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Cell phone disruptions in Europe are causing many American travelers to lose connection

Many U.S. travelers have lost a crucial tool they use to check maps, make reservations, use ride-hailing apps and more due to a mobile data outage that began affecting AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon users on Wednesday.

Affected travelers, especially in Europe, posted on social media, looking for answers about what was causing the outage and how long it would last. Some reported being unable to make calls, send text messages or use online services for 24 hours without Wi-Fi. It is unclear what caused the outage, which appeared to stretch from Britain to Turkey.

An AT&T spokeswoman said the carrier’s network was operating normally, but some customers traveling internationally may experience service disruptions due to an issue outside the AT&T network. The company said it is working with one of its roaming connectivity providers to resolve the issue.

Verizon told some of its customers on social media that it was also aware of the issue and that its teams were working with local carriers to resolve it.

A T-Mobile representative said the carrier is one of “several carriers impacted by a third-party vendor issue that is intermittently impacting some international roaming services” and that a fix is ​​also being worked on.

George Lagos, a 70-year-old real estate developer from Dunedin, Florida, who is visiting the Greek island of Crete with his family, noticed Wednesday that his mobile data from T-Mobile was not working. For about 24 hours, he said, he was unable to reach the people he had made plans with, although fortunately they had already gone over the details together.

“You know it’s annoying, but it wasn’t a disaster,” said Mr. Lagos, whose service appeared to have been restored Thursday night. “I didn’t miss a flight. There was no taxi looking for me or anything.”

But there was an even more serious problem: his wife’s mother was ill and Mr. Lagos’ wife could not reach the person caring for her.

“That was probably the worst,” Mr Lagos said.

All major US carriers offer some version of an all-inclusive international data plan that allows travelers to use their phones the same way they would in the United States.

While the current disruption appears to be subsiding, travelers affected by such disruptions have other options to connect. By swapping a physical SIM card (for phones that still have one) you can connect to a local network. (These usually come in prepaid or prepaid packages.) For newer phones, there are apps such as Air alo offer relatively cheap electronic SIM card packages to many international destinations. And of course, you can always find a secure Wi-Fi network.


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