Verizon Reports LTE Network Crash

Wed, 04/27/2011 - 12:04pm
Maisie Ramsay

Verizon Wireless has confirmed reports of a major outage in its LTE network.

The wireless operator provided few details on the crash in a statement on its official Twitter account today, saying that it was aware of the issue and working to resolve it quickly.

The scope of the outage remains unclear. Verizon has yet to release information about the length of the outage, what caused it, how many customers were affected or when it will be resolved.

“We are aware of an issue with 4G LTE data connections and our network engineers are working to resolve this quickly,” Verizon spokesman Jeff Nelson said in a statement. “We have determined the cause of our issue and are working with our major vendors to restore connections.”

Nelson said the company’s LTE network would be restored on a market-by-market basis, but did not provide additional details about the when the network would come back online.

Verizon said its LTE-capable HTC ThunderBolt could still make voice calls but may get 1xRTT data, a legacy technology which provides considerably slower data rates than its LTE network.

On Wednesday morning, reports of a nationwide outage of Verizon’s LTE network began to emerge on Verizon user forums and on tech blogs. Subscribers from Florida to California reported they were unable to connect to Verizon’s LTE network beginning in the early morning hours of April 27.

Reports on the status of Verizon's 3G network have been contradictory and it remains to be seen how the company's CDMA subscribers are affected by the outage.

Some customers reporting issues with their LTE connection said Verizon’s 3G network appears to be functioning normally, but Verizon said on its Twitter support account it was aware of an issue with both its 3G and LTE connections. Nelson did not report any problems with the operator’s legacy systems in his statement.

On Monday, Verizon Wireless’ network operations chief Nicola Palmer said at VentureBeat’s Mobile Summit that the company had few problems with the deployment of its LTE network.

The outage marks the first major problem with Verizon’s LTE network, which launched in 38 markets last December and now covers 110 million people nationwide.

Verizon prides itself on the strength and reliability of its network, and its LTE services have proved popular with customers. The company added 500,000 LTE customers during the first quarter, more than half of which were attributed to the HTC ThunderBolt.

By the end of the year, Verizon’s LTE network is expected to be available in more than 175 markets, covering a population of about 185 million people nationwide.



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