Local News

Can you hear me now? Cellphone problems plague region

Posted June 10, 2011 5:45 p.m. EDT
Updated June 10, 2011 6:30 p.m. EDT

— Verizon officials said a planned software update Friday caused unexpected service problems for cellphone customers, and other wireless carriers said that affected their service as well.

Users noticed more dropped calls, calls that would not connect and calls that were routed to wrong numbers.

"It's saying connected, but it's dead air," corporate recruiter Nick DeSando said of his Verizon phone. "I've had to make a couple phone calls for work, and I've had to do it multiple times to actually reach my clients. So, it's been a little frustrating."

Verizon spokeswoman Karen Schulz apologized for any inconvenience, saying the problem was an isolated incident that won't happen again. All service was restored by Friday afternoon, she said.

Other carriers impacted included AT&T, Earthlink Business, TW Telecom and Sprint.

"It's been aggravating, more than anything," said Tripp Edwards, a crane operator in Raleigh who had trouble making calls with his Sprint cellphone.

Many cellphone calls to the Wake County 911 center were garbled, EMS District Chief Jeff Hammerstein said, so he had someone monitor radio traffic into the 911 center and use a land line to ensure authorities could respond to each call.

AT&T customer George Hessler said the problem came at an especially inconvenient time for him.

"I'm actually getting married this weekend, so I've been trying to help organize the wedding," Hessler said. "Yeah, it's been a bad time to not have service."