Major outages were reported by AT&T, Verizon and T-mobile users Thursday morning AFP

NEW YORK CITY - If you woke up Thursday morning with a little sign on your phone that read "SOS" or "No Service," and you frantically tried to reverse this, with multiple unsuccessful attempts, rest assured that you are not alone.

At least some 71,000 people across the U.S. had this same issue due to a major outage in the AT&T network that caused cellular service and the internet to go down, according to the tracking site Downdetector, which gathers claims of this kind.

The outages began at about 4 a.m. ET on Thursday, when over 32,000 users reported this issue. As the hours passed, the reports dipped, but then eventually spiked again to more than 50,000 around 7 a.m.. Most of the issues reported were coming from Houston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Atlanta, according to the website.

As the morning hit, Verizon and T-mobile users also joined the digital chaos and confusion, with about 3,000 and 1,100 customers voicing their issues respectively, around 7 a.m. Thursday.

"Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning," the AT&T said. "We are working urgently to restore service to them. We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored."

Verizon said Thursday morning that the outages are not impacting their network directly, but are impacting their customers trying to reach another carrier experiencing the issue.

T-mobile also said that the network didn't suffer an outage and is operating normally, and Downdetector numbers likely reflect customers attempting to reach users on other networks.

The outages pose a concern for public safety, as some people may be unable to call 911 in the case of an emergency.

The San Francisco Fire Department said on X that it was aware of an issue impacting AT&T wireless customers from making and receiving phone calls, including 911.

"The San Francisco 911 center is still operational," the office said. "If you are an AT&T customer and cannot get through to 911, then please try calling from a landline. If that is not an option then please try to get a hold of a friend or family member who is a customer of a different carrier and ask them to call 911 on your behalf."

Chicago's Office of Emergency Management & Communications, Virginia's Prince William County police department and North Carolina's Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department have issued similar warnings across social media, alerting the public about the outage and acknowledging some customers were briefly unable to contact 911.

It is still unclear what triggered this service disruption, or how long it will take to get fixed.

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