Three Apologises After Outage Affects Tens Of Thousands

Mobile network Three has apologised following an outage that affected tens of thousands of customers on Friday and dragged on into Saturday morning.

The issue meant those affected were unable to connect to Three’s network, leaving them unable to make calls, send texts of use mobile internet.

As of Friday afternoon more than 20,000 people had reported being affected by the issues on outage tracking site Downdetector.

“We’re aware that a small number of customers may be experiencing issues with our network this morning,” Three said on Friday morning, adding that its engineers were working to fix the unspecified issue.

‘Faulty device’

By the afternoon it had removed the word “small” from its statement, saying, “A number of customers may be experiencing issues with our network.”

Gamma, a business communications service provider that uses Three’s network, said on Friday afternoon that Three had told it the issue was caused by a “faulty device”.

“Three UK have identified a faulty device in their network causing intermittent disruption to service,” Gamma said on its status page. “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.”

At 10 am on Saturday Three said the “majority of services” had been restored, but it said about 1 percent of calls were still not placing correctly. It said at the time that data services were “working normally”.

Vodafone merger

Just over an hour later the company said a “small number” of customers were still not connecting to its network normally.

Finally, at just after 4 pm the company said services had been “fully restored” and asked customers to restart their devices to reconnect to the network. “We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” Three said on X, formerly Twitter.

Launched 20 years ago, Three is owned by Hong Kong-headquartered CK Hutchison and says it has more than 10 million customers in the UK.

The firm is planning to merge with Vodafone’s UK operations to form the country’s biggest network by the end of next year, with all customers to be moved to the as-yet unnamed new firm.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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