Nationwide Cell Service Outage Reported

No service on a phone | Image by FellowNeko/Shuttersock

A massive cellular outage began impacting customers nationwide, from Dallas to New York to San Francisco, on Thursday morning.

Multiple carriers have reported being impacted, including Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Dallas-based AT&T. The disruption meant people could not place calls, browse the internet, or communicate via text. In some cases, the outage affected fire alarms and the ability to make emergency calls.

Downdetector reported over 74,000 AT&T customer outages around 4 a.m. on February 22, which fell to 59,000 by 11:15 a.m. While the company addressed the outage, no reason for its cause was given. However, one industry source who reportedly spoke with CNN said the issue appears to be connected to what is known as “peering”: how cellular services transition calls between networks.

While there has been no indication of a cyberattack, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is working with AT&T to identify the cause of the outage and offer assistance.

The telecom company said in a statement that it is “urgently” working to restore service. In the meantime, it advised customers to “use Wi-Fi calling until service is restored.”

To use Wi-Fi calling, navigate to the Settings app on your phone. Android users should click “Connection,” while iPhone users should select “Cellular.” From there, you will have the ability to switch Wi-Fi calling on. It should then be active whenever you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, allowing you to place calls like normal.

Apple iPhone users may still be able to place emergency calls if “SOS” or “SOS only” is displayed in the status bar. While regular calls cannot be placed, the SOS messages mean your device remains connected to a cellular network.

AT&T says roughly three-quarters of its network had been restored by midday Thursday.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article