‘Solar flare?’ Nationwide cellular outage sparks flurry of skeptical speculation AND hilarious memes

A massive cellular outage that’s been disrupting phone service across the country has many AT&T customers looking to the sky for answers.

By Thursday morning, nearly 75,000 AT&T customers, as well as a few thousand Verizon and T-Mobile customers as well, had reported cellular outages, according to CNN.

“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning. We are working urgently to restore service to them. We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored,” AT&T said in a statement around 9:00 am Thursday morning.

By then, some parts of its network had begun to recover, AT&T said, but it didn’t have an ETA for when the network would be fully operational.

As of about 10:00 am Thursday morning, users of the social media platform X were still reporting outages:

Speculation has begun to mount on social media that the outages may be the result of a solar flare.

“A strong solar flare occurred around midnight Thursday. Although it’s not clear what caused a nationwide cell phone service provider outage, strong solar flares/geomagnetic storms can impact radio communications and technology on Earth,” Emily Sutton of Oklahoma station KFOR reported.


But other reports say this isn’t what happened.

“With AT&T having been victim to a solar flare back in 1972 – can the same issue happen again? According to FOX 35 Meteorologist Brooks Garner, the important distinction here is that AT&T was made up of landlines. The solar flare back in the 70s created a voltage on the physical lines,” Orlando station WOFL reported.

“The issue Thursday morning seems to stem from a SIM card database registry issue, Brooks said,” according to the station.

“Now, it is possible the X class flare [that occurred Thursday] had impacts to the voltage on some electronics, but since this is so specific to AT&T and not other carriers, it’s likely not space weather related,” Brooks said in her own words.

That said, most people appear to have doubts about the solar flare theory — some for conspiratorial reasons even involving the southern border crisis.


Meanwhile, the outage is also affecting vital services.

In a statement, the San Francisco Fire Department said they were affected as well and urged those in need to call them from a landline.


In addition to all this, the drama has also inspired the sharing of many, many, many humorous memes about the situation.

Case in point:


Vivek Saxena


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles