Yet another mobile phone network break-in as millions of O2 customers throughout south-east England were cut off today for almost 18 hours. On February 28 Vodafone suffered the same fate when a central switching station was raided by thieves during the night. According to The Telegraph, a well-organised gang struck O2’s east London network centre just after midnight. The theft shut down phone, text and broadband services in Kent and Sussex as well as parts of north and east London. There was also a great deal of vandalism which hindered the reinstatement of services.
It seems the building was unmanned, as was the Vodafone facility, and you have to wonder why such centres are not better protected. After the Vodafone outage it was reported that there is a ready market for this expensive networking equipment in some eastern European countries so the networks must be well aware of the risks.