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Something Weird Is Going On With T-Mobile Today

Illustration for article titled Something Weird Is Going On With T-Mobile Today
Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

T-Mobile customers across the U.S. are reporting that they cannot send or receive phone calls, and sometimes text messages. According to TechCrunch, the outage starting around 9-10 a.m. PT (12-1 p.m. ET) this morning, and at the time of this writing, is still the No. 1 trending topic in the U.S. on Twitter.

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Downdetector shows a massive spike in outage reports at 12 p.m. PT, and while the number of reports has declined since then, that doesn’t mean service is restored. T-Mobile customers are still commenting on the Downdetector website and on Twitter, as it appears the company is still working to restore service.

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Not all major cities seem to be affected by the outage—I have T-Mobile and was still able to place calls to several people on other networks in Orange County, California. However, when I asked several people with the same and other networks to call me, their calls immediately failed.

Most of the outage reports are originating in Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Brooklyn, Tampa, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, according to Downdetector. Metro PCS, which is owned by T-Mobile, also appears to be experiencing outages.

But the problem could be more widespread. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint all showed a spike in outage reports on Downdetector at the same time as T-Mobile. According to one Sprint customer, Ron G., who spoke with Sprint customer service, other carriers’ customers are experiencing phone and text outages because those towers can’t connect to T-Mobile’s towers. Gizmodo has reached out to AT&T and Sprint to confirm if this is the case, but have yet to hear back.

A T-Mobile spokesperson directed us to CTO Neville Ray’s Twitter feed for updates and info surrounding the outage:

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A Verizon spokesperson provided Gizmodo with the following statement:

“Verizon’s network is performing well. We’re aware that another carrier is having network issues. Calls to and from that carrier may receive an error message.

“We understand Downdetector is falsely reporting Verizon network issues. Sites such as Downdetector.com utilize limited crowdsourced data drawn from sample social posts which are often statistically insignificant or factually incorrect. A lot of factors can contribute to a false report on a third-party website … a faulty device, network traffic that slows but doesn’t inhibit connections, commercial RF blockers, human error, network issues impacting other carriers and more. These types of sites do not evaluate and confirm the crowd-sourced data that they receive, they simply aggregate it and report it. The result can be faulty reports of network performance interruptions causing wide-spread miscommunication for wireless users.”

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Spokespeople for AT&T and Verizon also told TechCrunch that networks are operating normally, and there is no evidence of a DDoS other type of cyberattack. CenturyLink also told TechCrunch that it was not experiencing fiber network outages either. Other reports previously suggested that Level 3, which is owned by CenturyLink and is a major network backbone that carriers like T-Mobile rely on to route calls and messages, was experiencing an outage.

We will update this story when we have more information about the cause of the outages.

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Updated: 6/15/2020, 8:37 p.m. ET: AT&T responded by directing Gizmodo to this tweet on one of its official Twitter accounts.

Updated: 6/17/2020, 11:25 a.m. ET: As of Tuesday evening, T-Mobile says service has been fully restored to customers. The massive outage was caused by a fiber circuit failure from a third party provider.

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Staff Reporter, Reviews at Gizmodo. Formerly PC Gamer, Maximum PC.

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DISCUSSION

CaptainObvious7
CaptainObvious7

Yeah, we recently switched to Fi and we are experiencing problems too (Fi uses Tmobile network mostly). My wife is bitching at me that her new Moto G Power is a bad phone and I am trying to explain that it is not a problem with phone.

She always yells at me that her new phone sucks, then when she gets a new one she tells me the old one was better. I feel like I can’t win there ;)