Network operator Verizon issued a statement blaming a four-hour data service outage on a software glitch at one of the company's data centers. Verizon alerted customers, not all of whom were affected, by using the microblogging site Twitter to announce the data outage. Voice service was unaffected during the outage, which lasted from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. and was concentrated in the eastern United States. The Wall Street Journal reported that not all data centers were affected.
Verizon bills its network as the largest and most reliable network in the United States and is currently investing in expanding 3G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. The company's current network serves more than 91 million customers. This week Verizon announced it was enhancing its 3G wireless data network In Central Virginia, increasing data capacity. Verizon said it has invested more than $2 billion in the area since 2000. Last year alone, the company spent $274 million on regional network improvements.
The company's "nation's most reliable wireless network" reputation is based on network studies performed by real-life test men and women throughout the country. These engineers drive nearly 100 specially equipped vehicles more than 1 million miles annually on Interstate, U.S. and state highways, as well as major roads and surface streets. Test vehicles are equipped with computers that automatically make more than 3 million voice call attempts and more than 16 million data tests annually on Verizon's network and the networks of other carriers.
"Even the most sophisticated wireless device is only as good as the network it runs on," said Verizon's regional president of the Washington-Baltimore-Virginia area, Mike Maiorana. "Verizon Wireless continues to invest in our network and add capacity to stay ahead of growing demand and ensure our customers have an even better wireless experience tomorrow than they had today."
Results from this internal network quality assurance test program also suggest that Verizon is the 3G network quality leader in the Virginia, Maryland and DC region, and correlate with other third-party network quality findings, including the including a J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study.
In addition to enhancing its 3G network, Verizon has also begun testing its 4G network, which it plans to deploy in 2010 in 25 to 30 U.S. markets, covering 100 million people. The company said its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network will offer dramatically higher wireless speeds and reliability than even today's most advanced 3G network.