TMCnet Feature
August 04, 2011

Cellphone Service Restored to AT&T Users in New York City

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Users who were trying to use their AT&T (News - Alert) wireless devices early Thursday morning in New York City were finding they could neither make a call nor receive one – because of a “software upgrade,” according to media reports.

NBC News reported the glitch started at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday based on what they were told by a company representative.

Smart phones were not as affected as mobile phones, NBC reports.

When AT&T mobile phone users tried to make a call, a message appeared that the circuit or channel was not available, NBC adds.

There was no ring tone, NBC adds.

Calls were also going right to voicemail, said media reports.

The issue was apparently limited to phones within New York City.

But, NBC reported, that smart phone users apparently could still text and send/receive e-mails.

Another report – from Engadget – said “It seems as if outgoing calls operate just fine, but folks trying to dial in are greeted with eternal ringing.”

Service later in the day was restored after “a software issue occurred during routine maintenance which caused some customers on Long Island and in parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan to experience voice service disruptions this morning,” Engadget added.

AT&T apologized.

The outage led to some choice comments posted on the web as users took a swipe at overall phone service in New York.

One user wrote, “Living in NYC, I am actually rather surprised anyone noticed anything, given the continued atrocious state of the 3G ‘network’ here. Having to walk outside to make calls or get data is, simply put, routine here.”

“I did pick up cell service again after walking half a block, but that's par for the course in NYC, go outside and walk til you get AT&T signal, and when you do, cross fingers and hope that it holds,” says another person on a blog post.

This is not the only outage for AT&T in recent weeks. TMCnet reported in early June how AT&T engineers were trying to track down the cause of a service disruption that left thousands of customers across East Tennessee without 3G mobile broadband service for several hours.

Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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