T-Mobile was hit by a network outage that hampered texting and calling for its users. T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert issued an update and wrote in his blog post, “This is an IP traffic-related issue that has created significant capacity issues in the network core throughout the day, it may be several hours before calling and texting is fully recovered.”
The company is dealing with a widespread routing issue affecting voice and text service across the country.
T-Mobile Customers began reporting issues earlier Monday morning. Customers were reporting that they can’t make or receive phone calls, although data seemed to be unaffected. Some customers said that text messaging is also affected on their devices. This issue was trending across the US on Twitter and various Twitter users were making fun of the problem.
A report stated that Level 3, a major fiber network backbone that networks rely on for routing calls and messages, was experiencing an outage. However, a spokesperson for CenturyLink, which owns Level 3, said that there was no current outage on its network.
DownDetector, responsible for collecting outage reports from users in the US, indicated that a major outage was underway and that it is a big issue. However, until now there is no evidence that the outage was caused by a cyber attack. When the other competitive companies AT&T and Verizon were asked about the outage problem they said their networks were operating normally without any issues.
Tests of the services in New York and Seattle, found that making calls from a T-Mobile phone would fail immediately after placing the call. The mobile service on phones of users was irregular, with signal bars occasionally dropping to zero or losing access to high-speed data.
T-Mobile’s technology Chief Neville Ray tweeted, “Our engineers are working to resolve a voice and data issue that has been affecting customers around the country. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and hope to have this fixed shortly.”
Widespread cell network outages are very rare. But in 2017, also CenturyLink had a network failure that affected all major US carriers and 911 emergency services that rely on the fiber network to route calls. In some US counties, officials sent out emergency alerts to cell phone users to warn that 911 services had been disrupted.
While work continues to restore T-Mobile service, the company’s support team has suggested customers use FaceTime and other third-party calling services.
In April this year, Sprint and T-Mobile completed its merger, which was valued at USD 26 billion. This merger made the combined cell network the third largest carrier in the US after AT&T and Verizon.