pumpkin Latte to keep my body temperature up.

    I’m supposed to be click-collecting some christmas presents later but goodness knows how that will work if the internet is down.

    1. Avatar photo Gina says:

      Get real, all systems have problems at times that are outwith the operators immediate control. Three (Smarty) has by and large been very reliable .. my 4G data connection on which I an replying is working. So unfortunately you will just have to patiently wait for a resolution to the problem

    2. Avatar photo James says:

      What did you do before you got a mobile phone?

    3. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

      Israel/Gaza is “a great deal of suffering”. You’ve got a minor inconvenience.

    4. Avatar photo Pepstar says:

      Two simple solutions here… for your Uber, use the Gym’s Wi-Fi and Apple pay doesn’t even need any mobile reception.

      Where do we get folks from around here sometimes lol

    5. Avatar photo Declan M says:

      Easy solution don’t be tight arse and get on a better network

    6. Avatar photo Harry Renquist says:

      I feel ya, Henners.
      My dedicated avocado fridge is smart controlled, and right now it is a whopping 1.5 degrees out of alignment, which will inevitably result in me having to bin the whole batch.
      I suppose I might as well, because I have no bread to toast, since I can’t even order my favourite spelt and kamut sourdough small-batch loaf while the network is down.
      Three just don’t seem to value their valued customers. Meanwhile, us ordinary folk suffer.

    7. Avatar photo Bob honeysuckle says:

      Apple pay doesn’t use a different network. It uses NFC to send your card details to the shops card machine and the shops broadband connection. Its not like three decided to do this.

    8. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      It is a pain, but these things happen, it is to be honest the only problem have had since I have been on Smarty. If you rely on Apple or Google Pay only, then you are a fool. I keep my debit on me just in case, even when use Gpay. Also, normally keep cash with me as well.

    9. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      “If you rely on Apple or Google Pay only, then you are a fool.”

      Erm.. If for some reason the Visa/Mastercard network goes down it will STILL accept an Apple payment. Why? Because Apple Guarantee EVERY payment. Also Apple Pay/Google Pay can’t be nicked.. God luck buying your worthers originals when there is a problem with the shops Broadband or the payment networks.

      The “fool” is the person who thinks a debit card is better!

    10. Avatar photo Me says:

      You sound like some elitism moaning about first world problems no one literally cares about lol. You poor thing.

    11. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @I love Starlink, I never said rely on debit card only, Also ways carry cash, most of the time that will be accepted when everything else fails, I say most as a few weeks ago I could not pay for stuff in poundstretchers as Openreach decided to update their connection when the shop was opened and tills these days seem to need a connection for even the basic of things. it will come back and hit us one day.

      I have gpay or what ever they call it these days set up on my phone, don’t use it that much, also have a debit card, contactless disabled and cash and if I must, I can pay with my watch, but that uses Curve and still need my phone to work.

    12. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @james, years ago, people could go out and use a call phone if they had to, also the majority of people had landlines, the way it is going, they will become less reliable if people have them at all.,

    13. Avatar photo Boris jonson says:

      Put a sock in it you silly winner

  9. Avatar photo Michael V says:

    I haven’t seen any issue in South east Wales. Across south Wales and into west Wales I have solid coverage. I know that many areas can suffer but I’m never without coverage. Can’t say the same for Vodafone that my 2nd phone is living in!

    1. Avatar photo William Gange says:

      Read my Postville about torfaen coverage.

    2. Avatar photo William Gange says:

      Read my post about torfaen, south east Wales below.

  10. Avatar photo ionic says:

    It looks like it’s affecting iD mobile as well (which are a 3 MVNO)

    1. Avatar photo Al says:

      Yep. My wife and I have had patchy signal at home today whilst on calls. My phone has now dropped signal completely, whilst hers has recovered some bars and internet.

    2. Avatar photo Al says:

      Should have said:

      North Wales coast
      iPhone 14 Pro and 13 mini

  11. Avatar photo Martyn says:

    Service here in the shitty of Coventry is in and out, when it’s out it’s all off, started Thursday night just after I had installed IOS17.1.2 and thought Apple had got something wrong, fear not, things happen with all networks, there all as crap as each other really just in varying amounts and quality of crap.

    Seasonal felicitations to one and all.

