News Analysis: Verizon's 4G LTE network was back in service in most areas of the country late on April 29. But customer trust in the new high-speed wireless network has taken a serious hit since Verizon shared precious little information about its efforts to restore the service nationwide.
Verizon Wireless has returned its 4G network to service, at least in
most places. The super-fast network went down on April 27 in the wee
hours of the morning, and stayed down for at least 24 hours. The
company communicated the existence of the outage through a single
message on Twitter. It eventually reported the return the same way.
So far, Verizon Wireless has said nothing about the cause of the 4G
outage, it hasn't said what it did to fix it, nor has it given a
timetable for returning those areas that remain out to service.
However, late in the day on April 29 eWEEK was still receiving messages
from customers reporting that at least some of their 4G services remain
I was able to confirm that the Verizon Wireless service had returned to
operation. I took a review model of the HTC ThunderBolt to the place
where I do 4G phone testing, and turned it on. Sure enough, the 4G
symbol on the phone appeared. On April 27 I got an ominous 1X symbol,
telling me that I was using the ultra-slow 1XRRT network from days gone
by. The phone never did revert to 3G service.
The fact that Verizon Wireless has gotten its 4G data network running again
is good news for customers. Once again they can use those expensive
phones and mobile hotspots that they're paying 4G prices for.
Unfortunately, it's not clear what else Verizon Wireless is doing to
make sure this doesn't happen again and it's not saying what it will do
to compensate those customers who are paying for 4G service but who
went for a day or two without it.
In fact, Verizon Wireless isn't saying much of anything. If you didn't
happen to be following one of the Verizon Wireless Twitter feeds at the
time of the outage, you'd never know what happened. Likewise, you'd
never know when the network restoration effort was started and you'd
never know the service had been restored in your area short of turning
on your phone to see if the network was running in your area.
For reasons that (like everything else) remain unexplained, Verizon
Wireless executives apparently felt no need to keep its customers and
the public informed about the outage or its restoration. I searched in
vain for information on the company Website. Nothing. I looked at the
corporate press release stash. Nope. I Googled the outage and found
lots of reports by third parties (including eWEEK) that said the
network was down, but nothing from Verizon Wireless.