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  • O2 Apologizes for London Network Failures, Blames iPhone


    O2, the largest mobile phone carrier in the United Kingdom, has had network problems in the city of London, especially in the second half of this year. Now, in an interview with the Financial Times, Ronan Dunne, the Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica O2 UK, has apologized to customers who have been unable to make calls or use data services in the capital city.

    Dunne said he was disappointed with the carrier's performance in London since the summer, but claimed that his network was swamped by people using smartphones like the iPhone, which O2 carried exclusively in the UK until November of this year. O2 reportedly experienced an 18-fold increase in network traffic, and Dunne said there had been "explosion" of demand for data services by smartphone users. In particular, the London network failed to keep up with the demand several times since last summer, and many customers had no way to make calls or transmit data during these outages. Last week, the carrier's network was down for almost 48 hours.

    "Where we haven't met our own high standards, then there's no question, we apologize to customers for that fact," Dunne said. "But it would be wrong to say O2 has failed its customers en masse." He said that the "short-term blip" in O2's network operations was being addressed in three different ways. First, O2 is working with Nokia Siemens Networks on software modifications to improve how it manages the combination of voice and data traffic on the network. Secondly, Dunne said that the carrier is in the process of installing 200 additional base stations to augment the carrying capacity in London. And finally - in a somewhat vague statement that MacRumors finds "slightly unsettling" - O2 says that it is "liaising with handset manufacturers, including Apple and Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, to learn about applications that could place heavy demands on the network."

    O2's deal to carry the iPhone exclusively in the UK ended in November when Orange UK began carrying the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Vodafone will start selling the iPhone in the UK on January 14.

    image via Engadget
    This article was originally published in forum thread: O2 Apologizes for London Network Failures, Blames iPhone started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 37 Comments
    1. boxxa's Avatar
      boxxa -
      Dear Providers,

      Sorry for actually using the data on my cell phone and crashing your network.

      Love,
      Me
    1. thevmax's Avatar
      thevmax -
      Sorry for actually using the data on my cell phone THAT I PAID FOR, and crashing your network.

      SIGNED,
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      Dear 02,
      I'm ever so sorry I used the services I paid for and for which you charged me (and are still charging me) so exorbitantly!
      I wish I could have just paid you all that and not used the services...:

      SIGNED,
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      yeah they still take our money tho, i remember last week i had no data and restarted my phone so many times until i called them and heard the message. idiots! dnt pay ur bill and they get all funny but its ok for them to charge for a messy service tho. their 3g service is also very slow aswell
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      CNBC also aired a great story on this about 15 minutes ago. O2 and At&t cannot handle the amount of smartphone users on their networks. It is unbelievable to me that they would blame the smart phone companies. If you fight for a exclusivity contract with these smart phone companies as a network you are responsible for having a stable network that can handle all of the data coming in and out. To say Apple and RIM are to blame is childish.

      Side note- To all of you who have been complaining of dropped calls and not being able to hear the person on the other end, THIS is your problem, the NETWORK, not the phone. Just want to make that clear. It is not that the iPhone or even the BlackBerry is dropping calls or not connecting them properly, it is your NETWORK that has failed you and is responsible.
    1. reeko's Avatar
      reeko -
      Melech I'm with you till the end. I have many times stood side by side with a co worker using a nokia in many different places in the UK both on o. And the iPhone has dropped calls where the iPhone hasn't. I remember at 2.x there was indeed a poblem with the iPhone handling cell service that led to dropped calls + incoming calls going to the answerphone.

      I tried really hard to move to orange but unless your a new iPhone customer it's far to expensive

      And I would like O2 to explain where the £35 a month I was paying 5 years ago was going when people didn't have data intensive smart phones, because it clearly should have been going on boosting the networks slightly better than it has been
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I'm glad I'm with T-Mobile
    1. JAG2621's Avatar
      JAG2621 -
      Dear O2,
      I am not sorry for not being able to use the network that i pay for every month. You should refund me part of my monthly fee for only being able use the network i pay for part of the time! (sounds good!)
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      See and people whine and blame AT&T for issues like this. Other companies could have the same problems.

      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      I'm glad I'm with T-Mobile
      T-Mobile... lol

      Quote Originally Posted by Melech518 View Post
      CNBC also aired a great story on this about 15 minutes ago. O2 and At&t cannot handle the amount of smartphone users on their networks. It is unbelievable to me that they would blame the smart phone companies. If you fight for a exclusivity contract with these smart phone companies as a network you are responsible for having a stable network that can handle all of the data coming in and out. To say Apple and RIM are to blame is childish.

