Cut-off Sunderland O2 customers waiting for news on compensation

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MOBILE phone users will have to wait to find out whether they will be compensated for the loss of their service.

Thousands of O2 customers across Wearside and East Durham found themselves cut off last week, as the company’s network crashed across large areas of the country.

Mobile users were left unable even to receive calls or texts while others had problems using the firm’s data services.

Engineers worked through the night to fix the fault after reports of network problems started last Wednesday afternoon.

A company spokeswoman said “We had a problem on our network affecting some of our customers, who had difficulty making or receiving calls, sending texts or using data. We apologise to those customers who were inconvenienced by this.

“We confirmed that the problem with our mobile service was due to a fault with one of our network systems, which meant some mobile phone numbers are not registering correctly on our network.”

Services began to return last Thursday.

Asked if customers would be compensated, an O2 spokesman said: “We’re focusing on getting full service resumed for all of our customers.

“We’ll obviously keep them updated as often as possible.”

Michelle Swain, 36, of Silksworth, who has a mobile phone through O2, said: “I don’t have a landline so depend on my mobile. It’s been pretty inconvenient but I was up and running just a few hours later.”

O2 customers were not the only ones affected – Tesco Mobile, which uses O2’s masts, confirmed some of its customers were also hit.

Twitter: @sunechobiz

BRITAIN’S second-largest mobile phone network, O2 started life in 1985 as Cellnet, a joint venture between BT and Securicor.

In July 1999, BT announced it had reached a deal to buy-out Securicor’s stake in the firm and the firm was later rebranded as BT Cellnet.

The company, which sponsored Middlesbrough’s Riverside stadium between 1995 and 2002, was rebranded as O2 in May 2002.

It was taken over by Spanish telecoms firm Telefónica in 2006, though O2 retained its name and its UK base in Slough.