Verizon 4G customers for the second time this month found themselves without the service following an outage that stretched across the country early in the day on Dec. 21.
Wireless officials said their 4G network is back up and running after the
carrier sustained its second outage
this month, and third one this year,
early in the day on Dec. 21.
officials issued a statement in the early afternoon, several hours after
reports began circulating about another outage that reportedly stretched from
New York to California.
Wireless 4G LTE service is returning to normal," they said in the statement.
"Company engineers worked to resolve an issue with the 4G network during the
early morning hours."
came just weeks after another incident that knocked out 4G Long-Term Evolution
(LTE) service to millions of customers around the country, many of whom were
automatically switched over to the carrier's slower 3G network.
As with the
earlier incident, the outage Dec. 21 sent users to Verizon's online forums
to complain and report
slow or no service.
been aggressively touting its 4G service since introducing it a little more
than a year ago. Like such rivals as AT&T and Sprint, Verizon officials see
4G as a way of attracting customers and offering higher-priced 4G-enabled
devices. Verizon has an early lead over AT&T in the 4G LTE race, and
according to company officials, the 4G service is the fastest ramp of a new
technology in Verizon's history.
As of Dec. 15,
Verizon's 4G network was reaching 200 million users in 190 markets across the
United States. The carrier is offering more than a dozen 4G-enabled devices,
including Motorola's recently released Droid Xyboard tablet
the 4G LTE network has been the fastest rollout of any next-generation network
in our history," Verizon CTO David Small said in a Dec. 14 statement, a day
before the company turned on service in 11 new markets. "In one year and 10
days, we have brought 4G LTE to more than 200 million people. That's more than
twice as fast as our 3G network rollout."
To meet rapidly
growing demand for the faster service, Verizon has aggressively been buying
wireless spectrum. On Dec. 12, Verizon announced an agreement with a company
called SpectrumCo-a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright
House Networks-to buy 122 Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum covering
259 million people for $3.6 billion. Four days later, Verizon announced it was
buying Cox Communications' 20MHz AWS
-which covers about
28 million people-for $315 million.
observers saw Verizon's approach of buying spectrum from companies that no
longer needed it as a smarter alternative
to AT&T's now-defunct
$39 billion bid for rival T-Mobile,
which drew sharp criticism from competitors, consumer groups and federal
regulators, in particular the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal
Communications Commission. They argued that the deal would harm consumers and
reports are emerging that federal regulators also may have concerns about the
amount of spectrum that Verizon is buying. According to a Dec. 20 report in Bloomberg News
, the DOJ apparently is investigating Verizon's spectrum deals
determine whether they could hurt competition in both the wireless and cable
that a DOJ spokesperson said the DOJ's Antitrust Division was examining the
deals, but would not comment further.