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Published on February 22, 2024
Cellular Catastrophe As AT&T and Cricket Wireless Services Crash Across Major CitiesSource: Brownings at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Millions of Americans are grappling with the frustrations of cellular outages that have hit major wireless carriers including AT&T and Cricket Wireless. As reported by The Chicago Tribune, data from Downdetector indicates a surge of service disruptions commencing early this morning at around 3:30 a.m. ET.

AT&T, claiming the title of the nation's largest carrier with over 240 million subscribers, has confirmed more than 64,000 outage reports, particularly from cities like Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago. In a swift response to the service interruptions, AT&T urged, "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," according to a statement obtained by The Chicago Tribune.

Moreover, Cricket Wireless is also facing significant disruption, with over 13,000 reported outages documented by Downdetector. Other providers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and Boost Mobile have experienced fewer disruptions, with reported outages numbering in the thousands for Verizon and the hundreds for T-Mobile and Boost Mobile.

While Verizon acknowledged the connectivity issues, the company stated, "Verizon's network is operating normally. Some customers experienced issues this morning when calling or texting with customers served by another carrier. We are continuing to monitor the situation," as reported by The Chicago Tribune. On the other hand, T-Mobile has outrightly denied facing any network outages, asserting, "Our network is operating normally. Down Detector is likely reflecting challenges our customers were having attempting to connect to users on other networks," according to the same source.

The consequences of these outages are palpable beyond mere inconvenience. The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) has issued critical advice for those impacted, especially in emergency situations. As relayed by WGN-TV, the Chicago OEMC emphasized for AT&T customers, "trying to reach 911 to try calling from a landline or using another carrier phone. Do not call 911 to test your service."

Despite the widespread nature of these outages, none of the affected providers have identified or disclosed the cause behind the disruptions, leaving many to speculate while awaiting a resolution.

Chicago-Science, Tech & Medicine