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Virgin Mobile USA Hit by National Data, SMS Outage

Wed, 03/21/2012 - 6:56am
Maisie Ramsay

Virgin Mobile USA is recovering from a national outage that has left customers across the country without data or text messaging service.

The network problems were confirmed by the prepaid provider in posts on its Twitter and Facebook accounts late yesterday afternoon. 

"We are currently experiencing a national data & text messaging outage," the company said on its Facebook page. 

A company spokeswoman said today that the interruption in service has since been resolved and the problem stemmed from one of its servers. 

"We did have some issues yesterday related to a server," she said. "In most cases, it required customers to remove their battery and restart device." 

Virgin Mobile is one of Sprint's prepaid brands, and runs its voice, data and SMS service on Sprint's CDMA EV-DO network. Its Facebook page has been inundated with comments about the outage, with some customers reporting their service was momentarily restored, only to blink out again. 

Neither Sprint nor its prepaid brand Boost Mobile has reported any issues. However, Assurance Wireless, another Sprint brand that is operated by Virgin Mobile, told a customer on its Facebook page who was having problems with his text service that "we were experiencing a 3G/MMS/SMS outage yesterday."  

Virgin Mobile is getting ready to begin throttling data speeds of customers who use more than 2.5 GB of data during their monthly billing cycle. The policy, which goes into effect on Friday, will reduce users' speeds to 256 kbps or slower once they exceed their allotment of data. 

The company said there was no link between the switch to data throttling and the server problems that caused the outage.  

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