  12. Avatar photo James Brown says:

    I hope that three will give us a full report into the root cause, in the way Optus (Australia) did a few weeks ago.

  13. Avatar photo William Gange says:

    Internet connectivity is unavailable here in torfaen, Wales. Email working but no internet. On Threes 5g home b/b, been ok up till now.

  14. Avatar photo Anon says:

    I have a 5g router with a 3 sim in it. To be honest i get over 450 meg down on it whereas EE is barely 40 meg. So if it goes down for a while once or twice a year to me its still worth it compared to other networks which also go down now and then.

    1. Avatar photo Chris says:

      I Was in that position 18 Months ago but gradually the network has become more & More congested & three simply refuse to do anything about it now our mobile broadband slows to less than 2Mb at peak times

    2. Avatar photo William Gange says:

      My d/l speeds have been fantastic, at about 400-500 mbs, upload at about 40-50 mbs. All was well until this problem, but its the first time I’ve had any problems and have been trialling ready for when I stop Plusnet, which is now extortionate.

  15. Avatar photo Steve says:

    I’ve had a problem in Scarborough since yesterday evening. My 4G mobile broadband was running at dial up speeds on a Smarty SIM. It’s usually around 35mbps. Several restarts & a router relocation to another room finally got me back up to speed.

  16. Avatar photo AshOnFire1989 says:

    ID Mobile here and emergency calls only, i can’t log in account either says high number users trying to login.

  17. Avatar photo GH says:

    Absolutely zilch signal here now at my office in GU6 8 on Three. Signal is not great at the best of times, but normally get something or fall back to wifi calling. Wifi calling not working either now – tried forcing it with flight mode on and wifi on, that didn’t make wifi calling work either.

    1. Avatar photo GH says:

      Could be an issue with packet-switched calling (i.e. 4G callling aka VoLTE and wifi calling). As I had a 4G signal after my initial post, but then my phone switched to 3G to make a call, and as I mentioned in my original post, wi-fi calling is still not working. Obviously packet based services would affect mobile data too.

  18. Avatar photo Jamie says:

    I am having the same issues using the ID mobile network. Sometimes working fine, then other times no service.

  19. Avatar photo William Gange says:

    Internet connectivity seems to be ok now in torfaen.

  20. Avatar photo dom says:

    Definitely an issue with the network you cant get through to customer services not even by live chat

  21. Avatar photo Mark says:

    Internet keeps coming and going for me, but can’t make or receive calls / texts at all!

  22. Avatar photo DaveP says:

    Sth Croydon, no signal on Smarty, rebooted phone and extraordinary got d/l speed of 33Mbps, never ever got more than 4Mbps (4G). Mind you, hanging out of the home window last summer, I once got a 5G signal and similar speed At Sanderstead station get 400Mbps on 5G & Norwood Junction 500Mbps 5G.

    1. Avatar photo DaveP says:

      And we’re back to normal now everyone getting back on to Smarty/3 – d/l 2.3Mbps! I got a few seconds glimpse of the future, and I wasted it with a speed check LOL

  23. Avatar photo Benjamin Gilbey says:

    Im in Chelmsford having no issues whatsoever. Been fine all day so far. Currently in the middle of a hospital and have good 4G signal

  24. Avatar photo Masterstroke says:

    Lost 3 5G home broadband completely for a while (in Weston-super-Mare), but now back but only in 4G, which is better than nothing. Smarty 4G on my phone is OK.

  25. Avatar photo Kev says:

    No signal here up north near Huddersfield/Deighton area. Has been intermittent since about 10 today…

    Been trying to use my hotspot to work whilst travelling and it’s been a nightmare. Luckily some of the trains/stations have WiFi or I’d be struggling!

  26. Avatar photo Bubbles says:

    This became an issue for me at about 2pm…..
    this issue is nothing like anything I’ve ever seen before.
    I can’t register to the network until I go to make a call… I dial 7777 and I suddenly go from No Service to full bars “iD” and the call connects. Soon as I hang up, nothing.

    1. Avatar photo chris says:

      thanks for that tip.

      dialling 7777 whilst the recorded message played I was able to divert my calls to my work phone on sky.

      hopefully diverts work as I’m awaiting a call about a loved one who had surgery today and I need to collect.

    2. Avatar photo Callum says:

      Same with me on 3

  27. Avatar photo Jim says:

    Zero service all day on my pay monthly Three sim.

