Dallas – Since November 2016, the City of Dallas 911 Call Center has experienced repeated 911 calls involving T-Mobile cell phone service. Mobile devices on the T-Mobile network appear to make multiple 911 hang-up calls after someone makes a legitimate call to 911 for service. These ghost calls come into the 911 call system queue from the T-Mobile network, forcing 911 call takers to call every hang up to verify whether emergency service is needed.
City officials and the Dallas Police Department have been working with T-Mobile to understand why this is the only carrier with a ghost call issue. This has impacted the ability of callers to reach 911 in a timely manner, leaving legitimate 911 callers to be placed on hold for several minutes. Just last night 911 call takers had 360+ calls in queue.
“This is unacceptable,” said Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax. “We will continue putting pressure on T-Mobile on a daily basis until they solve this problem before this issue results in a life being lost because we could not respond to a call in time.”
Initial and ongoing analysis of the issue have confirmed that T-Mobile is the only carrier with this ghost call issue. No other city in the area or across the state has been found to be experiencing this problem. The City of Denver, Colorado has been experiencing this issue longer than Dallas. AT&T, the City’s 911 network service provider, has confirmed that the City’s 911 infrastructure is operating as designed and is not part of the issue.
As a Public Safety Access Point Provider (PSAP), DPD has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, issued public communications about the issue, and escalated it to T-Mobile management.
Two weeks ago, T-Mobile rolled out a software update to some devices on their network in the hopes that it will reduce the problem. The rollout is still in progress but has not made a difference so far. T-Mobile still does not know what is causing the problem. City officials and DPD will continue to work with T-Mobile until this issue is resolved.