Is AT&T still down? Nationwide outage confirmed — customers stuck with SOS warning, 'no time frame' for fix

At&T sign displayed outside a store in the United States

An AT&T outage has left thousands of customers across the United States unable to make or receive calls

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 22/02/2024

- 15:08

Updated: 22/02/2024

- 17:00

Thousands of AT&T customers across America left unable to make calls or send messages

  • Huge AT&T outage is concentred in Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta
  • AT&T users confronted with an SOS icon on iPhone due to service issues
  • The US wireless carrier has confirmed nationwide network issues
  • It confirmed there was 'no estimated time frame for resolution'
  • AT&T customers told to use Wi-Fi Calling to bypass phone network
  • 911 emergency service not working in some parts of the USA

AT&T service not working? You're not alone.

America's largest wireless carrier is suffering from a colossal outage — leaving tens of thousands of customers unable to access mobile services, reports suggest. The issues with the AT&T mobile network started around 7am ET / 4am PT / 12.30pm GMT, with the outage slowly building throughout the morning.

It seems to impact all AT&T services, including signal, text messages, mobile internet, and calls. FirstNet, a separate network used by emergency services and powered by AT&T masts, appears to be impacted by the outage. WIthout service, AT&T customers are unable to make calls to emergency services using 911, with some police departments proactively reaching out to their local community to warn about the issues.

Thousands of AT&T customers have taken to social media to complain about a small SOS icon appearing on-screen instead of the usual four bars displaying 4G or 5G signal.

This is a feature on iPhone that indicates when no service from your wireless carrier signal is available. The SOS icon signals that your iPhone has reverted to Apple's Emergency SOS via Satellite feature, which relies on satellites to contact help in very remote locations.

Not every iPhone supports Emergency SOS via Satellite, if you're unable to see the icon in the top right-hand corner of your screen, it's likely because you're using a model that doesn't support it.

Independent website Down Detector, which monitors outages using mentions across public posts on social media, tracked over 70,000 reports from frustrated users in the United States on Thursday, February 22.

down detector chart showing the increase in reports of an at&t outage in the USA

Down Detector tracks the impact of outages by monitoring activity across social media websites. According to the service, over 73,000 AT&T users have posted about carrier troubles on websites like X (formerly Twitter) since the issues started in the early hours of February 22, 2024


Using geolocation data included with social posts, Down Detector has mapped out complaints across the country, with hotspots for the AT&T issues appearing in the South and East. Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta have some of the highest concentration of complaints about the AT&T outage, the real-time map shows.

After hours of responding to individual customer complaints on social media, AT&T has now acknowledged the nationwide outage with its wireless service. In response to a tweet about the outage, the wireless network posted: "We're still working hard to get a resolution as soon as possible for this national outage, and we appreciate your patience and understanding."

Shares in the wireless carrier fell 2.5% in morning trading following news of the outage. AT&T is the dominant telecom in the United States, with a 5G network that covers 290 million customers nationwide, according to statistics published on the firm's website.

"Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning. We are working urgently to restore service to them. We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored," the popular wireless carrier responded to one customer on X, formerly Twitter.

In response to another complaint, a customer care representative revealed: "At the moment we don't have an estimated time frame for resolution, but we're working hard to get things back on track."

AT&T is encouraging customers suffering with network issues to revert to Wi-Fi Calling. This feature, support by Apple's iOS and Google-produced Android, makes calls over a Wi-Fi network, bypassing the wireless network entirely. It can offer better quality calls due to the higher bandwidth and, during an outage like the ongoing nationwide issues, ensures calls still work

Down Detector has shown spikes in rival wireless networks across the United States, including Verizon and T-Mobile. However, representatives for these networks have confirmed their mobile networks continue to operate as normal.

Frustrated AT&T customers unable to get through to friends and family with other networks have likely misattributed the ongoing issues to the other networks. Speaking to the BBC, Verizon and T-Mobile confirmed all services were operating as normal in the United States.

In 2021, an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission into an outage on the T-Mobile service during the pandemic that lasted over 12 hours and led to some 20,000 failed 911 calls was settled for $19.5 million.

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