T-Mobile says network services restored after major outage, FCC vows investigation

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T-Mobile, one of the three largest mobile carriers in the US, announced on Tuesday that its network services have been restored after a nationwide outage sparked fears of a cyber attack on the US, prompting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch an investigation.

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The company’s president of technology made the announcement and issued an apology on Twitter, around 12 hours after the outage was reported.

“Voice and text service are now restored,” Neville Ray said in a tweet. “Thank you for your patience as we fixed the issues. We sincerely apologize for any and all inconveniences.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai described the outage as “unacceptable” and said on Twitter, “The @FCC is launching an investigation. We're demanding answers - and so are American consumers.”

Ray had tweeted Monday afternoon, around four hours after the issue was first reported, saying T-Mobile engineers hope to fix the “voice and data issue” soon. Two hours later, Ray tweeted that data services were back up, but calls, and texts were still having problems.

CEO Mike Sievert in a statement said that “this is an IP traffic related issue that has created significant capacity issues in the network core throughout the day.”

He also said, “Data services have been working throughout the day and customers have been suing services like FaceTime, iMessage, Google Meet, Google Duo, Zoom, Skype and others to connect.”

The scope of the outage wasn't clear, but Ray said it affected customers around the country.

US customers with T-Mobile, Verizon experience nationwide phone calling outage
US customers with T-Mobile, Verizon experience nationwide phone calling outage

Before Neville announced that services had been restored, people on Twitter complained that calls were not going through, some demanded refunds.

“#Tmobile is about to lose value customers with this outage. Me being one of them.” Twitter user Emmanuel J. Watkins wrote one hour after the CEO’s statement. “I still can’t call out or text those who don’t have an iPhone.”

Twitter user Janson Mendenhall asked, “Are we going to get refunds to our bill for not being to use our phone for almost the entire day today both outgoing and incoming calls?”

AT&T and Verizon both said their networks were operating normally. But calls between their customers and T-Mobile customers could have problems because of T-Mobile's issues.

T-Mobile became one of the country's largest carriers, along with AT&T and Verizon, after buying rival Sprint. The company has started integrating the two networks.

The company paid a $17.5 million fine for two nationwide service outages on the same day in August 2014, which together lasted three hours and prevented customers from being able to call 911.

- With AP

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