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Updated O2 suffered a widespread voice and data network outage last night just before 8pm.

Irritated customers filled O2's customer forums, with some reporting that their contract phones weren't working while pay-as-you-go handsets were still working. Many complained that O2's website has no network map showing current problems.

Instead O2 took its customer service onto Twitter - for those who had access to it. A message posted ten hours said: "There's an issue affecting our service in some of the UK. Sorry - our engineers are investigating and we'll update you when we can."

That's the last Tweet from O2 but its customer forums suggest the network is returning to normal this morning.

Subscribers to other virtual operators like Tesco and giffgaff, which use O2's network, suffered similar problems.

We don't know if the outage was caused by millions of Tories, or Lib Dems, sending each other ecstatic celebratory text messages. We've called O2's press office and will report back when we hear more.

A spokeswoman for O2 said: “There was a fault on our network last night, caused by loss of power following planned engineering work in Yate, near Bristol. This affected voice and data services across parts of the Midlands, South West and Northern Ireland. Service was restored by 3am today. We are working on restoring a few remaining issues with voicemail. We apologise to our customers for the loss of service.” ®

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