Customers of Verizon Wireless were hit with a second nationwide outage this month of the company’s 3G and 4G networks, sending wireless users to the company’s support forums and Twitter feed to express their frustration. Some customers on the East Coast were reporting that 3G service had been restored as of 8 a.m. Dec. 21.
Technology blog The Verge reported they had spoken to a Verizon support representative who confirmed the outage but was not authorized to discuss the extent of the issues with the press. The outage affected users from Southhampton, N.Y., to San Francisco. One Verizon customer from Lakeland, Fla., called “snowmansurfer91” posted a comment on the 4G LTE Community Board: “Call for a credit, I am a field tech and rely on data services 24/7. They gave me 25 dollar credit.”
The company recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the launch of is 4G service. Sixteen devices are currently available to run on the 4G network, including eight smartphones, such as the Droid Razr, and tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Consumer demand for Apple iPhones and Android devices on its 4G network boosted Verizon’s third-quarter financial performance, company executives said during Verizon’s Oct. 21 earnings call. Verizon activated 1.3 million new wireless users, including prepaid and other customers. The 4G network grew more quickly than anticipated, which is currently available in 165 markets and covers a population of more than 186 million, the company said.
Just last week Verizon announced Pioneer Cellular, one of 13 participants in the Verizon Wireless LTE in Rural America program, has successfully completed end-to-end data testing over its new 4G LTE network in preparation for a commercial launch next spring for customers in central and western Oklahoma. Pioneer announced its participation in the LTE in Rural America program last December and during the past year has constructed cell towers, laid fiber optic cable, and installed network hardware and software, working closely with Verizon Wireless engineers. Pioneer is now testing its new network and trial devices for speed, reliability and ease of use.
Verizon announced the LTE in Rural America initiative in June 2010 to bring the benefits of high-speed mobile broadband to rural areas of the United States where Verizon Wireless currently does not have a network. Under the program, Verizon Wireless shares access to its 700 MHz spectrum with rural operators who use their tower and backhaul assets to build a 4G LTE network. Pioneer’s 4G LTE network covers more than 260,000 people in 21 counties across nearly 17,000 miles of central and western Oklahoma. To date, 13 rural carriers have leased spectrum covering, in total, 2.6 million people in rural communities and 85,000 square miles in 10 states.