Update: Multiple users are now reporting that the data service is returning, albeit slowly. If you've been affected, Three advises restarting your phone to restore connectivity.
Three suffered a huge network 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 to TechRadar:
"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'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, but are now finding that connections are being restored by restarting their device.
Turning your phone off and on again may bring back data connection – our tests of doing such are showing a 4G signal and data connectivity grinding back into life.
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:
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 – the number is starting to drop rapidly, so it seems issues are being resolved:
A lot of users are demanding compensation, although the question of whether compensation will be given out for an outage under 24 hours is a tricky one.
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…
And is this the weirdest #ThreeDown tweet out there?