With the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians are making more voice calls from their cellphones and the increased demand has put strains on the networks of Rogers, Telus and Bell, as some customers are seeing calls fail to go through or dropped altogether.
On Thursday, Bell told The Globe and Mail home internet use is up 60 per cent in the daytime and 20 per cent at night. As for voice calls, Rogers, Telus and Bell said the problem lies with capacity connections between carriers, which are being addressed.
“We’re upgrading network capacity on an ongoing basis to manage increased volumes,” said Bell.
“Given the unprecedented volume of mass-calling events and new 1-800 numbers being set up through government agencies to help Canadians through the crisis, we are working with all operators to address the increased congestion between networks and increase the capacity of the interconnection facilities,” a Telus spokesman told the Globe.
Rogers said, “We know how important it is for our customers to stay connected … [and] we are working with other carriers to minimize any intermittent issues.”
Customers, of course, took to Twitter to complain about the calling network outages.
Did anyone else's phone carrier stop working at some point today? Mine (@TELUS) and a friend's (@Rogers) both had multiple dropped calls. Mine said "all circuits busy" when trying to make outgoing calls. Quite concerning if someone had to call 911 in an emergency! #canadatelcos
— Connor Edwards (@connoredwards) March 18, 2020
Bell wasn't working earlier for me. Workaround is using Google Hangouts Dialer. Uses wifi (or cell data) and is free unlimited calling to Canada and the US
— Duke (@Duke_113) March 19, 2020
Noticing dropped cell phone calls, failed calls or “all circuits are busy” messages? Turns out, @TELUS’s mobility network is struggling with a massive jump in calls, teleconferences and 1800 numbers during coronavirus pandemic. https://t.co/rEAxrH1sBe
— Rob Shaw (@robshaw_vansun) March 19, 2020
Telecom providers have all waived home internet data overages, as people are working from home due to COVID-19, while also waiving wireless roaming charges for Canadians stuck overseas.
Have you had any issues with voice calls on the networks of Rogers, Telus or Bell?