The O2 phone network is down in large areas of the South East at present, following a break-in at one of its unmanned East London hubs on Monday night.

Thieves apparently made off with some network switches, which you aren't likely to see on sale from the back of a van in a pub carpark, but can apparently fetch a few quid abroad on the black market.

O2 confirmed that the operation was "a well organised theft" with a spokesperson saying: "Mobile networks are not completely fault-free but incidents like the one we have experienced today are extremely rare.

"In light of this we do not, as a rule, offer compensation but customers can be reassured that we are doing everything to restore full service as soon as possible following this unforeseen incident."

Customers affected are in East London, North London, Kent and Sussex but O2 expects to have the network back up and running today.

You can read more about the break in, and the consequences at