Orange has revealed it has fixed the serious problems its 3G service, which were reported by a number of customers this week.

"Further to some data access problems witnessed on our network yesterday, we can confirm that normal service has been fully restored," an Orange spokesperson said.

"The outage was caused by an unusual software issue, which combined with a separate and localised hardware failure, both happening at the same time. This affected a small number of APNs and meant that some, but not all, of our mobile data customers had problems accessing the mobile internet."

Only data services were affected, which meant users could still make telephone calls over the network. However, many customers trying to access the web complained about slow connection speeds or devices reverting to older GPRS services. Some customers even found they were unable to connect at all.

"We'll continue to monitor network performance closely, and would like to apologise once again for any inconvenience caused," the mobile network said.

Yesterday, Orange confirmed that "some mobile customers across the UK may be experiencing reduced data access".

However, at the time, the mobile network couldn't give an estimate as to when the problem would be fixed.

Until recently Orange had claimed its 3G network reached more mobile phone users in the UK than its rivals.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) forced the mobile network to retract the claims as it could not back them up.

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