T-Mobile down: CEO says outage may not be fully fixed for ‘several more hours’

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T-Mobile had problems nationwide on Monday.

Graphic by Pixabay / Illustration by CNET

If your T-Mobile service encountered problems on Monday, you were not alone. The third largest wireless service provider had widespread problems across the country, which affected the ability to make calls and send text messages.

Users across the country looked to Twitter to report the outage, with T-Mobile and #TMobiledown rising to the top of the site’s US hot topics for several hours Monday. The main problem seems to be related to calls and text messages, with users saying that the data worked normally.

After speculation throughout the day, the blame was attributed to a bad network configuration or a distributed denial of service (or DDoS) attack, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert wrote in a blog post Monday night late that the outage was caused by a “Problem with IP traffic that created significant capacity problems in the core of the network” throughout the day.

Although he claims that the carrier has made progress in solving the problem, Sievert warns that it “may still take several hours before the customer’s call and text messages are fully recovered”.

“I can assure you that hundreds of our engineers and supplier partners are working to resolve this problem,” he said, adding that “our team will work overnight as needed to make the network fully operational”.

Neville Ray, president of technology for T-Mobile, admitted in a tweet on Monday that the carrier has broken down and said the carrier “hopes this issue will be resolved soon”.

In a tweet sent shortly after 6 p.m. ET, Ray said the carrier is still working on correcting calls and texts, while recommending that users use apps like FaceTime, WhatsApp, and iMessage to communicate. In its message, Sievert echoed this recommendation.

Unlike traditional SMS or voice calls, these applications send messages and calls via the data side of the network which is always operational.

During Monday afternoon tests, T-Mobile’s data services appeared to be operating normally in northern New Jersey, although I was unable to send an SMS and had problems making calls. on a OnePlus 8 5G.

A CNET publisher in New York was able to send SMS and iMessage using an iPhone, but the calls did not work on any device. A San Francisco Bay Area publisher noted that the calls were not working via Google Fi, the mobile phone service offered by Google that relies on the respective networks of T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular. However, the data and texts on Fi were working.

In addition to Google Fi, T-Mobile is the underlying network that provides services to several other operators such as its prepaid brand Metro as well as Mint Mobile and Simple Mobile.

Downdetector.com, a site where users can report outages, has noted problems with all of the major wireless carriers – AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.

AT&T and Verizon each stated that their respective networks were functioning normally and without problems. Tests in northern New Jersey on AT&T and Verizon phones revealed no problems with calls, texts or data, except when trying to text or call a T-Mobile phone.

“Verizon’s network is working well. We are aware that another operator has network problems,” a Verizon spokesperson told CNET in a statement. “Calls to and from this carrier may receive an error message.”

The company also challenged the spread of Downdetector that its network is experiencing outages. “Sites such as Downdetector.com use limited crowdsourcing data from samples of social posts that are often statistically insignificant or factually incorrect,” the spokesperson said.

“Many factors can contribute to a false report on a third party website”, adding that by simply aggregating this data “the result may be false reports of network performance interruptions causing widespread miscommunication for wireless users “.

Sprint, which now belongs to T-Mobile, did not respond to a request for comment.

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