Mobile phone users across the UK have reported problems with calls as operators battle to keep up with a boom in demand sparked by the coronavirus outbreak.
The UK’s four network operators — O2, EE, Vodafone and Three — yesterday confirmed they were experiencing problems with some voice calls.
It comes as millions of Brits opt to work at home after the government urged people to stay at home wherever possible to halt the spread of the virus.
The number of reported problems dropped overnight, according to website Down Detector, though issues have resumed on a smaller scale this morning.
The surging demand is a fillip for the fiercely-competitive telecoms industry, which has suffered a squeeze on margins amid growing competition.
Shares in EE owner BT rose as much as four per cent in early trading today, while Vodafone’s shares were up just under three per cent. This bucked a wider downturn in UK stocks.
In a statement released this morning, Vodafone unveiled a five-point plan in response to the outbreak of Covid-19.
The firm pledged to maintain the quality of its network, provide capacity for critical government functions and improve dissemination of information to the public.
It also said it would help to facilitate working from home and support small businesses in its supply chain, as well as improve government insights into people’s movements in affected areas.
Vodafone said the measures would remain in place until 1 September, but could be extended if necessary.
O2 and Three both said they were helping customers by removing data charges for visits to all NHS UK websites, while EE vowed to upgrade network capacity and improve home-working tools such as virtual private network (VPN) connections and conference calls.
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