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Cellular outage disrupts phone service across the US

Published February 22, 2024last updated February 22, 2024

Thousands of AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile and other users saw their phones in SOS mode only, but the reason behind the outages is unclear.

A cellular phone tower
Telecom firms including AT&T were affected by the outageImage: Jeff Roberson/AP Images/picture alliance

A cellular outage affected thousands of users across the United States on Thursday.

More than 73,000 customers reported outages, according to data from outage tracking website Downdetector.com.

Calls, text and internet access hampered 

Service providers AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile and other networks were affected, though  T-Mobile and Verizon said their network was operating normally and the outage was potentially related to customers trying to connect via other networks.

"Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning. We are working urgently to restore service to them. We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored," AT&T said in a statement.

Customers reported being unable to place calls, text or access the internet.

The San Francisco Fire Department wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the outage had impacted people's ability to reach emergency services.

"We are aware of an issue impacting AT&T wireless customers from making and receiving any phone calls (including to 911)," the fire department said on the platform.

Users in major cities, including San Francisco,  Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago, reported outages.

It was not immediately clear what caused the service disruptions.

lo/nm (AP, Reuters)