T-Mobile customers across the country couldn’t make calls or send text messages for about four hours yesterday, confirms the carrier. The T-Mobile outage began around 6 pm ET and was resolved by about 10:30 pm ET.
Our own FierceWireless senior editor Monica Alleven said, “I was able to get texts and calls during the time of the outage yesterday with T-Mobile, so it didn't affect every subscriber.”
According to a report from TechCruch, the outage seemed to affect some subscribers’ texts and voice service, but it did not affect their mobile data.”
In response to a number of questions from FierceWireless about cause and location of the outage and the number of customers affected, a T-Mobile spokesperson referred us to two tweets that didn’t provide any details: one from T-Mobile CEO John Legere and one from CTO Neville Ray:
Some customers are experiencing intermittent call issues on our network. Thanks for your patience... @NevilleRay and team are working to resolve the problem ASAP and have already started to see signs of recovery.— John Legere (@JohnLegere) August 22, 2019
Update: Call issues are resolved and service is back to normal. We apologize to those impacted by the disruption. https://t.co/tkVcGaN7Pl— Neville (@NevilleRay) August 22, 2019
A spokesperson for Verizon took the opportunity to give a tweet jab to T-Mobile:
4 hours alone with your silent @TMobile device? Can't communicate with customers, text your employees, call your vendors. RELIABILITY is why more small, medium & large businesses choose @verizon : T-Mobile hit by hours-long nationwide outage – TechCrunch https://t.co/2uxSMR2fGh— Jeffrey Nelson (@JNels) August 22, 2019
These kinds of mobile outages are relatively rare. Earlier this summer AT&T suffered a nationwide service outage for about two hours that prevented AT&T cellphone customers from calling 911 or sending text messages.
T-Mobile is pretty focused, for now, on closing its $26.5 billion merger with Sprint. Its top executives have been spending their time on the phone with FCC commissioners to propel the deal.
Legere joked on the carriers’ most recent earnings call, saying “For the foreseeable past, Mike [Sievert] and I have spent every day in Washington, D.C., only briefly calling back to Matt [Staneff, the company's CMO] to see how the business was going, and the business had all-time record results,” according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.