T-Mobile explains what caused the massive outage that disrupted voice and data service across the United States earlier this week

T-Mobile released more information on the cause of the outage on Monday. The problems are said to be due to a third party circuit failure in the southeast.
Neville Ray, technology president of T-Mobile, said the network operator is working with providers to "add permanent additional safeguards" that prevent this problem from recurring.
T-Mobile customers in the United States had outages on Monday that continued throughout the afternoon and evening.
Customers on other carrier networks also reported problems during the downtime, although AT&T and Verizon had indicated that their networks would operate normally on Monday.
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T-Mobile has shared more information about the causes of the massive outage that disrupted US service on Monday. The problem is due to a fiber failure in the southeast.
"Our engineers worked through the night to understand the root cause of yesterday's problems, address them, and prevent them from recurring," Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile, wrote in a blog post Tuesday evening. "The trigger event is known to be a failure of a leased fiber circuit from a third party provider in the southeast."
According to Ray, T-Mobile's existing security measures to ensure that such circuit failures have no impact on customers have failed, leading to an "overload situation". This congestion caused what Ray referred to as the "IP traffic storm" that spread from the southeast and caused capacity problems across the network that supported T-Mobile's Voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls.
According to Ray, the network operator has worked with its providers to "take permanent additional safeguards to prevent this from happening again" and "is continuing to work out the cause of the initial congestion failure".
T-Mobile's service was restored at around 1 a.m. on Tuesday after the network in the U.S. was hit by outages most of the afternoon and evening on Monday. The Downdetector website, which tracks failures in popular services and websites, indicated that the problem seemed to peak at around 3:00 p.m. on Monday with more than 93,000 reports of problems in the network.
Ray said in his latest blog post that "data connections continued to work during the outage," although he tweeted on Monday that T-Mobile engineers were working "to solve a voice and data problem."
Customers at other airlines also reported service issues, according to Downdetector, but both AT&T and Verizon indicated that their networks were functioning normally on Monday. Ray also said Sprint customers were not affected by the service interruptions.
The mishap put the Federal Communications Commission to the test when Chairman Ajit Pai tweeted on Monday that the failure was "unacceptable" and the Commission would open an investigation.
"We demand answers - and American customers too," tweeted Pai.
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