London - The O2 mobile phone network crashed on Wednesday night, leaving thousands of customers across the UK cut off.

Users were left stranded, unable to make or receive calls or send texts as the firm – which has 23 million customers in the UK – said it did not know when the problem would be fixed.

Some customers also had no internet access.

O2 urged customers to check their Twitter and Facebook feeds for updates, but the company’s webpage – which displays live information about network coverage – crashed.

A spokesman said “thousands” of customers may have been affected. “The problem is an issue within part of our core network that is preventing some mobile phones from successfully connecting.

“The problem is not location-specific. All possible resources across our and our suppliers’ engineering teams are being deployed to restore service as soon as possible.”

Thousands of angry customers took to Twitter to complain.

BBC television presenter Huw Edwards tweeted: “6 hours of non-service and counting, simply not good enough, O2.”

A tweet from @Gazbelfast said: “What did one O2 customer say to the other? Nothing.”

Also on Wednesday night, the BBC website crashed. Readers trying to access the site could see only a message, saying: “We are experiencing abnormal traffic to our network or the service or servers it is on is not currently available.”

The problem also affected the BBC’s iPlayer service.

The BBC Press team tweeted: “We are aware that our website is experiencing some difficulties.” - Daily Mail