T-Mobile and Dallas determine cause of 911 issue, T-Mo not at fault


Earlier this week, T-Mobile engineers traveled to Dallas to investigate a “ghost calling” glitch that it was thought was related to T-Mobile and was resulting in long 911 hold times. Now more information on the situation has come out.

T-Mobile says that abandoned calls, not ghost calls, are to blame for the 911 issue, the City of Dallas announced today. While ghost calls are the result of a person’s phone making multiple calls to 911, abandoned calls happen when the person calling hangs up before speaking to a 911 operator. The 911 call takers would then try to call these people back, but couldn’t reach them in some cases because the people were on hold trying to call 911 again.

To address this issue of abandoned calls, the City of Dallas plans to look into technology upgrades and will add more call takers. Starting this weekend, one dozen additional call takers will on hand each day to help offer improved service.

T-Mobile has made improvements to its network to make the delivery of calls to the 911 service smoother. T-Mo’s engineers that are currently in Dallas will stick around for two weeks to keep an eye out for any issues that may arise. Third-party vendors that help support Dallas’ public safety infrastructure will be on-hand to help out, too.

“T-Mobile committed resources in Dallas until we made progress, and they have kept their promise,” said City Manager T.C. Broadnax. “We want our citizens to know that their safety is our number one priority and they can count on us when they call 911.”

It’s great to hear that T-Mobile and the City of Dallas were able to team up and find the cause of this problem. Having to call 911 for an emergency can be a stressful situation, and that can be made even worse when you have issues actually reaching a call taker. Hopefully the dozen additional call takers and technology upgrades can help improve Dallas’ 911 system.

Sources: WSJ, City of Dallas

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  • MadMartigan

    Mayor Rawlings went ballistic in his comments about T-Mobile before the “cause” was found.

    Think T-Mobile will see an apology?

    The families affected by this tried to crucify T-Mobile.

    Think any of them will reach out to apologize?

    Nah…I’m sure they’re “over it” by now. It’s so easy to lay blame, even when you have literally no clue what you are talking about, but being accountable? Nah. That’s way too hard.

    I’m curious though, since the articles I’ve seen made no mention – If this was a “Dallas” issue, why did it seem to only affect T-Mobile users, or was that just a conclusion someone jumped to that had no basis in fact?

    • Adam

      Alternatively, the investigation could simply be biased.

      • MadMartigan

        In other words: So we have all this information, but hey, let’s just ignore all of that and make believe our own reality so we can still blame whomever we hate.

        Fabulous. I hadn’t even considered that response. Thanks!

        • John Doe

          The FCC makes the final determination and they haven’t concluded their investigation yet. Even if it isn’t T-Mobile’s fault they can still be fined by the FCC.

        • Kenneth Warner

          That’s wrong even if TMobile is deemed not at fault

        • John Doe

          The FCC is very strict when it comes to contacting emergency services…the burden is on the carriers to fix any issues. The carriers collect fees from your bill to cover these so when they don’t act in a timely manner to fix an issue they get fined.

        • SirStephenH

          You still cannot fine a company that is not at fault. According to the investigation there is nothing that T-Mobile could have done to fix this issue outside of blocking redials which would be illegal among other things. If anyone could be found at fault it would be the city of Dallas for underfunding and understaffing its 911 call centers.

        • MadMartigan

          Hard to conclude something that never started, innit?

        • John Doe

          The FCC has a review on going so I don’t know where are you getting from that it never started.

        • MadMartigan

          Well, my Google-Fu must be broken today as I have found no reference to any ongoing (not canceled since Big T. took office) FCC review of T-Mobile in reference to the 911/Dallas issue.

          You wouldn’t happen to have a link to that, would you?

        • John Doe
        • John Doe

          A CBS article from 2 days ago title: “I-Team: T-Mobile 911 Looping Problem Started In October”

          In the end of the article…

          “A spokesperson for the FCC said the federal agency is aware of the issue and that ‘its review is ongoing.'”

