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Orange mobile network goes AWOL

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Updated Orange mobile phone subscribers were left stranded last night, as the network took an unscheduled nose dive into obscurity.

To compound the problems, the outage seemed to affect Orange's customer services numbers as well. Customers trying to contact the operator were unable to get through, even when calling from a landline.

Typically, people stopped being able to receive calls just before 6:00pm. Shortly after that, they began to lose the ability to make outgoing calls as well.

One reader told us he was scuppered when trying to dial 999. Another was in the middle of a tariff upgrade with Orange when the network dropped off the airwaves.

"Was it me? Am I that difficult a customer they shut down the whole company?" he asks.

As of this morning, normal services seemed to have resumed for some subscribers, at least.

If nothing else, the network's temporary demise serves to remind us how dependent we have become on this relatively new technology. One reader illustrates this point:

"I'm still none the wiser as to what the problem was with orange yesterday ... but it was most annoying as my boyfriend is on orange too. He was travelling with his work all day yesterday and not being able to get in touch with him and him not being aware that there was any problems made it a very nervous day for me as I did not know whether he had had an accident or what !!"

As we go to press, Orange's PR team is trying to track down the source and extent of the problem. We'll update you when we hear from them. ®

Update:

Orange has confirmed there was a problem, although as yet cannot say how widespread it was, how many people were affected and how long it lasted. It says the outage was caused by a technical hitch in an area managed by one of its network partners, and that it was fixed as a matter of urgency.

Everything should be hunky dory now, but let us know if it ain't.

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