T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) yesterday reported a "software issue" that the carrier said slowed data speeds for around 0.02 percent of its customer base. The carrier said the issue affected customers only when they were downloading large files. The carrier said its engineering team was fixing the issue yesterday and it expected the fix to be in place by the end of the day.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere first disclosed the issue yesterday in a tweet: "Very small # customers saw slower data recently and only when downloading very large files. Minor software issue; Fix going in place today."
T-Mobile spokesman Glenn A. Zaccara subsequently confirmed to FierceWireless that the glitch "affected only .02% of customers. Customer location had nothing to do with it, and even the .02% of customers who were affected were only sporadically/intermittently affected."
The carrier declined to provide any further information. T-Mobile counted around 45 million customers at the end of the third quarter.
Network and software issues routinely bedevil all of the nation's wireless carriers. Although such issues often go unreported, they occasionally draw customer attention.
For example, during the rollout of Verizon's LTE network, the carrier reported four LTE outages in 2011 that disrupted customers' LTE access. In December 2011, Verizon explained that the outages were due to technical problems with Verizon's IP Multimedia Subsystem architecture. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) and Nokia Siemens Networks are the key suppliers for Verizon's IMS network. (Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) are Verizon's main radio access network vendors for its LTE network.) Verizon said customers lost service because the carrier's IMS core could not recognize them.
And carriers have taken steps to combat the issue. For example, AT&T (NYSE:T) earlier this year positioned TowerScan as a key tool to assess the impact of tower outages on the actual customer experience. The technology, in AT&T's Global Network Operations Center (GNOC), enables the carrier to quantify the customer experience across a complex outage.
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