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  • Post published:February 28, 2024
  • Post category:General
  • Reading time:6 mins read

In light of the recent AT&T cell service outage, the nation was given a small taste of a doomsday scenario we all know is possible: our nation cell service going down. Outages are common with cable, internet and power for mundane reasons like hardware and software issues, as was the source of the recent trouble. Our networks are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, as well. Knowing a service disruption could happen, here’s how to prepare ahead of any future outage, whether large or small:

Enable Wi-Fi calling

There are ways for your phone to make calls without cellular service through Wi-Fi networks. However, this setting change has to be completed while you have cellular connection. So, if you were one of the 70,000 AT&T customers without service, you could not turn on Wi-Fi calling when your service was down. This is why it is good to turn this on now (go ahead, take a second to ensure your settings are in check):


AT&T cell outage
USA Today


USA Today

Download apps for Wi-Fi calling

If you cellular network is down and you are able to connect to the internet through Wi-Fi, know that you can make calls through popular apps you likely have already installed including FaceTime and Google Voice. Meta’s WhatsApp and Messenger apps also allow you to make phone calls and texts through the app, as you would normally with cellular service. Be sure to download both apps ahead of any outage and make sure you have the latest versions.

Set up and get familiar with your phone’s SOS features

Emergency SOS on iPhone


Available only in the U.S., Australia and Canada, the SOS feature for iPhone allows you to make emergency calls through other carrier networks. The call will be routed to a local emergency number with location sharing, as well. This is not a back-up line allowing you to call others, simply a direct line to emergency services.

“When you make a call with SOS, your iPhone automatically calls the local emergency number and shares your location information with emergency services,” according to Apple.

After making an emergency call, your iPhone alerts any emergency contacts designated in your phone.

“On iPhone 14 or later (all models), you can even use Emergency SOS via satellite to text emergency services when no cellular and Wi-Fi coverage is available,” Apple states.


Android offers its own Emergency SOS service. It lets you quickly call emergency services with a few taps. But the feature must be set up first on your device. Once activated, you can press the Side key five times in a row. Here’s how to set up the Emergency SOS feature on your Android device: