Here's a BlackBerry error message you don't see every day... "Mobile equipment status failed"

Mobile equipment status failed
By Kevin Michaluk on 21 Sep 2011 06:03 pm EDT

Here's another one of those real world stories turned CrackBerry blog post... last night Miss CrackBerry was on her BlackBerry Bold 9900 texting with her sister, when for some unknown reason out of no where she receives an error message saying Mobile equipment status failed. She showed it to me and asked me what it meant, to which I replied that I had no clue. Since my time on BlackBerry, that's not a message I've actually ever personally experienced. It seemed the text message that failed still ultimately went through as her sister replied to it, but it was still an odd thing to see.

Googling around earlier today I stumbled onto quite a few forum threads related to this topic (many in our own CrackBerry forums), but the view on the message and what it means seemed a bit muddled. While the phrase Mobile equipment status failed sounds like there's something wrong with your phone's hardware, it actually seems this message is related to the carrier having trouble with its network. Sure enough, it turns out the Rogers network did have some issues yesterday which were likely the cause of this error message being displayed.

Questions of the Week:  1) Have you ever experienced this message before?  2) If so, did you ever discover a really good explanation of exactly what it means? and finally, 3) If it is related to the carrier's network and not the phone's hardware which seems to be case, why would RIM put such a weird sounding/stupid error message onto the OS that makes it sound like your phone is broken?? Be sure to sound off in the comments with your answers!

Reader comments

Here's a BlackBerry error message you don't see every day... "Mobile equipment status failed"


I just received this message the other day myself. I was in the Charlotte, NC airport and just floating in and out of H+ and Edge. I had a full H+ signal when I got that too. I also couldn't make calls. This all lasted about five minutes or so. Then everything went back to normal so I never called AT&T to report the issue. I thought maybe being at an airport the system was bogged down...

I get this from time to time with Sasktel, though usually the message doesn't get sent when it happens. Usually happens when I'm going in and out of service (basements, some buildings, driving out of town)

My 9810 tends to do this a lot, I first thought it was due to possibly poor service when it first did it now it may do it here and there and even when I have excellent service

Mobile equipment status failed...

That's what the broker told me today when my RIMM shares hit a new 52-week low!

I get this message almost everyday. My carrier is Metro PCS so I just assumed it had something to do with their service. It is extremely frustrating having to resend the message two or three times before it actually sends.

I have Sprint with my 9930 and The msg I get all the time when sending SMS is:

SMS error 97, Message ID 81) Service denied

The same thing happens to me, I get that msg but it still goes through. I called sprint tech support and they told me to bring it in to a store to be checked as I have the latest OS on there. I get it atleast once or twice a day since I send about 100 or more SMS a day.

I do also get that message ( SMS error 97, Message ID 81) Service denied) daily with my Sprint 9330 ,wasn't sure if messages went threw our not-I have a tendency to resend it..

I used to get this message quite often when my service provider was VMUSA. I used to have to re-send it 2 or 3 times before things went through.

1. Yes, I've had the error before

2. I've (correctly) assumed it had something to do with the mobile network and not my phone

3.Error messages are meant to be formal/geeky're never going to get something like "fuck, the cell network is broken" but rather "mobile equipment status failure" or something like that.

I've had this before and I have no idea why it happened. Ummmmmmmmmm.
Well, I wasn't sure if the SMS was delivered but I sent it again and it turns out the text was sent twice.
Not sure what exactly went on there but it didn't seem to make any difference.

Got this numerous times on my S2. It wasn't the phone it was my network, which was spotty at home only. Just resend the message and all was good. Very odd phrasing indeed though. I think "message not sent" would sound better indeed. I would think you would wanna limit things that make the phone seem at fault, kinda like the spinning clock that pops up when its only taking a second or two to load something. Get rid of it. Perception is reality, and seeing it makes u think of waiting.

In the year I used my bold 9700 I had never received this error.
In the 2 months I have had my 9900 I have received it twice.
I am on Rogers in Hamilton Ontario. I usually get this error when the network is being sketchy or slow so it makes sense its a carrier issue not a phone issue. I usually reboot my phone just in case though.
Never found a good explanation of the error...

So here is the low down on this error.

It happen when the authentication key between the phone and the carrier get out of sync. Depending on the carrier you are on it will happen alot or not often. On the bigger carriers it will not happen often, the smaller carriers it will happen more often, it really depends on the how many tower are in the area and when the phone jumps between towers, if it jumps to a new tower and then back to the previous tower to quickly it will cause your authentication key to get out of whack. If you have automated provisioning (I.E. Verizon's *228 option 2) that will fix the issue, other wise, go to manage connection and turn off your Mobile connection, then wait 45-60 seconds and turn you mobile connection back on.

i like the cut of your jib!

now if only RIM would change the error message to make it say something more like that... like "your network temporarily sucks, wait a minute" or something like that.

the way it's written now really does come across as your phone just failed. take it back.