    Quite shocking. You can see why they’re the cheapest network.

    1. Avatar photo Richard Branston says:

      o2 had the same scale of outage a few years back – I seem to recall it was a change made by Ericsson (or similar) / the outsourced partner that was managing their network. Not necessarily to do with low-cost, not least as 3 are investing at a faster rate on 5g rollout than Vodafone or o2.

    2. Avatar photo Jim says:

      This isn’t a rare occurence with Three. The nationwide test for the emergency alert system also failed on their network.

      They’re just not a serious network, especially for higher spending business users.

    3. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      the Ericsson thing was a security certificate that had reached its expiry date, presumably somewhere inside O2’s core network, and it also took out Softbank in Japan at the same time

  28. Avatar photo Joao says:

    I have two Three SIM cards (pay as you go and pay monthly) and my pay monthly has no signal at all in East London – the other one is working fine.
    Why can’t they get anything right?

  29. Avatar photo Dean A says:

    Have a 4g signal but emergency calls only.

    3g seems to work.

  30. Avatar photo Gavin says:

    I couldn’t call anyone earlier, and now when I went to try again it said my phone isn’t registered to the network.

    Different parts of their system as been going offline during the past week.

    I had problems calling people last week. But it resolved quickly.

    Then when I was trying to login to their accounts site 2 days ago via the web or phone they wasn’t working.

  31. Avatar photo Shaukat says:

    Ooh just seems to have come up in the central Birmingham B1, B15 areas

  32. Avatar photo Zam says:

    3g network not working from 6am from Til now is any update bad service 3g try to call them long way keep on hold still not Anwers very disappointed…

  33. Avatar photo GrayT says:

    Certainly is a weird issue as I’m sat here at my desk with “Emergency calls only” on my phone, then 2m from me a colleague (on Three as well) is sat there with his phone having full 5G!

  34. Avatar photo Marcin says:

    iD Mobile. Belfast currently down. No service…

  35. Avatar photo Oliver says:

    I’m on ID mobile. From my experience there are still major problems. 3G seems to be periodically working with 4G and 5G being very hit and miss and phone calls are not connecting either, most of the time. I live in SW London.

  36. Avatar photo HarryTheBasterd says:

    Three network been down all day here WF1,Emergency calls only,Three site doesn’t even acknowledge that there is a problem. Luckily I can join wi-fi networks and use whatsapp.

  37. Avatar photo Anon says:

    Has anyone read about the massive solar flare that was due to hit today? Apparently the south pacific was affected yesterday – it caused large broadcast issues. On Yahoo it says its classed just below the worst type you can get of regular solar event! Or else 3 need to invest more into their network…

    1. Avatar photo Anon says:

      A solar flare would cause disruption to more networks. So far it’s only Three (and anyone using their network).

    2. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      No it was actually 3 others too. So yes this is possible.

    3. Avatar photo RH says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking yesterday. It caused a G3 level geomagnetic storm. I had such bad head pressure and headaches, too. But not sure why it mostly affected Three services…

  38. Avatar photo David Walters says:

    I appear to have lost my Three 5g signal as well. Only have an H on my signal bar. I live near Derby.

  39. Avatar photo H brooker says:

    My three mobile broadband is down and has been since at least 10 this morning. Frustrating when three haven’t even reached out to acknowledge there’s a problem. Heaven forbid you need to try and talk to someone. I live In the northeast. I can’t get threes network checker to work keeps telling me my postcode is wrong.

  40. Avatar photo Anon says:

    London: 1 ID mobile, 1 Smarty = both down.

    Canterbury: 1 Smarty = working okay so far on 4G.

  41. Avatar photo Mark says:

    Interesting update hear that I have found from an MVNO I have access to.

    “3UK have an engineer awaiting delivery of the new device and will fit this as soon as delivered. A further update will be provided by 7PM”

  42. Avatar photo NT says:

    I’m on iD mobile, Leicestershire and have had problems since this morning. Connected with 4G one minute, the next absolutely nothing.

    Just glad my phone isn’t broken, bc that’s what I thought it was at first. Don’t understand why Three won’t just own up though.

