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AT&T network outage: How to make phone calls when LTE is down

AT&T network outage

Late last night, AT&T suffered a nationwide network outage that made it impossible for subscribers to make calls. This resulted in thousands of complaints on DownDetector yesterday evening, which were eventually acknowledged by the carrier in a tweet at around 8 PM ET. AT&T said that it was aware of the outage, and that anyone experiencing issues should repeatedly restart their devices until they were able to make phone calls again.

Although the issue appears to have been resolved, there have still been an abnormal number of reports coming in on DownDetector this morning, which might indicate that some users are still struggling to make calls. If you’re one of the subscribers still experiencing this issue, there appears to be a somewhat dependable solution.

As PhoneArena explains, the outage appears to be connected to Voice over LTE identifiers, which explains why older phones on 3G networks and users who made calls over WiFi were unaffected. The good news is that if you do own a newer smartphone, all you have to do is change a single setting to fix the issue, at least temporarily.

In order to get your AT&T iPhone back in working order until AT&T fully resolves the outage, go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Enable LTE and choose Data Only from the list. This will take you off of the LTE network, which should allow you to make phone calls again until AT&T fixes the issue. The same solution works on Android phones as well, but the process changes depending on which phone you’re using.

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.