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Opensignal data shows the scale and progression of AT&T’s February outage

Can Hatipoglu, Matthew Nobbs, Andrea Toth, Robert Wyrzykowski

On Feb 22, 2024, a nationwide, multi-hour outage disrupted mobile services for AT&T network users including FirstNet, the AT&T-powered mobile network designed for first responders and those who support their work. Opensignal continuously detected the extent and development of the outage shortly after it began, and despite what some initial reports suggested – which required subsequent clarification – T-Mobile and Verizon networks saw no signs of disruption.



Our data shows typically low levels of network outage (cases where users experience “Emergency Only” or “No Service”) across all three national U.S. operators during the 3 a.m. EST hour, though we could observe the start of outages in some Northeastern states on AT&T’s network late in the hour. New Hampshire stands out with the highest proportion of AT&T network outages at that hour, followed by Maine.    

Within the 4 a.m. EST hour, dramatic outages became apparent as the percentage of failed attempts to connect to AT&T’s mobile network rose sharply, though both T-Mobile and Verizon’s networks remained stable.  The beginning of AT&T’s network recovery was clear by the 6 a.m. EST hour in Western states, followed by the rest of the country by 1:00 p.m. EST: aligning with AT&T’s official statements. Our data also shows that FirstNet services recovered faster than the rest of AT&T’s network, suggesting its rightful prioritization.    

According to AT&T, the cause of the outage was the application and execution of an incorrect process used for expanding its network. The timing supports this explanation as outages began between 3 and 4 a.m. EST: a typical update window when networks see the least mobile traffic.

Opensignal’s Outage Detection tool quickly and accurately estimated the impact of AT&T’s outages on end-users network experience via collection methods based on the real-world experience of consumers as their devices access content, rather than self-reported observation. We will further analyze this event — including customer experience impact and possible increases in competitive subscriber switching — in the coming days.    

Below, you can view a video that shows changes in the share of devices with connectivity issues on the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon networks between 3 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST.