Rogers Says Wireless Service Outage Caused by Ericsson Software Update

Rogers has provided an update on what caused its ongoing wireless service outage today.

The company’s explanation comes from Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology Officer at Rogers, who called the intermittent wireless service outage “unacceptable”.

“On behalf of all of us here at Rogers, Rogers for Business, Fido, and chatr, I want to sincerely apologize for the significant impact and frustration that this has caused,” said Fernandes.”

Rogers says the wireless service outage affected wireless voice calls, SMS and data services. Its TV, home, business wireline internet and home phone services were not affected.

As for what happened? Rogers says it was Ericsson’s fault:

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. That led to intermittent congestion and service impacts for many customers across the country.

Rogers says they have “addressed the software issue” and their teams will “continue to work around the clock with the Ericsson team” to bring back full service for customers.

There is no ETA on a fix, says Rogers, “as it may take us several hours to get everything back up and running normally.” The company says they are bringing back services gradually before a full restore, adding new updates will be coming “every few hours.”

According to Downdetector, as of 3:30pm PDT, there were just under 9,720 reports of outages from customers. The chart below shows complaints for the most part have remained steady throughout the day, suggesting it’s going to take some time for this wireless outage to be fully fixed.

With COVID-19 and people working and learning from home, losing cell service for a day can be very frustrating, let alone for people who run businesses on a personal Rogers line as well. This is one of the longest Rogers outages we’ve seen in a while. Let’s hope people can get back online soon.

NDP and Conservative Members of Parliament took to Twitter to share why it is good to have “choice” in the Canadian wireless marketplace, especially with Rogers looking to acquire Shaw and Freedom Mobile.

Update 4:54PM PDT: Rogers says calls, SMS and data services are beginning to “return to normal for our customers”, with “several more hours” to come for all customers to head back to full service.