Sounds like whomever coded the error was using carrier / mobile radio terms, and forgot that actually end users would be the one who's reading this.

Cell phones are often referred to as UE - I think that's User Equipment or something like that.

There are plenty of discussion about error messages in programmer circles:
- they should be descriptive - eg not "uncaught exception" - programmers may need to hunt down the issue, and users could know what's going on
- they should let the user know what's going on without scaring the crap out of them - some of the reaction to "mobile equipment" error shows that rim needs to improve on this
- on the other hand, they need to provide enough unique detail so that devs won't take forever searching for the error message in the code.

There are lots of room for improvement that RIM could do to make sure they're not freaking out users for network issues。

It's happen about a half dozen times since Sept-03 when I got my 9900 on the Rogers network in the London ON area.

I've also noticed a lot of BBM messages not going through...

And sometimes H+ seems slower than my old 8900 on EDGE. Definitely not completely happy with the speed and reliability of this "H+" network...

It happens occasionally with my 9650 on Verizon. I live in an area where the service can be crappy from time to time depending on where you are in my apartment. I'll get this message when going back and forth between service.

I'm on sprint...on my 9650 and now on my 9930 I get this message when someone is calling me. Meaning I'm about to get a phone call is when I get that error message. As I'm sending a SMS and incoming call is when I get this error

I got it the other day on my Bold 9900 on AT&T but it was while coming and going from the NYC Subway if I remember correctly, so service cuts out a lot while I travel. Resent when I had good service and no damage done. -bill @murphquake

I'm on Verizon and I get it a good amount with heavy texting. Usually it happens when I'm trying to send a message at the same time one is trying to be received. The incoming message takes precedence and the outgoing one fails normally resulting in that error. The other error message will be a general SMS failure.

Occasionally the problem will happen with a phone call just like above with sj-performance

Sometimes resending the message using the resend option doesn't work... only fully re-typing the text message will allow it to go through.

It's happened with all of the BB's I've ever owned (I've also only ever used VZW)

I've seen this before while using a Verizon branded Bold 9650 on Rogers in Vancouver. It was showing lower case edge and I had no date service or sms at all. I used a different OS with better radio file and it resolved the issue.

Yeah, I've had that a few times on both the Torch 9800 and 9810. While I'd like to believe it was a carrier issues, a BIS outage in my area always turned out to be the cause.

On a side note:

Is anyone else having an issue with the mobile view on CrackBerry? It seems like it's all catered to the 9900/9930's widescreen dimensions. Stop hating on those who like other models fellas.

I wouldn't know. But seems to be showing up just fine on my 9930. Lol. J/K J/K.
If your talkin about what I think you are. When you zoom in it doesn't squeeze everything on to the screen. I found this one out myself being that I am so inpatient. You have to let the page fully load B4 trying to scroll down or it just stays the size it IZ making you scroll over every line to keep reading. Which is VERY ANNOYING! I'm not quite sure what you are talking about but that was th issue I was having. Or maybe I'm not having in problems cuz I really do have a 9930 idk.

1. yes, using unlocked vzw storm on tmo usa.
2. i assumed it was the crappy tmo service which consistantly had text and bis outages, even when using tmo pearl 8120.
3. not sure why they did that because half the time the message went thru within 10 sec

I have really crappy service in 3 rooms of my house (on Verizon) but I never had that error message........ever.

It happened today when I was sending an SMS. VIVO's network has been crap for two weeks now here.

At least the message in portuguese makes sense: Rede com erro de funcionamento (Mobile network malfunction).

I have a curve 8530 and I get this on the Telus cdma network if i am in a low signal enviroment Also, does anyone have the problem that there is no signal at all in a walmart store? this happens to me in any walmart location.

I've gotten this on my 9650 with Verizon. It usually happens to me when I'm trying to send a txt while an email or BBM is coming in at the same time. I have also seen this in my BBM messages. Usually the same deal as before. I have yet to see this on my 9930. Fingers crossed I never have to see this again.

Yeah same here.. Get this message on my 9850 for Verizon when an incoming message is receiving as I'm trying to send .. but then again only happen when I'm on a leaked os lol

I got the same massage today.. for a minute I thought I was blocked on txt but later I sent another one went through.

it has something to do with the phone. it will do this after you've lost service and try to send something while phone is changing from 1x to 3g (you know that act it does). i've noticed this once or twice on my 9930 recently. it's like trying to open multiple programs on a pentium just can't do it all at once.

1 )I get this message almost everyday.
2) I'm on the Telus CDMA network.
3) This only happends when my signal is low (1bar) in Montreal downtown.