      Side note- To all of you who have been complaining of dropped calls and not being able to hear the person on the other end, THIS is your problem, the NETWORK, not the phone. Just want to make that clear. It is not that the iPhone or even the BlackBerry is dropping calls or not connecting them properly, it is your NETWORK that has failed you and is responsible.
      Well said.
    1. ty22's Avatar
      ty22 -
      Oh networks.......
    1. LGgeek's Avatar
      LGgeek -
      first - we were force into these plans with AT&T, O2,etc by apple , so maybe the carriers should go whine to them.

      Second - soon Google will be releasing an unlocked android phone so this is going to get worse if the carriers don't start investing some of the money they have been ripping from us into their networks. I've checked and AT&T hasn't put up any new towers around me.

      It comes down to the carriers wanting to have their cake and eat too. They want to charge us lots of money for data plans but they don't want us to use them.

      Since information these days is vital to economic security maybe the government should take over the networks, the government ( US here) has wasted billions of dollars bailing out their friends on wall street. I wouldn't mind if some of that was spent on employing people to work on setting up new towers and laying fiber optic cables.

      Oh well none of that will happen, networks will get worse, we will get charged more, get less and the government will stand by and let it happen.

      From the carriers standpoint it's much cheaper to payoff ( oh excuse me, donate to political campaign) then actually fix their networks.
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      @melech yeah it is our problem, thats y i told o2 to cancel my contract and i am moving to vodafone in jan when she ask y i said its a bad day for o2 wen 3uk 3g service is better and faster than than yours! we should all start ringing them and complain.
    1. angeloma420's Avatar
      angeloma420 -
      I've got an idea for a great article mmi can write. How about the fact the iphone should not be a carrier exclusive phone. Obviously in most places one carrier can't handle the amount of increased traffic the iphone, plus their other smartphones put on their network. why not put it between two or three carriers, better service and ultimately more money to apple, just a little less to the exclusive carrier. Hey it should be about the customer anyways.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by LGgeek View Post
      Since information these days is vital to economic security maybe the government should take over the networks, the government ( US here) has wasted billions of dollars bailing out their friends on wall street. I wouldn't mind if some of that was spent on employing people to work on setting up new towers and laying fiber optic cables.

      Oh well none of that will happen, networks will get worse, we will get charged more, get less and the government will stand by and let it happen.

      From the carriers standpoint it's much cheaper to payoff ( oh excuse me, donate to political campaign) then actually fix their networks.
      So you criticize the government for bailing out banks and other businesses that should by all means have gone bankrupt many times over, and then you suggest that the very same government be put in charge of ALL domestic wireless communications thereby possibly controlling who you call, when you call, and possibly having to get permission to do said things? Do you not see the huge flaw with your logic? The US Government is many times more corrupt than any corporation could ever hope to be.

      EDIT: Speaking of networks, sat next to a co-worker today and we were watching YouTube videos on his Droid. They quality wasn't as good as on the 3GS, but while I had a big 'NO SERVICE' notification on my fancy $533 iPhone 3GS with wonderful AT&T, he had 4 bars of 3G on his $199 Motorola Droid with Verizon wireless. Apologists can only go so far, the TRUTH is that AT&T blows in this country, pure and simple. No ifs ands or buts. Sure wish I could just breach my contract and not pay for the service I'm not provided, like AT&T takes my money and will cut my service off if I fail to uphold my end of the agreement. I hate AT&T now that I've moved from a big city.
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Quote Originally Posted by angeloma420 View Post
      I've got an idea for a great article mmi can write. How about the fact the iphone should not be a carrier exclusive phone. Obviously in most places one carrier can't handle the amount of increased traffic the iphone, plus their other smartphones put on their network. why not put it between two or three carriers, better service and ultimately more money to apple, just a little less to the exclusive carrier. Hey it should be about the customer anyways.
      I see how you would think this would solve the problem, but in actuality it wouldnt do much. The problem is that the networks can not handle all of the smart phone users we have in todays world. Opening the iPhone up to other carriers, which I am all for btw, will just make even more smart phone users. It is time the networks put significant money into improving their network instead of the fancy bonuses they give one another. But it is not only the iPhone that causes these surges, it is EVERY smart phone, BlackBerry, Droid, etc.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      ^^ gittyup! no doubt....err previous post. government thing. melech your quick.
    1. ziggie216's Avatar
      ziggie216 -
      at lease O2 admits that their network is not up to par where as AT&T is too high stuck up to even think that way
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      us apple lovers and our "hummers"
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      I blame the iPhone as I lose signal where as my friend with a Sony Ericsson still gets it on O2.
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Quote Originally Posted by A.T View Post
      I blame the iPhone as I lose signal where as my friend with a Sony Ericsson still gets it on O2.
      A sony ericsson ISNT a smart phone!