T-Mobile hit with widespread network issue, customers report service outages

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(Monica Alleven/Fierce Wireless) T-Mobile's Neville Ray confirmed via Twitter the carrier is working to resolve a voice and data issue. AT&T and Verizon both said they're not having network issues. (Fierce Wireless)

T-Mobile appears to be having a major network issue on Monday, affecting consumers across the U.S., with reports of outages and problems with phone and data service.  

T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray confirmed via Twitter late Monday afternoon that engineers were working to resolve a voice and data issue the carrier’s experiencing. Ray’s tweet did not provide additional details other than the problem is affecting customers around the country and T-Mobile hopes to have it “fixed shortly.”

The outage was spotted on the crowd-sourced website DownDetector, which started registering a spike in service issues around roughly 1 p.m. ET. By 3 p.m. ET the number of reported issues for T-Mobile’s network had surged to over 110,000 (above Downdetector’s baseline). Two hours later there were around 33,000 problems reported on the site for T-Mobile's network.

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Posts about problems using T-Mobile service surfaced on social media. Many issues reported, according to Downdetector, related to no signal or to a lesser extent, problems generally with "phone" or "mobile internet." Downdetector also recorded a spike in the afternoon in issues for T-Mobile’s prepaid brand, Metro by T-Mobile, across similar regions. 

T-Mobile hasn’t disclosed the cause or exact scale of the issue, and it’s unclear how many customers continued to experience problems with their wireless service. In response to questions, a T-Mobile spokesperson directed Fierce Wireless to Ray’s tweet and said any updates would be shared there.

As of Monday evening, Downdectector’s outage map still showed issues for T-Mobile users across the U.S.  

An outage map on the Downdetector website based on reported T-Mobile issues Monday evening June 15. 

There were some reports that AT&T and Verizon also were experiencing network outages, but that appears to be related to customers who were trying to reach or hear from T-Mobile subscribers. An AT&T spokesperson confirmed that AT&T’s network is running normally, and a Verizon spokesperson said 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,” the Verizon spokesperson said in emailed comments.  

She added it's aware Downdetector was falsely reporting Verizon network issues and cited limited data that crowd-sourced sites rely on. The Verizon representative pointed to a variety of factors that can impact a false report on a third-party website, such as a faulty device, network traffic that slows but doesn’t stop connections, commercial RF blockers, network issues impacting other carriers, among others.      

It should be noted that at its peak in the last 24 hours, issues reported on Downdetector reached a little more than 8,600 for Verizon and just over 3,800 for AT&T – significantly less than what was seen for T-Mobile.

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