T-Mobile confirmed that customers had experienced problems with its network on Friday morning, but didn't go into detail.
The Web site downdetector.com showed (graphic, above top) that the complaints originated from a number of major metropolitan areas, including Atlanta and the East Coast. The site measures tweets and other social media messages complaining of outages.
T-Mobile's Twitter feed was busy responding to customer complaints, mostly advising customers to reboot their phones to take advantage of the fix. Downdetector reported that about 75 percent of the complaints were due to customers being unable to place calls, with most of the others reporting problems with the network's mobile data service.
When asked to comment, a T-Mobile spokesman gave PCWorld the following statement: "The T-Mobile network team was able to quickly resolve call processing issues affecting some customers briefly this morning," he wrote in an email. "We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."
T-Mobile ranked last in TechHive's assessment of the four major networks in both upload speed and network latency, although the company was rolling out upgraded LTE service at the time. In March of this year, however, T-Mobile indicated that it was going to convert all of its remaining 2G/EDGE cells to its fastest LTE service, with half of the work scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
By press time, commenters to the downdetector Web site had generally reported that service was back up and running.
In April alone, T-Mobile introduced a plan aimed at budget users, altered its pricing for 4G LTE tablets, and called for an end to overage fees. In May, T-Mobile said it added 1.3 million new postpaid subscribers during the first quarter of 2014, more than AT&T and Verizon combined. But as T-Mobile erases its reputation of spotty coverage, it's going to need to make sure glitches like these don't happen again.