April 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Phone in SOS mode? AT&T power outages, Cricket and more rise

Phone in SOS mode?  AT&T power outages, Cricket and more rise

A number of Americans are dealing with cellular service outages at AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile and other providers, according to data from Downdetector. AT&T, which was hardest hit, is actively working to restore service to all of its customers.

AT&T had more than 58,000 outages at noon ET, in locations including Houston, Atlanta and Chicago. The outages, which began around 3:30 a.m. ET, peaked at about 73,000 reported incidents. The carrier has more than 240 million subscribers, the largest in the country.

“Some of our clients are struggling Wireless service interruption This morning. Our network teams took immediate action and so far three quarters of our network has been restored. “We are working as quickly as possible to restore service to remaining customers,” AT&T and Cricket said in a statement.

Cricket Wireless, which is owned by AT&T, experienced more than 9,000 outages, Downdetector said Thursday.

Verizon had more than 2,000 outages, and T-Mobile had more than 1,400. Boost Mobile had about 700 outages.

“Verizon’s network is operating normally. Some customers experienced issues this morning when calling or texting customers served by another carrier. We are continuing to monitor the situation,” Verizon said.

T-Mobile said it experienced no service outages.

“Our network is operating normally. Down Detector likely reflects challenges our customers have experienced while trying to connect to users on other networks,” T-Mobile said.

Some iPhone users have seen SOS messages displayed in the status bar on their mobile phones. The message indicates that the device is having trouble connecting to your cellular provider's network, but can make emergency calls through other carriers' networks, according to Apple Support.

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So far, no reason has been given for the power outage. But Lee McKnight, an associate professor at Syracuse University's iSchool, believes the most likely cause of the outage is a cloud configuration error, or human error.

“A likely, but less likely, outcome is an intentional malicious breach of the ATT network, but the widespread pattern of service outages across the country points to something more fundamental,” McKnight said in an email statement.

For those still affected by the outage, Alexander Weglinski, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, says there is a potential workaround.

“A lot of cell phones make calls over Wi-Fi. So, as a potential backup, if you're close to a wi-fi access point, you may be able to use it if you're affected by a network outage.