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Verizon recovers from LTE outage

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 8:05am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Verizon Wireless says its LTE network is back online after a nationwide outage yesterday brought the high-speed network to a halt.

In a statement issued today, Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said the company was able to restore service. "Our 4G LTE network is up and running," he said. "Our network engineers and vendors quickly identified the issue and solved it."

Laptop users with Verizon's LTE mobile broadband USB modems may still be experiencing some problems. The company's LTE modems may need to reconnect to the network when moving between Verizon's 3G service and LTE service, Nelson said, adding that the service on the company's LTE modems would "continue to improve."

Customers using Verizon's LTE-capable HTC Thunderbolt now have normal service. Yesterday, when the outage occurred, Thunderbolt users were able to make voice calls but experienced slow data speeds as their mobile Internet was routed over Verizon's 1xRTT network instead of its LTE network.

Verizon has provided few details on the crash. In a statement on its official Twitter account yesterday, the company said it was aware of the issues and was working to resolve it.

The scope and cause of the outage remains unclear.

Customer forums reported LTE service went down across the country, but Verizon has not confirmed how many customers were affected. Its LTE network vendors, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Reports of a nationwide outage of Verizon's LTE network began to emerge early Wednesday morning as subscribers across the country saw their mobile broadband service go offline.

The strength and reliability of its network is a point of pride for Verizon, and it remains to be seen how the outage will affect the company's reputation with its customers.

Verizon first launched its LTE network in December of last year. The network now covers 110 people nationwide and has gained traction in the marketplace. Verizon added 500,000 LTE customers during the first quarter, more than half of whom signed up for the company's first LTE smartphone, the HTC Thunderbolt.

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