(WIRED) -- A number of Sprint customers report difficulties receiving SMS text messages from cellular customers outside the Sprint network.
Beginning in late June, Sprint cellular customers started complaining of long delays in receiving SMS text messages -- sometimes hours, sometimes days -- while others said some of their texts did not arrive at all.
"We are aware of a text-messaging issue that is impacting a small percentage of incoming text messages," wrote a Sprint representative in a statement provided to Wired.com. "We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible."
The issues come at a bad time for Sprint, as the company is embroiled in a war with AT&T over the latter's possible acquisition of T-Mobile. To remain competitive in a market dominated by telecommunications giants Verizon and AT&T, Sprint's service has to be more reliable than ever.
And this isn't the first time Sprint has faced customer ire due to network disruption. As recently as May, Sprint acknowledged downtime for both its SMS and voice services across multiple states.
The current problems seem to be isolated to inbound texts coming from people not on the Sprint network, as user reports claim messages from other Sprint users are being received intact and on time. Customers are also able to send outbound texts with no difficulty.
Still others ran into problems with 0001/0002 messages, or those that are split in half because of a 160-character limit. Users either received the first part of the message without the corresponding second part, or multiple segmented messages were truncated far below the 160-character limit, arriving out of order.
As one user described it on a Sprint message board July 1: "Sometime texts show up perfect, and sometimes I have to try to reassemble the puzzle pieces or just call the person, which defeats the point of having texting in the first place."
The problem does not seem to be isolated to a specific type of device, as both feature-phone and smartphone users complained about disrupted service on the Sprint forums.
Two Sprint technical-support representatives confirmed the company is working to resolve the SMS issues, but as of July 6, no time frame for fixing the service has been announced.
"As already stated multiple times, unfortunately, we have not been given an ETA for the fix," wrote Sprint.com administrator 'ClaudiPo' in a July 6 forum post. "All we know is that they're working on the issue."
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