Telefónica UK hit by major data outage

06 December 2018 | James Pearce

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A “global software problem” has left millions of users of Telefónica's O2 UK without access to 4G and other internet services.

One of O2’s third party suppliers – named as Swedish vendor Ericsson in a number of reports – has identified a global software issue which has caused a network for O2 and potentially other mobile operators around the world.

A spokesperson for O2 said: “We’re aware that our customers are unable to use data this morning.  One of our third party suppliers has identified a global software issue in their system which has impacted us.  We believe other mobile operators around the world are also affected.  Our technical teams are working with their teams to ensure this is fixed as quickly as possible.  We’d encourage our customers to use wifi wherever they can and we apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

The network issues were first reported at around 5am UK time, with the outage also impacting O2’s MVNO partners, which includes the likes of Sky, Tesco, Giffgaff and Lycamobile. O2 has around 25 million UK customers, while another seven million use its network through a partner.

Other operators believed to have suffered due to the Ericsson outage include Japanese mobile giant SoftBank with some users unable to make calls or use the internet, according to reports out of Japan. GTA TeleGuam has also seen services disrupted, according to Pacific Daily News.

A report from the Financial Times says the network issues for O2 relates to Ericsson tech, though the Swedish vendor declined to comment. Ericsson is a major supplier for both O2 and SoftBank, though the former does also use equipment from Huawei, though it is understood this issue does not related to the embattled Chinese vendor, who’s CFO was arrested last week in Canada.