Thousands of mobile phone customers in the US, including users of the Virgin Mobile service, were cut off after fibre cables went down yesterday.
The outage began just after lunchtime on Monday, and affected wireless traffic using the fibre system operated by Sprint Nextel.
Virgin Mobile, as a mobile virtual network operator, relies on the Sprint network to carry its calls. Sprint wireless end-users and those at other companies are also affected by the outage.
Mobile networks rely on networks in the ground to link mobile transmission stations.
A link went down between Palm Springs and Phoenix on the west coast of the US, and then heavy rains in the Reno area took out another cable to make matters worse.
The problem has also affected customers using wire-line long-distance services. Knock-on effects on Sprint’s national network have led to some customers on the east coast of the US also being affected.
Sprint said that most customers now had their service back to normal.