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Signalling problems temporarily threw "hundreds of thousands" of Orange subscribers off its network last night, the company said today.

In a statement, Orange confirmed that a large percentage of Orange customers were unable to make or receive calls on its mobile network yesterday evening.

"At 5.30 pm a fault caused signalling congestion on one of our Home Location Registers (HLRs), which meant that some Orange numbers were not recognised by the network. Service was restored to most customers by approximately 7pm and to all affected customers by 11pm," the company said.

Hundreds of thousands of Orange customers were affected by the problem, a spokeswoman told us this afternoon. She said that the problem was not localised to any particular part of the country.

Orange has expressed regrets at any inconvenience. The operator said it remains committed to offering the best customer service in the UK. ®

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