As confirmed on the official Verizon Twitter account this morning, the cellular service provider noted a problem with the 4G LTE network. However, the spokesperson noted that the “3G data, voice and text services are operating reliably.” Unhappy customers in Detroit, Phoenix, Arizona, Columbus, Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Philadelphia posted complaints on the Verizon discussion forums throughout the morning. Some of the customers also stated that 3G service was unavailable at the same time. According to Verizon Wireless spokesman Tom Pica, Verizon Wireless started receiving customers calls about the outages around 6:30 A.M. Eastern time.
Approximately six hours later around 1 P.M. Eastern time, Verizon posted another update that service had been restored to all cities. This is the fourth time that 4G LTE service has been interrupted nationwide in the last 90 days. The first three times occurred during December 2011 and Verizon manged to make it through January without an additional outage, despite the increased number of smartphones given as gifts over the holidays as well as being the exclusive provider to stream the Super Bowl on mobile devices.
Verizon’s previous marketing slogan for the 4G LTE network was ” the nation’s fastest, most reliable 4G network,” however this slogan has been changed on portions of Verizon’s site to state “Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network.”
Verizon Wireless was the first cellular provider to launch a nationwide 4G LTE network, thus the company is likely still learning how to effectively manage the data flow and network reliability. Verizon’s 4G LTE network is currently available in 196 markets while rival provider AT&T only has 4G coverage in 28 markets. AT&T plans to invest an additional $20 billion in wireless technology during 2012, the majority of which will go to building up the 4G LTE network to nationwide coverage. However, company officials at AT&T don’t plan on finishing the nationwide rollout of the 4G LTE network until the end of 2013.