AT&T Network Down in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN—Customers of AT&T’s mobile network in Puerto Rico have reported service interruptions early Wednesday, the result of a malfunction affecting the island’s northern and central regions.
The situation has prompted many AT&T users to voice their displeasure on social media, saying they have been unable to place calls as well as send or receive text messages. “Everything is working on my smartphone, including broadband, but I just can’t place a call,” said Eddie Padilla, a customer based in the San Juan metro area. It has been estimated that more than 900,000 customers have been affected as a result of the network breakdown.
“Due to a hardware issue, some customers in the Puerto Rico metro area may be experiencing issues with their wireless voice service,” said an official company statement released late Wednesday morning. “Technicians are on site working to restore service as quickly as possible. We apologize for this inconvenience.”
Later in the day, company representatives revealed the malfunction took place in a switch, a device that essentially connects devices together in a network. The malfunction solely affects the carrier 3G (third-generation) network, which is the main transmission channel for calls and text messaging. By contrast, the company’s 4G-LTE (fourth generation long-term evolution) network, which deals mainly in wireless broadband data access–allowing for access to web pages, email and apps–has not been affected.
The network malfunction took place a day after DirecTV Latin America President Jeff McElfresh announced the start of the consolidation of operations for DirecTV Puerto Rico and AT&T Mobility, the AT&T subsidiary in charge of its wireless network. As a result, José Juan Dávila, vice-president and general manager of AT&T Mobility, was also appointed as DirecTV Puerto Rico general manager, and will jointly manage both operations.
The carrier’s engineering department is reportedly hard at work in fixing the breakdown. However, it may take several hours for service to be reestablished completely, sources added. As of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, various affected users reported they were able to send and receive text messages once again; however, most have still not been able to place or receive voice calls.