  43. Avatar photo Dantheman says:

    Go on okla speedtester and click on status it states at lot more than just three mobile ID smarty EE vodaphone EE in red in my areas and most others in yellow meaning a problem only the big things that have there own servers like google Facebook. Twitter virgin etc are OK

  44. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

    Yeah. I got 80GB a month for 3.5 years for £99 and it’s off today too – been that way since about 10am. Oh well..

    1. Avatar photo Whatever says:

      Zzzz. Had to use your 100 gig leased line on pay as you go to work the phones for EE and BT today then?

  45. Avatar photo Justin says:

    Downdetector is showing a large spike in reports from all the UK MNO’s this afternoon. I think there is something more widespread going on than just Three.

    1. Avatar photo Mick says:

      EE, O2 and Vodafone all spiking into the 100s of reports on DownDetector, Three spiking to almost 20,000. When one major provider gets problems you do get mis-attributed reports.

    2. Avatar photo Munehaus says:

      Anyone with a Three number ported to another network may well be having issues due to the bonkers way UK porting works.

    3. Avatar photo John Smith says:

      Usually because people who are not of the impacted network (e.g. O2), who try to call somebody on the impacted network (Three), think the problem is because of O2. So they log it incorrectly (in this example O2).

  46. Avatar photo Al says:

    Bit intermittent here. But does appear to be affecting 4G mostly.

    Couldnt get my bus ticket to work this morning on my mobile, so had to pay again, thats the first thing that indicated a problem.
    5G Works fine, pushed my router at work to 3G so i could browse the internet without being snooped on by work.

    First time ive known 3 to have a problem, been with them years and not seen this before with them.

  47. Avatar photo Clara says:

    My 4g seemed to be working again but now it’s completely dead saying emergency calls only. This reminds me of the 2018 O2 outage an update would be nice from Three.

  48. Avatar photo Dantheman says:

    On ID I jmhad no signal in October 20th 2023 until nov1st 2023 I opened up a case with id mobile which said they would get back with an update in 7days here’s reply I got….
    Hello, we have now logged your complaint and we’ll do our best to resolve it within 7 working days. If it takes longer to resolve, we will keep you informed of the progress. You can view our Customer Complaints Code here: https://www.idmobile.co.uk/help-and-advice/complaints-code-of-practice for details around timescales and our investigation process.

    Then I received an email in November saying we tried to ring you we tried to text you but got no reply so we closed you case down. During the time I got no signal for over a week so I didn’t get a phone call or text from them or any info regarding why it compensated. Now it’s gone off again 1 month to the day it came back on I’m now going to contact the ombudsman now and see if I can get my contract cancelled as they billed me when I didn’t get service for nearly 1/3 of a month but charged me regardless if they cannot provide a service then we must have right to cancel such service. During that time the status checker was working so I got a screen shot for most days it was off other than the weekend as had no one to contact so kect until the following Monday to log my complaint with them but to claim they called and texted me during the outage and closed my case was rather anoyying

  49. Avatar photo Jimothy says:

    You can see updates on Gamma (Three MVNO)

    www . gamma.co.uk/support/service-status/

  50. Avatar photo No Network Coverage says:

    I’m from South Wales, near Swansea. The signal here has been patchy all day. Now have no network at all, at 17:30pm. I’m with SMARTY.

  51. Avatar photo Jimothy says:

    If the Gamma status notes are to be believed then it looks like it could be a single faulty device

    www . gamma.co.uk/support/service-status/

    Issued 01/12/2023 16:55

    3UK have an engineer awaiting delivery of the new device and will fit this as soon as delivered.

    A further update will be provided by 7PM

    Issued 01/12/2023 15:28

    3UK have identified a faulty device in their network causing intermittent disruption to service. They are working to replace this device with delivery to site anticipated by 19:00 and are reviewing what additional mitigation they can put in place to minimise disruption.

    A further update will be provided by 5.30PM. We thank you for your patience during this time

    Issued 01/12/2023 15:00

    Our mobile partner 3UK have observed an increase in 3G and 4G call failures due to an ongoing transport fault, which may also have some impact for data connectivity.

    Activities are currently underway to recover services which may result in customers encountering a brief disconnection from the network.

