Cell service outages | What the Tech?

Cell service outages | What the Tech?

You may have woken up Thursday and had trouble getting a call or text. What do you do if you have an emergency, though? Jamey Tucker explains.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — Cell service outages can happen when there’s a problem with the whole network. It can also happen when the cellular provider updates the network or the cell towers.

You’ll know your network is down when you see SOS at the top of the screen.

If you’re in a car, you won’t be able to stream music from Spotify or use GPS navigation apps but you can make 911 calls.

Cellular companies must provide emergency services on all phones regardless of connectivity. They do this by working with the other providers. Cellular companies share space on cell towers. When a 911 call cannot be placed on one network, another network makes the connection. Some call centers reported that 9-1-1 calls were not getting through. The FCC will investigate why that happened.

When your service goes down your phone will connect to the internet if you’re on WiFi. If you make one change in settings, calls and texts will go through.

In settings under cellular, turn on “Wi-Fi calling.” When a wifi signal is stronger than a cell signal, the call will be placed over the internet. But, you’ll need to change this setting when you have a cellular network signal. You may not be able to change the setting in SOS mode.

It’s important to make the changes before there’s another cell service outage. Because all of the providers have had issues in the past, and they will all have outages at some point in the future.

By mid-afternoon, AT&T reported they restored service to all of its affected customers. T-Mobile and Verizon officials say their networks worked fine. They believe the outage reports were from customers trying to call AT&T customers.

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