Verizon Wireless 4G Returns to Life, but Customer Trust Still Broken

 
 
By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2011-04-30 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 out.

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.




 
 
 
 
Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
 
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters























 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date
Rocket Fuel