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What does ‘all circuits are busy’ mean?

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Telcom carriers have come a long way both in terms of features offered and their overall coverage. That said, random bugs and glitches still come up from time to time that can hinder connectivity and the ability to make calls or send SMS messages. 

In this article, we’re taking a look at what “all circuits are busy” mean, why it happens and what you can do to avoid the situation. 

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Calling circuits explained

There are a few reasons why this might happen. The error itself means that the call couldn’t be made due to connection issues or if there are no free outgoing or incoming lines available at either your carrier or the recipient’s carrier. 

All carriers only have a specific number of phone lines available. Since cell services don’t use wires for transmission, the radio waves used to transfer signals between a caller and the recipient can only carry so much data. This means that if the airwaves are saturated, the network has reached full capacity and more calls can’t be made. 

If you’re getting the error when you call a specific number, the issue is with the recipient’s carrier. However, If this happens for all numbers that you dial, the issue is with your carrier and you should get in touch with their customer support to find out what’s the issue. 

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How to fix this?

Here are five fixes you can try out. 

Try again sometime later

As mentioned above, the error generally occurs when either the recipient’s or the caller’s carrier network has reached its limit and can’t transfer any more data. Try calling in some time to see if that resolves the issue. 

Check the phone number 

The error can also come up if you’re dialling the wrong number. If the number is incorrect and doesn’t exist, the carrier won’t be able to route your call and you might run into the error. Check to see if you’re dialling the correct number and try again. 

Get better coverage

Poor network connectivity can cause a number of issues, including this one. Try moving to an area with better network coverage, ideally with a telecom tower nearby and try making the call again.

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System outage

Another possible cause for the error is a network outage on either the caller’s or the recipient’s network. If this is the case, try getting in touch with your network’s customer support to find out the exact cause and know when the services will be resumed. 

Contact Customer support

Finally, if nothing else works and you’re not able to pinpoint the exact reason for the error, the best thing to do is to reach out to the carrier’s customer care and let them fix the issue for you. 

Also read: What does ‘Your call cannot be completed as dialled’ mean?


Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: