Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) has long been known for its network reliability; it's been the basis of many of the company's commercials for years. So, it was with a mixture of amazement and dismay that the company's vaunted LTE network suffered a nationwide 24-hour outage in late April.
Verizon customers using the HTC ThunderBolt, Verizon's first LTE smartphone, first reported issues when they were unable to receive an LTE signal. Some customers said that they were only receiving a 1X data connection.
Service was restored quickly, but the damage was done. What's more, the outage just a few days after Nicola Palmer, Verizon Wireless' vice president of network operations, told attendees at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit that Verizon's LTE launch was very smooth with few glitches following its December 2010 launch.
A few weeks after the outage, Verizon officials were still cagey on the precise cause of the disruption. Brian Higgins, executive director of LTE ecosystem development at Verizon Wireless, said the company learned some lessons from its outage and is making sure it won't happen again. "Adjustments have been made," he said. Verizon later admitted that a software bug in its IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture caused the outage. Verizon's LTE network has since been reliable and has been expanding at a rapid clip, now covering more than 186 million POPs. Still, for a company that prides itself on "the network," the LTE outage was a black eye.