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118800 Mobile Phone Directory Website Stumbles At Launch

Controversial mobile phone directory website,, has been hit by a serious glitch that has prevented the service from operating normally.

Speaking to Associated Press earlier today, a spokesperson said that 118800 was hoping to resolve the technical glitch as soon as possible. The service appears to be operational now as a note urging people not to call them "on 118 800 to contact someone on their mobile phone" because the service is not available yet, has been removed.

Instead, it now says "We hope you find what you want on our website. However, the 118 800 phone service is still being tested and we know it's not yet perfect. So if something's not quite right for, we are really sorry but we are working hard to sort things out as quickly as we can."

118800, which is run by a company called Connectivity, has been given the green light by the Information Commissioner's Office after scores of concerned citizens lodged complaints against the online service.

Central to the issue is the fact that Connectivity managed to purchase a database of more than 15 million mobile phone numbers from a number of third parties which collected the data during competition or from an application form. It did stress out that it does not give out mobile phone numbers but will instead send a SMS to the person being sought.

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The service costs £1 per message. Hitsearch posits that the site's popularity caused it to crash frequently. It also reports that searches on Google related to 118800 surged in the past few days.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.