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T-Mobile goes down: What caused Monday’s outage

Thousands of T-Mobile subscribers reported outages across the United States on Monday afternoon as a routing issue knocked out service for huge swaths of the country.

Around noon Pacific time on Monday, Down Detector showed almost 90,000 reports of a T-Mobile outage affecting most major U.S. cities. Nearly 70% of users were reporting they had lost a signal and Down Detector’s outage map revealed the reports were spread across the country.

In a note on the company’s blog Monday afternoon, CEO Mike Sievert wrote: “This is an IP traffic-related issue that has created significant capacity issues in the network core throughout the day.” He also noted that data services were still up and running.

A later tweet by the company’s T-Mobile Help Twitter account said a “widespread routing issue” was causing voice and texting problems.

The outage lasted for several hours through the afternoon, with services finally coming back online by 9:30 p.m. PT on Monday, according to a T-Mobile spokesperson.

“Thank you for your patience as we fixed the issues,” T-Mobile’s President of Technology Neville Ray said. “We sincerely apologize for any and all inconveniences.”

Digital Trends has reached out to T-Mobile again to ask how many people were affected in total. We will update the story when we hear back.

Users had flocked to social media as the outage dragged on, with some claiming a DDoS attack was responsible. However, Matthew Prince , CEO of website security comapny Cloudflare, dismissed the rumors, saying his company saw no signs of a coordinated attack.

His company’s findings showed no spike in traffic to major internet services, Prince wrote on Twitter.

“Our team knows the network operators at nearly all the other major internet services and platforms, and none of them are reporting anything anomalous,” Prince continued. “Don’t worry, this is one thing that does not need to get added to the list of craziness that has been 2020.”

Down Detector users also reported issues at AT&T, but a company spokesperson told Digital Trends that the network was still running as normal. More than 5,000 users also reported issues at Verizon at the outage’s peak, but a Verizon spokesperson said the network was unaffected and that reports may have been coming from Verizon customers who were trying to call T-Mobile users and encountering an error.

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Maya Shwayder
I'm a multimedia journalist currently based in New England. I previously worked for DW News/Deutsche Welle as an anchor and…
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