AT&T's Cricket to 'fully investigate' cause of weekend service outage

AT&T's (NYSE: T) Cricket Wireless prepaid brand suffered a service outage that started late Friday afternoon and lasted through Saturday morning. The company wasn't able to provide details on the outage, including what caused the glitch and why it didn't affect AT&T's branded services.

"We were focused on restoring service and will fully investigate the root cause of this issue," AT&T spokesman Steven Schwadron told FierceWireless. "Technicians worked around the clock to resolve the issue and service is currently running normally. We apologize for this inconvenience."

AT&T's Cricket acknowledged the situation on Friday with a Tweet that said: "We are aware of a service issue affecting some customers & are working quickly to resolve it. We apologize for this inconvenience." Added the company: "#CricketNation, we apologize for the interruption of some of your services."

Early on Saturday, Cricket tweeted: "#CricketNation, service has been fully restored. Technicians worked around the clock to resolve the issue. We sincerely apologize." The company added: "You may need to power your phones off and then back on to restore service."

Not surprisingly, Cricket customers also took to Twitter to complain about the situation, with some asking for service credits.

AT&T completed its acquisition of Leap Wireless' Cricket network and prepaid operations for $1.2 billion in 2014, and then began working to shut down Leap's CDMA network and move its customers to AT&T's GSM-based network. AT&T completed the shutdown of Leap's network in September 2015, noting at the time that "The transition from CDMA to 4G LTE has gone extremely well. We've exceeded our goals and come in ahead of schedule, all while creating a superior experience for our customers."

Cricket isn't the first wireless carrier to suffer an outage. Sprint (NYSE: S) experienced "a major network outage" in the Northeast U.S. in March that affected 3G and 4G voice and data services in markets including Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. And T-Mobile US confirmed that it suffered a network outage earlier this year that appeared to affect customers' ability across the country to make voice calls over Wi-Fi and LTE.

A wide range of issues can affect wireless customers' experiences, including their phones, their distance from cell towers, and possible network interference. But a nationwide outage likely would be a result of problems inside a carrier's core network.

For more:
- see this 7news article

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