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Three's Irish network goes titsup

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Three is reporting a network outage in Ireland, hours after announcing it was buying O2's Irish operation for €780m, but apparently this downtime is Virgin Media's fault.

A banner across the Three.ie site blames Virgin Media for screwing up a transmission link and taking down the mobile network, which is soon to get a lot bigger after announcing this morning that it would be acquiring O2 Ireland in a €780m deal.

That deal will give the resulting company two million subscribers, around four times Three Ireland's current subscriber base and putting it into a close second place behind market-leader Vodafone. But it also gives Three a 2G network the like of which it had previously eschewed.

That's little consolation to the subscribers currently without connectivity, even if Three is pointing the finger firmly at Virgin Media. VM provides backhaul to lots of mobile operators. All that fibre has capacity to spare, and the spread of small cells has increased the need for local backhaul, but relying on someone else's infrastructure to support your customers is a dodgy business.

Three reckons engineers are busy at work, and the outage won't last long, but the timing is unfortunate, and may mean O2 customers might carefully consider their future patronage. ®

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