Rogers says a recent software update is to blame for the wave of massive wireless outages affecting Canadians on Monday.
The outages began early Monday morning, leaving its customers without voice calls, SMS and data services. The outage reports are largely stemming from Ontario, but it’s also impacting provinces from B.C to Prince Edward Island.
“We have identified the root cause of the service issues and pinpointed a recent Ericsson software update that affected a piece of equipment in the central part of our wireless network,” Jorge Fernandes, chief technology officer at Rogers, said in a statement published online.
“That led to intermittent congestion and service impacts for many customers across the country.”
There is still no word on when Rogers’ service will be restored, but Fernandes noted “it may take us several hours to get everything back up and running normally.”
Fernandes apologized for the service interruptions, calling them “unacceptable.” He said the telecommunication company’s software engineering and technical teams are addressing the issue, and will “continue to work around the clock with the Ericsson team to restore full services for our customers.”
Rogers provides both postpaid and prepaid wireless services to about 10.9 million consumer and business subscribers in the Canadian wireless market. Global News has asked Rogers to confirm how many of its customers were affected by the outages, but did not immediately hear back.
Rogers outage leaves customers without phone service
“We know how important it is to stay connected and are working hard to restore services for customers who are experiencing interruptions with wireless voice and data – residential and business wireline internet services are not impacted,” the telecommunications giant said in an earlier emailed statement to Global News.
“We sincerely apologize and thank our customers for their patience.”
TV, home and business wireline Internet, and home phone services were not impacted by the outages.
The communications company said the outage is also affecting Fido customers. A spokesperson from Bell Media said there were “no significant issues” with any of its networks.
Some police in Ontario issued a warning saying if people call 911 they should not hang up because their communicators cannot call back.
Winnipeg and Peel Regional police said that Rogers and Fido customers experiencing Canada-wide outages will still be able to call 911 but must remain on the line to speak with an operator.
“We are experiencing several 911 drop calls that require followup,” Waterloo Regional Police also said on Twitter. “Please do not hang up if you call 911. Stay on the line so we can make sure you’re okay.”
The service disruption is also impacting Canadians’ ability to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, according to reports on Twitter.
“Perfect timing for a @Rogers outage, while I’m trying to book a Covid vaccine. I’ve already lost one appointment when the call dropped, and I’m not receiving the text codes to confirm online registration,” Twitter user Natasha Gauthier posted.
“I need a text confirmation to book an appointment for my vaccine but I can’t get that because Rogers is down. And there’s zero ETA when they’ll restore my service,” another Twitter user posted.
“Tough to book a vaccine appointment when @ShoppersDrugMart needs to send a verification PIN via text to confirm, and @Rogers network is down!” Twitter user Jeff Duggan wrote.
Wireless customers in Canada are reporting outages from other carriers as well. Global News reached out to these companies but also did not hear back.
— with files from Global News’s Emerald Bensadoun and the Canadian Press
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