The company made the mistake for the tens of thousands of delayed text messages sent early Thursday morning, saying more messages have been postponed than originally thought. Syniverse, the guilty company, originally stated that 168,149 messages were delayed. It says now that the number was based on "preliminary data" and that further assessment shows that the message total is "higher than originally reported".
Syniverse did not indicate how much higher the number could be or that it would release definitive figures once it had calculated the total. It is worth remembering that the total number of people affected is at least double the number of delayed messages: there is the sender, whose message was received months later at an odd hour of the night, and the recipient, who strange and sometimes disturbing late-night message.
The problem is now resolved and no more delayed messages are sent, according to Syniverse. "We apologize to everyone affected by this incident," said William Hurley, Head of Marketing and Product at Syniverse. Hurley says the company is reviewing its processes to ensure that this no longer happens.
All delayed messages were sent due to a server problem, according to Syniverse. A single server failed on Valentine's Day 2019 and held messages that had not yet been sent. That server was only brought back online on November 7, so that the stuck texts were finally released.
The delayed messages led to great confusion. In the US, text messages were mostly delivered in the middle of the night and because there were no indications that they were delayed, the recipients usually had no idea what they were reading. In other cases, the reception went beyond confusion: people received text messages from exes; in various cases, messages were received by people who have died since they were sent.
Mobile providers rely on a number of external companies, such as Syniverse, to route text messages sent between networks. That is why people from all major providers and even smaller providers encountered the problem – if their provider relied on Syniverse, or if the provider to whom they trusted messages trusted Syniverse, their message would have crossed its network and it could get stuck last Valentine's Day.