Cricket offering customers $5 credit following network outage

AT&T's (NYSE: T) prepaid brand Cricket Wireless is providing $5 in credit to some users who suffered through a service outage last weekend.

The outage occurred over a 14-hour stretch starting late last Friday afternoon and lasting through Saturday morning. AT&T earlier this week wasn't able to provide details on the outage, including what caused it and why it didn't have an impact on AT&T's branded services.

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." reported Wednesday that Cricket users affected by the glitch are eligible for the $5 credit, or up to $25 for five lines. Customers can all or email Cricket's customer service to receive the credit, according to the report.

An AT&T spokesman didn't offer any other details on the move, saying only that the "customer care team will review bill credits on a case-by-case basis."

AT&T closed its acquisition of Cricket's network and prepaid business in 2014 for $1.2 billion, then migrated customers to AT&T's GSM network as it shut down Leap's CDMA towers. That shutdown was completed in September 2015, with AT&T noting that "The transition from CDMA to 4G LTE has gone extremely well."

Of course, occasional network outages are nothing new for mobile network operators. 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.

Network disruptions and service glitches can occur due to a wide variety of factors including weather conditions and interference problems. Problems inside a carrier's core network are often the cause of full nationwide outages.

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