O2 has suffered a major network outage that has left thousands of customers across London, Kent and Sussex without access to 2G and 3G services, after theft and vandalism at one of its sites in east London.
The firm's network status page acknowledges an issue in these areas, and an update posted at 12:50am said that all services are affected. O2 gave no indication of how long it will last, although it said that the problems were caused by "theft and vandalism at one of our operations sites in east London".
"We've got a problem that means you can't make calls, use the internet, or send/get emails in parts of east London, north London, East Sussex and Kent," O2 said.
Giffgaff, a virtual network operator that uses O2's network, posted a blog on its site saying that it had been informed of the outage and that engineers, presumably from O2, were working on the issue.
The firm also posted two images of the affected areas (see below).
Angry customers took to Twitter to complain to O2's official account but they were merely redirected to the status page for information.
V3.co.uk contacted O2 for comment on the oiutage but had received no reply at the time of publication.
Vodafone will no doubt empathise with O2's plight after suffering two network outages earlier in the year, first when thieves broke in to a technical facility in Basingstoke and stole equipment on the night of 27 February, and a second outage on 11 March which Vodafone declined to explain.
More on this story as it develops.
UPDATE: O2 has said it has begun fixing the issue in most of the affected areas, with some still to come.
"Some affected customers were able to make calls again from 4.30 pm, and service across the region is being restored now with a few pockets of no coverage still remaining. We are carefully monitoring this throughout the night," it said.
Map from GiffGaff web site showing O2's 2G outage in Kent and Sussex.
Map from GiffGaff web site showing areas of London affected by O2's 3G outage.
After decades of development, virtual reality is finally reaching professional usability
Nintendo sales double and profits balloon by 500 per cent as Shuntaro Furukawa is appointed president
Switch console sold more than 15 million units, while SNES Classic sold more than five million
High-precision measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars made by Gaia space observatory
Water trapped in asteroids could be the source of the Earth's seas