Data centre breakdown left thousands of EE customers without connection last Thursday morning.
Last Thursday (Jan 22), many people that use EE SIM cards found themselves in a rather peculiar situation. Even though they should have mobile signal as they were within EE’s mobile coverage, it turned out that they can’t make calls, send texts or surf the Internet. Puzzled customers quickly went online and questioned EE via Twitter. The mobile provider quickly responded saying that from around 8 till roughly 9:30 am they had experienced some issues with their data centre in Luton, which made anyone that was routed through it to have problems with connection or mobile coverage. EE reported that all the users should have been okay by 10 am and if somebody can’t get a signal while within the mobile coverage, they should switch to the Airplane Mode for a second to restore the connection.
Followers of social media registered that during the downtime, there were up to three times as many mentions of EE than usual but it went back to the usual number soon after the data centre in Luton was fixed. After a closer look at Twitter, we may see that some customers were experiencing connection problems throughout the whole Thursday, and there were even some posts like that on Friday, but it is not clear whether they had anything to do with the Luton event.
Events like that show that even though British network and 4G mobile coverage are constantly being developed, there are situations when a small issue in one data centre may affect thousands around the country. Obviously, downtime and system failures cannot be prevented in all the cases but mobile operators should remember that expanding mobile coverage is not all and the reliability of the network is as much important.