Rogers suffers some kind of big wireless kerfuffle

Canada's Rogers Communications is enduring an hours-long wireless outage that is impacting mobile customers across the country.

Rogers continues to apologize for the outage, but has yet to offer any info about the source of the outage or an estimate on when it might have the problem resolved. In a tweet posted Monday afternoon, Rogers stressed that residential and business wireline Internet services are not impacted.

While the timing is never good for a widespread cellular service outage, the timing of this one is particularly ugly given that Rogers and Shaw Communications are in the midst of a proposed $20.8 billion merger that views 5G and mobile growth potential as a key driver for the deal. And just last week, Rogers, which bills its 5G network as the "largest and most reliable" in Canada, announced it had expanded its 5G network into more towns and cities in Manitoba and Ontario.

The outage is impacting Rogers's postpaid and Fido prepaid wireless subscribers, with CBC reporting that the issues appear to be most prevalent in southern Ontario and Montreal. Rogers ended 2020 with 9.68 million postpaid subscribers and about 1.26 million prepaid wireless subs.

Meanwhile, several policies forces, including the Peel Regional Police in Ontario, posted warnings that 911 calls placed via cell phones on the Rogers network may not go through.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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