My sms retry status is 0, and when send a msg which is failed to send even after retries you get this err msg.
Or when send this msg and encountered some network connectivity problem...
You may dee this err msg

I have a torch 9850 thru verizon n I had one saying ( SMS error 0, message ID76 ) general problems .. Whatever that means. But I just resend the message. I must of got this at least 5 times already

It's AT&T's and T-Mobiles bands (T-Mo also has AWS) it is also a European band I.E. Making AT&T phones "World-Ready".

This is normal for me. I have verizon as my service BUT I don't get VZ service for over 30 miles so I roam at home off Cell-Ones towers. All I do is simply highlight the text that failed,then "resend text". I'm pretty sure its just an error sending through the network. Shouldn't happen on 3G unless its in the middle of switching from 3G to 1x

I've never seen/heard of this error message until now and I've been on Rogers network only ever since I upgraded to a smartphone which was 4 years ago. Weird..

Yes ive had it before, many times

I get it all the time when my network is set to 2G/3G and i have a 3G signal

Mainly due to the fact that the 3G part of my phone is knackered, every 10 or so minutes it hangs all connections for up to 5 minutes (Even incoming calls fail!)

So i would probably say its phone hardware, based on experience, well it is in my case anyway!

Running at 2G only i have no problems!

My carrier is BELL MOBILITY and I'm located in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. I've never received this message.

- CB

i've had this error 3 days back.. and i'm on Etisalat in Dubai.. of all the places!

then again, my 9900 has all sorts of reception issues (it locks on the wrong network and sits in SOS for a while before thinking of searching again)

1) Yes, I get it all the time (at work)... but that's b/c i get pretty much 0 bars at work. so the message fails. 2) The only thing I can think of is because I have no signal for it to process. I ususally just wait until i have signal and hit my bb menu button and resend it. 3) Yeah, i'm not sure about that one. I'm guessing (for my case anyway) it's because the phone itself it still trying to send the message but has no signal to do so with, and it just ends up timing itself out.

On Verizon w/my Storm 9530, I got this message every 2 out of 5 text, but I always thought it had to do w/the lack of reception I get from my office since that's when I would mostly see this message. I'm using smsCrunch now on my Torch 9850 so I don't see any confirmation or network messages anymore.

I had something weird happen yesterday--I was chatting on bbm with a friend from my playbook (to her bb). Everyone now and then, I didn't get the error message above, but the message I'd sent appeared, but as though she had sent it to me. I think it must have looked normal on her end, as she replied to them normally and never mentioned it (neither did I). Also, occasionally, (yesterday and in the past), I will send a few messages one after the other--sometimes, I will have ones I sent earlier become either "D" or "R" after later ones (even after someone else has already sent me another one and I've replied and seen the reply go through).


Got my first BB (Bold 9900) yesterday. The same message appeared to me when I composed a txt and try to send it over while I was on the tube in London. Lack of a good signal might be the cause of such message.

Have seen that quite a few times when I had a 9650 on Sprint. I remember it being during sms network outages most of the time. Haven't seen it yet on my AT&T 9800. Where is our 9900 :'( !!!?

I've had this yesterday, for the first time.
I was in an area with poor network coverage (my university's classrooms), and, while the texts actually were sent, the phone gave me this error (I had to try again and they were sent correctly).

I've never had this error before, but I've also been using GSM phones until 1 week ago, when I got a 9930 (I'm still using it in GSM only mode, but that **** seller sent me a 9930 instead of a 9900).

I was a victim of the issues Rogers was having...almost missed the ballet, as my wife (who had the tickets) couldn't find me. Rogers has given me 2 months unlimited incoming as compensation.

A woman I met at the ballet complained that she couldn't get into her condo, since the front door is activated by her cell. Wonder what she got from Rogers?

Over the years... i have have multiple Verizon blackberries... Yes i have seen the error message every now and then, i normally copy the text , delete the message & then resend a new msg with the same text.. i have never noticed if Verizon's had network issues at the same time (as i also was a Verizon Tech support rep also). I've never really noticed any direct/relatable phone or network issues to that error message.

I'm using a blackberry torch 9818 on at&t just started have this problem. What I do to fix it, is shot off the network connection then turn it back on, until phone find service, then reset the massage. Its much easier And faster then hard reset taking battery out.

Yep got it yesterday and couple of minutes ago today. I really dispise it because I have important texts and calls to make every second.

I get the Equipment Status message every few texts in my house because the AT&T service is horrible here. .. .. all throughout my neighborhood. The Verizon service was no better when I had it. When I call, they say it must be the hilly terrain. Haha. I'm on Long Island. Flat as a pancake.

I saw a fix for this posted by 'rickn420'
in the SMS application click the BlackBerry menu > options > under "network to send over" make sure it says "circuit switched"

This will resolve the issue

Glad to find this information! My phone has shown this msg since last night. I'm not very tech savvy....where will I find the SMS application?