How to access 9-1-1 services if you lose connection to your carrier’s network

In light of several wireless service providers suffering a major network outage, it is worth noting that your phone can still access emergency services.

On Sunday afternoon, reports started emerging from Rogers, Fido and Chatr customers experiencing network connectivity issues. Shaw Communications’ Freedom Mobile and Tbaytel customers also reported network problems.

Rogers said that voice services are restoring with “a very limited number of customers experiencing intermittent interruption to voice calls.” It did note that customers were experiencing issues nationally.

Freedom Mobile said it was made aware of the disruption on Sunday afternoon and technicians have been “actively managing the network and working to fully restore wireless voice services.”

The carriers have not said what has caused the outage nor have they revealed the exact number of affected customers.

Reports from some have suggested that 9-1-1 emergency services are not functioning and this is an inaccurate fact.

Both Android and iOS powered phones are capable of making emergency phone calls even if you’re not connected to a wireless service provider.

According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC): “If you have a cellphone but are not subscribed to any service, you can still dial 9-1-1 in an emergency and get basic wireless 9-1-1 service.”

For example, if you remove your phone’s SIM card, your phone should read “No SIM card – Emergency Calls Only.”

In an instance where you aren’t able to access your phone’s network, the only way you can communicate is to connect to a Wi-Fi signal and use services like WhatsApp to try and communicate with friends and family.

Just to note, there still needs to be some sort of network connection in order for you to be able to call 9-1-1 services. What that means is if you are with one provider and you lose connection, your phone will latch onto another network to be able to call emergency services.

Not all municipalities provide a 9-1-1 service so it could be possible that you might not be able to access the service.

Most carriers offer a page that offers information on 9-1-1 services.