    A further update will be provided by 15:30pm

    1. Avatar photo chris says:

      that is a faulty piece of hardware that their vendor is replacing under break fix agreement.

      they should ideally have at least 2 of each critical item and have 2 different locations with identical kit in place so as to remove single points of failure.

      truly not a good look if a single faulty device has bought their infrastructure for the whole nation to its knees.

      weird that I can connect to 7777 just fine.

      maybe something related to their authorisation & accounting (the thing that says yes this customer can make that call and have credit balance to do so) platform

    2. Avatar photo Me says:

      Yeap, all it will have been is a major piece of equipment, router or something going pop. It happens, when you are talking about high throughput high end kit like that it costs thousands and is meant to be reliable, but it’s in 24/7 every single day components fail eventually. They’ll replace it with a spare and it’ll be up and running again.

  52. Avatar photo Rob says:

    I’ve been with them for less than 72 hours and noticed this from this afternoon, no signal, not connecting to the mast. Initially thought it was the phone, it might the usual level of service and then finally saw downdetector. Oh well 72 hours into my 24 month data only contract what fun!

  53. Avatar photo stuart says:

    mine dropped signal about hour ago. TBH the past two months the signal coming through and transmitting has not been good at all.
    am in the Wiltshire/Cotswold area and lately indoor calls are terrible. Even the wifi calling has dropped out (which have never had a problem with before) Three do need to keep better updates with this turning 3G network off.

    it is a minor inconvenience for me, it’s a good job wifi though has other means to contact people with these days, which seem far more reliable

  54. Avatar photo Duncan says:

    Mine has currently gone 2G only in the Maidstone area.

    1. Avatar photo Duncan says:

      Or should I say UTMS…

  55. Avatar photo Craig says:

    Cheap skates use EE better network stop using. Aldi network EE is the best

    1. Avatar photo Matt says:

      EE indoors can suck hard. Indoors here it’s useless!

    2. Avatar photo Craig is a toss pot says:

      You can barely string a sentence together mate. That tells me you’re not very well educated and therefore probably stack shelves in Tesco for a living!

  56. Avatar photo Jon PENNYCOOK says:

    Normally reliable, but my Three and Smarty SIMs are all still down in Basingstoke. Smarty won’t even let me logon to their website which is odd.

  57. Avatar photo Matt says:

    Complete loss of 4G and 5G in Ware, Hertfordshire.

  58. Avatar photo Bertie Bassett says:

    Total loss in central London. Went down around 3:30-4:00pm, absolutely nothing since then.

    Seems ridiculous that one piece of equipment can be so crucial to the entire service, and can be running without a backup ready to go.

    Not a good look for Three!

  59. Avatar photo Steven says:

    Shocking service and signal for years i plan to move to different provider

  60. Avatar photo Arthur says:

    Its 7 pm smarty still has no signal been like this all day Norfolk no support chat is off cant log into account a official message on smarty website Account maintenance till 19.30
    We’re doing some maintenance at the moment. Come back soon. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    The maintenance is expected to complete at 01/12/2023, 19:30

    — The SMARTY team.

  61. Avatar photo Jason says:

    Can confirm. Only got 3G in areas I’d usually have 5G in Leeds. I’m on iD mobile

  62. Avatar photo Jasons says:

    I’m on EE guys I still have signal you get what you paid for stop saving pennies come to EE

    1. Avatar photo Oldtimeuser says:

      EE was affected too, same as Three and O2.

      Just because you were not affected, it doesn’t mean another EE user wasn’t!

      Your comment doesn’t prove anything.

      I’ve got mobiles that use EE network too, I didn’t have any issues either, but as said above, we didn’t but other EE users did.

    2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      are you sure you’re not seeing some localised EE issue (cell sites can fail from time to time) and assuming it must be related to the issues with 3 which are clearly more widespread?

      the only possible link is for users whose number originated from 3 and who had later moved to EE. Incoming calls (and I assume texts?) pass through 3 and a fault could conceivably affect this.

  63. Avatar photo jammie says:

    Back up and working in manchester

    1. Avatar photo Gavin says:

      I’m in Oldham and it’s still not allowing me to make calls.

    2. Avatar photo BertieBassett says:

      Still nothing in central London

  64. Avatar photo Angie says:

    Couldn’t phone or send any messages. Really annoying when I needed to contact someone. Three took their time to sort this out. Emergency calls only. Bit of a joke

  65. Avatar photo Angie says:

    Couldn’t phone or send any messages. Really annoying when I needed to contact someone. Three took their time to sort this out. Emergency calls only. Bit of a joke that a big network let’s you down

    1. Avatar photo Carlos says:

      Technical issues happen. Hardware fails. Sometimes it takes a while to fix.

