Cellular Service Outage Affecting Users in Southeastern United States

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile customers in the southeastern United States may be seeing a widespread cellular outage that's preventing them from using voice and data services. Downdetector.com is showing outages in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Indiana for all four carriers.

cellularoutagemap
T-Mobile outage map via Downdetector.com

According to a Sprint representative that spoke to Re/code, the issue is related to a local exchange provider that works with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
"We are aware of the impacts to service in which customers across multiple carriers may be unable to access voice and some data services," the Sprint representative said. "This appears to be an issue caused by a local exchange provider and our network team is working with the provider to restore service to impacted customers as quickly as possible."
Sprint said the company is working on a fix, as did representatives from Verizon and AT&T. AT&T said it's working to restore service, while Verizon said its engineers were working with "vendor partners" to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

It is not clear when service will be restored for affected customers.

Update: According to telecommunications industry sources that spoke to Re/code, the service issues affecting all four carriers have been caused by a problem with AT&T's landline network.
AT&T is the dominant landline provider for the region, and all the major cellular providers use its networks for backhaul -- that is, helping transport the data once it leaves their collection of cellular towers.
AT&T says its engineers have found a hardware-related issue and are aiming to fix it to restore service "as quickly as possible."

Top Rated Comments

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58 months ago

As someone who works for a carrier all I can think of is the waiting time for customers service tomorrow morning.. Tons of idiots asking for their service to be refunded for the 30 minutes or so that their service wasn't working..

(I should really get out of Customer Service I don't like what it's doing to me..)


As someone who trains customer service
teams, they're not idiots and any customer service advisor who thinks so is probably in the wrong job. You cannot do a good job if you're predisposed to that opinion.

Customers don't pay for three course meals when they only receive two courses. Nor do they pay the full-fare for a journey when they were only taken three quarters of the way.

It is a horrible, thankless task dealing with irate customers whose anger has been exacerbated by long phone queues but it would all be avoided if carriers offered an automatic pro-rata refund for any obvious service outage. Whether or not a ~50c refund is worthwhile is a matter of opinion, but it is a matter of fact that the customer should be entitled to it if they so desire.
Rating: 18 Votes
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58 months ago

I don't see what this article has to do with Macs, iPhones or anything Apple????

iPhones use cellular service…
Rating: 18 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago

As someone who works for a carrier all I can think of is the waiting time for customers service tomorrow morning.. Tons of idiots asking for their service to be refunded for the 30 minutes or so that their service wasn't working..

(I should really get out of Customer Service I don't like what it's doing to me..)


Yes. If you think the customers are "idiots," you really do need to get out of "customer service."
Rating: 16 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago

As someone who works for a carrier all I can think of is the waiting time for customers service tomorrow morning, tons of idiots asking for their service to be refunded for the 30 minutes their service wasn't working..

(I should really get out of Customer Service I don't like what it's doing to me..)


People pay for a service, any interruption means they should be reimbursed.

On the flip side when payment is due for such service, no one from the company really cuts the customer any slack.
Rating: 12 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago

I don't see what this article has to do with Macs, iPhones or anything Apple????

Unless you are hard core and use a iPod touch connected to a 56k modem..this has everything to do with all things Apple.
Rating: 11 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago
CALL before you DIG.

It's not difficult, people.
Rating: 7 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago

I just don't understand how it's 2015, and these providers still lease out/contract towers to other providers. Outsourcing at its finest instead of having their own dedicated services.
And I still pay a arm and a leg!


Usually a carrier builds the tower, then sells it to an investor and leases it back from that company. This is a very typical arrangement that happens in lots of industries. Most commercial buildings are handled the same way; malls, corporate buildings, factories, etc.

This has many benefits to all parties involved. For the seller, they can turn money frozen in assets into liquid capital and use it to develop more resources. For example, a carrier can take $1mil to build a tower, sell it with a leaseback for $1mil, use that $1mil to build another tower, sell it with a leaseback for $1mil, etc etc. This way, over the course of some time, they get many towers for the same $1mil being used over and over. Another benefit to the seller is it fixes the costs. For example, a carrier's tower might have maintenance needs that are unpredictable and depend on weather, property taxes that might go up, etc. With this arrangement, they just pay a constant and known monthly or annual lease that is fixed in price, where there is no risk of it going up in the immediate future; this allows them to budget more easily. For the investor that takes on all the risks, they can charge a premium for this service and earn some interest. There are also certain tax benefits for both parties involved.

This isn't bad outsourcing - it's efficient use of resources. Why should a carrier have a ton of money sunk in assets when they could be using that money to build more resources. I'd rather the carriers had access to more towers, rather than owned a few towers.
Rating: 7 Votes
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58 months ago
Sprint customers in the area affected didn't notice anything unusual ;)
Rating: 6 Votes
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58 months ago
Does it concern anyone that AT&T plays such a critical role in the wireless infrastructure?
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago

As someone who trains customer service
teams, they're not idiots and any customer service advisor who thinks so is probably in the wrong job. You cannot do a good job if you're predisposed to that opinion.

Customers don't pay for three course meals when they only receive two courses. Nor do they pay the full-fare for a journey when they were only taken three quarters of the way.

It is a horrible, thankless task dealing with irate customers whose anger has been exacerbated by long phone queues but it would all be avoided if carriers offered an automatic pro-rata refund for any obvious service outage. Whether or not a ~50c refund is worthwhile is a matter of opinion, but it is a matter of fact that the customer should be entitled to it if they so desire.


Yes. You're so right. The best way to get what you want is scream and yell at someone who has NOTHING to do with why your cell phone service/Internet service isn't working.

Yes, in customer service you do need to have a certain level of patience with people. But you don't need to be crapped on by morons with anger issues. There's a way to calm down customers, without being rude, but still standing up for yourself.
Rating: 5 Votes
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