        • MadMartigan

          Ah. You seem to be operating under a few flawed assumptions.

          1.) The issue in the tmonews article above that we are discussing is not the same issue as the one in the article you linked.

          2.) The FCC being aware of and reviewing a situation is nowhere near the same as opening an official investigation.

          So yes, in response to your initial post: “The FCC makes the final determination and they haven’t concluded their investigation yet.”

          Hard to conclude something that never started, innit?

        • John Doe

          A review is an investigation…I am not going to argue with you about semantics and this article is the source of Tmonews original post on the issue go check the source on the previous article. Either way the FCC has not said that the review has ended…why do you think T-Mobile is trying so hard to absolve themselves from any wrongdoing?

        • MadMartigan

          “A review is an investigation”


          You’d be hard-pressed to even prove that there’s a formal review underway. (An official announcement or documentation? Nah…you don’t need any of that, do ya?)

          Nope. You’re actually sticking with the “investigation” bit.

          Well, okay. You go and have fun with that. On your own. I’ll not participate further in your delusions.

          Have a nice day.

        • John Doe

          I did provide to you a article from CBS. The FCC does not make official announcements until they reach their conclusions look at past fines…they fined T-Mobile before multiple times.

          If you don’t trust the article that quoted a spokesman from the FCC then I don’t know what to tell you.

        • John Doe

          “The Federal Communications Commission confirmed to NBC 5 that it is investigating the issue in Dallas.
          “All Americans must have reliable 911 service for emergencies. At the request of local law enforcement, the FCC is looking into 911 performance issues in Dallas. Our review is ongoing,” said Lisa Fowlkes, acting chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, in a statement.”


        • Adam

          I do not hate T-Mobile. In fact, compared to may experience with AT&T and Verizon (previously a wireless customer of both) , T-Mobile has been great.

          Investigators must make assumptions during the course of an investigation. When those assumptions favor the investigator, it is called bias, which is different from “ignoring all of that”. I don’t know how much this bias influenced the result, but this surely was not an independent investigation.

        • MadMartigan

          “When those assumptions favor the investigator, it is called bias”

          That’s not what “bias” means at all. You also seem to be ignoring the other party’s bias in the investigation. Dallas? You know, the guys who publicly and vociferously vilified T-Mobile over this as recently as yesterday. You don’t think they would have anything against looking like fools for misplacing the blame here?

          Point being: We have information. Your post above ignores that information in one fell swoop with, “Alternatively…”, while supplying nothing of value to support this “bias theory”, or call into question the existing information.

        • Adam

          I agree with most of your response, except for how the term “bias” applies to an investigation.

  • It is very tragic

    Simply said, it is very tragic indeed on any level when a death could have been avoided.

    To that point, I appreciate John L. (T-mobile) willingness to conduct an investigation to ensure there was not a glitch in the system and technology from their end. Likewise, team up with the City of Dallas to find the cause of the problem, address the issue(s) and maybe, improve service going forward

    Hopefully, during this very difficult time of loss, the major and family will take a moment to make amends, reach-out and apologize to T-mobile and others.

    Very Sad…

  • Luis Hotdaddy Vasquez

    OMG! Who cares about Dallas?!?!

    • samsung freud

      You really don’t mean that do you?
      At least one baby may have died because of this issue.

    • Steve Hester

      I for 1 do!

    • steveb944

      You’re making it too easy to not regret blocking you.

      • Luis Hotdaddy Vasquez

        Zero damns given….

      • Luis Hotdaddy Vasquez

        Should I even care about it?

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  • James Camptone

    T-Mobile should sue everybody. The entire media and Dallas was blaming them.

  • Aaron Davis

    Don’t they have to prove t-mobile actually did something wrong first? Just because t-mobile made some “adjustments” doesn’t mean the lack of those “adjustments” was the cause.

    • John Doe

      They have fined carriers for not acting fast enough before so also taking a long time to act is “something wrong” and also not reporting it. This has been happening since october of last year…why didn’t T-Mobile do something back then?