  66. Avatar photo Chris says:

    Mines been working fine all day! Guess I’m one of the lucky ones!

  67. Avatar photo Sam says:

    Still not fixed

    Mobile Incident Details – 2016674

    Our mobile partner 3UK have observed an increase in 3G and 4G call failures due to an ongoing transport fault, which may also have some impact for data connectivity.

    Activities are currently underway to recover services which may result in customers encountering a brief disconnection from the network.

    A further update will be provided by 15:30pm


    Whilst engineering activity to change the effected card continues to be underway, 3UK have worked to mitigate impact through network management. We will continue to monitor the situation and a further update will be provided at 10AM tomorrow

    1. Avatar photo Strange says:

      If its just a faulty device within the network that is at fault, then how come some Three users in the same town and in the same exact location were not affected? Its very strange.

      Unless it didnt affect certain phones

  68. Avatar photo Gareth says:

    I’ve had no service since around 3pm until after 6pm in Bolton. My Dad and some of my friends all reported the same :/

  69. Avatar photo Monika says:

    What a joke, I live in the middle ofthe city and this small issue has been impacting me for the past 7 months now. I’ve contacted them multiple times and been told to wait a week, then to just wait one day. I’ve even raised a complaint because I got this for work and I’ve spent over £100 just to be using my mobile data anyway and all they did was take a tenner of 1 month’s bill and promised to upgrade the lines and that it would take a month. More than a month later the same issue still hasn’t changed a bit, I can’t work with it at all and I am ready to cancel. They make empty promises and don’t even compensate for their incompetence.

    1. Avatar photo Carlos says:

      This has nothing to do with the article.

    2. Avatar photo John Able says:

      You’re clearly lost.
      Maybe try connecting on the Sun website instead?

  70. Avatar photo Oldtimeuser says:

    Friday 1st Dec brought issues for those on networks of Three, O2 and EE, it wasn’t all related just to Three.

    However, Three seemed to be the ones having the most issues and problems fixing it, therefore they got the most attention during the day for it.

    1. Avatar photo Oldtimeuser says:

      As of 2nd December at 0030hrs, their website states:

      “A number of customers may be experiencing intermittent issues with our network. Data services have now been restored and our engineers are working to fully fix calls. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused today.”

      Hopefully, it be back up over weekend for those still having issues.

      Just remember, if there are any cost occurred from this for anybody, then keep a written record with pics etc, as Three should reimburse you any costs associated.

    2. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      ““A number of customers may be experiencing intermittent issues with our network”

      My SIM is still dead.. Not sure what planet they think it’s resolved..

  71. Avatar photo Martin Hinchliffe says:

    11 days in the tq3 area we have had virtually zero service with mostly phone displaying emergency calls only and sometimes no network , multiple support calls , each saying different things , seems they are doing some works however they said they had notified affected customers, well 12 members of extended family in 5 mile radius all same issues no notification.
    Last “chat with India based customer service they said 6 more days of this ” utterly crap service from three.

  72. Avatar photo Welcome2hell says:

    Im on Three but I didnt have network issues when others did. There were many people going into the 3 store complaining that there was no network. I was told its not affecting everyone. Then when I got home I had no signal for like 2 minutes.
    Have you seen the Three twitter feed? people are getting charged for no apparent reason. Also some customers are receiving a text stating something about ‘spend cap’ & £7 million or so charge. I wonder whats going on.

  73. Avatar photo ohno says:


    All the fraud & bogus contracts/orders placed under victims names and the above.
    Its like someone within Three is trying to destroy Three.

  74. Avatar photo Linda Barr says:

    I work for just eat and so my phone is essential. I started having problems during my first shift, so had to cut my shift short. I couldn’t do my second shift as I was unable to connect to the just eat app.
    As its payday weekend, I have lost out on an estimated £80 plus!

    1. Avatar photo Jason says:

      I’ve read somewhere that justeat was dead in general yesterday.. looks like some major server/backbone provider that 3 uses was down and that also affected other services

    2. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      You need to invest in a second sim OR a multi network sim if it’s that essential. Seriously.

  75. Avatar photo C H Seaward says:

    Still no connectivity

    1. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      Same here.

