On Monday (June 15) users on all the major carriers experienced problems with their service. The issue was later narrowed down to a technical problem on T-Mobile’s network causing a cascading effect throughout the rest of the networks. Such a major outage is not a common occurrence and in times like these, it can be particularly stressful to be left out without a connection.
To clear the air around what happened, Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s President of Technology, released a statement on the Monday outage. He begins by saying that the technical team “... didn’t meet our own bar for excellence.”
The problem with the company’s Voice-over-LTE was ultimately pinpointed to“... a leased fiber circuit failure from a third party provider in the Southeast.“T-Mobile had apparently planned for such an event and had redundancy in place to keep traffic flowing. However, the executive states that the redundancy also failed on this occasion and the broken link caused an overload of the network.
“This overload resulted in an IP traffic storm that spread from the Southeast to create significant capacity issues across the IMS (IP multimedia Subsystem) core network that supports VoLTE calls.”
Besides restoring the failed components, T-Mobile has now integrated additional safeguards to make sure this sort of failure can’t happen again.
Mobile networks have been under extreme strain over the past few months, some carriers are handling up to 40% more traffic than usual. It’s easy to forget the massive infrastructure that’s behind our smartphones. Issues like these, although annoying, are bound to happen.
Luckily, in this case, the problem was resolved relatively fast and things went back to normal. As normal as we can get these days, that is.