T-Mobile suffers nationwide outage of its LTE network overnight

Source: Flickr user Steven Depolo

T-Mobile suffered a nationwide outage of its LTE network overnight.

The nation’s third-largest carrier initially acknowledged the outage via Twitter at 3:30 a.m. ET, tweeting through its official account that it was “aware of reported instances of LTE outages…. Our engineers are on it right now working hard to resolve.”

The site DownDetector.com documented a spike in reports of problems from T-Mobile customers, recording nearly 5,000 reports from users just after midnight.

T-Mobile took to Twitter again more than two hours later to say the problem had been resolved.

A spokesperson told FierceWireless this morning that the outage occurred “during routine maintenance,” and that service had been fully restored. Customers who still had difficulty accessing the network were advised to reboot their devices.

Occasional network failures are nothing new for mobile network operators, of course. AT&T's prepaid brand Cricket Wireless offered $5 in credit to some users who suffered through an outage several weeks ago. Sprint 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. Verizon was hit with a network failure in some Florida markets in June, and earlier this summer T-Mobile 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.

The fact that T-Mobile’s latest outage occurred during the wee hours will surely minimize damage to the carrier’s brand. But the failure occurred as T-Mobile continues to work to close the gap with Verizon, which for years has boasted of operating the highest-quality mobile network in the U.S. And Verizon wasted no time in calling attention to T-Mobile’s outage.

“I’m pretty sure that we won’t hear a peep from @JohnLegere or @NevilleRay about the @TMobile network for a long long time,” tweeted Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson, calling out T-Mobile’s CEO and CTO by name.

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