Update: Multiple users are now reporting that the data service is returning, albeit intermittently and connections are still dropping. Three has released a statement and short Q&A to TechRadar about the issues.
It appears that Three has suffered a large outage overnight, with many users complaining they can’t access data or calling.
Three first confirmed via Twitter that there is an issue with voice and data that’s being looked into, and has released the following statement:
“Three is currently experiencing technical difficulties with our services across voice, text and data which means that some customers will be experiencing an intermittent service. Our engineers are working on the issue now to fix the problem as soon as possible. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”
Three responds to network outage
What has happened?
There has been a technical issue with our network and our engineers are working to resolve this.
When will it be fixed?
Our engineers are working to resolve this as soon as possible.
Is there anything customers can do?
If you turn your phone on / off or turn it onto airplane mode and then back on, it may help.
Three’s Twitter response looks like it was written quickly on a mobile – minimal capital letters suggest that this was dashed off as the public outcry has grown quickly. Three’s Twitter support page also hadn’t been updated – beyond replies – since September 3, although it’s now pinned the same Tweet from the main account).
Multiple members of the TechRadar team saw data and calling down overnight and this morning, although rebooting phones brought calling capability back, with data remaining absent.
However, this was only for members of our London team (and not all, with one still noting data working on their commute), and those in Bristol were finding that signal and data services are still functioning correctly.
Turning your phone off and on again may bring back data connection – our tests of doing such are showing a 4G signal. However, this connection is still not allowing us to use the internet, showing the issues are not resolved.
Could this be the reason?
One engineering-focused Twitter user, Peter Clarke, has pointed out that there are network migrations – moving systems over to new, better ones – happening at the moment, and this could well have caused the issues:
Three’s in the process of migrating to a new core network. I suggest this may be a result of that, large scale migrations of core networks seldom go completely smoothly… https://t.co/dID46OPUMrOctober 17, 2019
The #ThreeDown campaign is trending at the moment – with thousands taking to Twitter to express outrage at the situation.
Looking at tools that monitor and track outages across mobile networks (such as Down Detector) it seems that the issue is increasing across the country – likely as users exit their home Wi-Fi and realise that data isn’t picking up the signal.
The problems seem to be largely affecting big cities, with Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Norwich and especially London reporting large volumes of outages.
We’re seeing that the reports of the outage are starting to drop as connectivity begins to return – but then again, the bulk of angry users are likely to have already expressed their indignation by now and have got into Wi-Fi at work.
We’ll update this story as and when we find out what’s actually happening to Three’s network – but this isn’t the best timing for the provider, as rival O2 has pushed out its 5G services across the UK on the same day.
And it looks like we’ve already reached the point of British bitter humour – the jokes about the outage have already started rolling out…
Good morning metline travellers.We are currently operating a better service than Three. #threedown ✌️Currently no reported delays.Watch out for the Extinction Rebellion protestors. Please don’t attack them or resort to violence. Let’s all have a safe journey. 🙂October 17, 2019
Looks like #ThreeUK has decided life was better without phones after all. pic.twitter.com/u8L1eYSa9f17 October 2019
And is this the weirdest #ThreeDown tweet out there?
No signal on your phone=undisturbed tool shopping/browsing at #Norwich #toolfair @NorwichCityFC. #threedown #threemobile #ThreeUK #threenetwork @AngliaTools #yourtoolbutbetter 🤩👍 pic.twitter.com/L3bThwYQglOctober 17, 2019