      My EE Personal SIM has not been affected but my Three Business SIM is still totally dead, not just no data. Dead.. Three tell me it’s being restored ASAP…

  76. Avatar photo Eddie says:

    This morning around 10.30 am until 8pm all my family couldn’t make a call or go online. We all use 3 network. Me I am taxi driver, I use the mobile to work I couldn’t go to work because of this an acceptable network. I lost my earnings. Is 3 gonna compensate me I don’t think so is not the first time this happens. I am leaving 3 network.

    1. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      If you’re operating a business that is reliant on a mobile signal then you really ought to have a backup network.

  77. Avatar photo Net says:

    Just an observation. I ran cellmapper app to see which masts Im connected to etc and I noticed my phone was connecting to a mast much further away than the usual one. I wonder if masts are being sorted/ rebooted/ whatever one by one. The phone battery is draining ultra fast too. Im guessing thats because the phone is trying to hunt for a signal.

  78. Avatar photo Kevin says:

    I thought their new “cloud” network would mean issues like this don’t happen.

  79. Avatar photo bert says:

    the issue was resolved for me around 9pm, now im back to intermittent signal and throughput on 5g of 11 KBps

  80. Avatar photo Giovanni Battimiello says:

    The problem with 3 started yesterday morning 1th of December.I moved from Vodafone to 3 and I’m not happy.
    I thought Vodafone was worse.

  81. Avatar photo Jayasinghe says:

    Both 3 n ID mobile didnt work time to time from 8am to 6pm for me at SO18. Really worry about the future of 3 as its my main 5G data connection

  82. Avatar photo Swampnoodle says:

    It was definitely related to a solar storm

    1. Avatar photo Munehaus says:

      A solar storm? At this time of year? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within one card in a Three data centre?

  83. Avatar photo Steven says:

    Still down 2:38pm next day and i still cant recieve phone calls texts or use data? When will we be updated or will there be delays with it being the weekend joke and shocking service

    1. Avatar photo Carlos says:

      It is resolved.

  84. Avatar photo Chris says:

    I thought I’d be smart and add a call forwarding to my work phone on sky.

    Today I can’t remove the call forwarding

  85. Avatar photo Edyta says:

    My mobile network working since 2/12 morning but I have also internet at home from 3 but not working at all. So can’t work this weekend.

  86. Avatar photo William Gange says:

    Down in Torfaen south east Wales is also down again with my router and 5g sim. Was the same yesterday but came back on in the evening. Must be fairly serious to be country wide.

  87. Avatar photo Michael says:

    I think it has affected only some of my connections as my 5G broadband is working but then my sim on my phone has been off all day. I think they are doing some switching over of accounts from what I was told, from an older system and working on getting rid of 3G also. Let’s see eh.

  88. Avatar photo Dean says:

    Worst Internet ever don’t join this group shocking

    1. Avatar photo KissingAFool says:

      It depends where you live.

  89. Avatar photo XGS says:

    Colour me amused. Thought I’d give them a trial due to ‘issues’ with EE and the day I try them out this happens.

    I think I’ll see what EE retentions have to say.

    1. Avatar photo Baz says:

      Got my son a 3 payg sim to travel to usa and back with data pack. The day he landed back in UK was the day network failed. He said ‘this network is horrific’ and promptly put his Vodafone based sim back in as soon as he got home.

      I think it is safe to say he will not be a 3 customer anytime soon!!

  90. Avatar photo Maeve Egan says:

    Three still not working!relying on my wifi.

  91. Avatar photo Mine says:

    All 3 of my Sims went down 2 in my phone and 1 in my router I was left with nothing for hours

  92. Avatar photo NIMBYhater says:

    Has everyone turned off their phones, routers etc and then turned them back on? This may help 🙂

    1. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      Mine has just come back on in the last 10 mins..

  93. Avatar photo Liz says:

    4th December. Been off since 7:56 as per usual no issues according to 3. Who do they think they fooling since I went with them from march I’ve had dropouts every single day sometimes more than 12 in a day and lately for hours. What really bugs me is that they don’t let you know so you start thinking it’s other equipment that you’ve got and reset everything. Someone living on their own relying on their internet phone this is really becoming a problem and they don’t care. I’ve even sent in a letter of complaint contacted them so many times it’s unbelievable and still they’re not doing anything. Worried they’re going to become the largest ISP in the country and we get total gridlock.

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