Verizon resolves massive billing system outage, rolls out XLTE to 300-plus markets

Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) reported the resolution of problems with its online portal that impacted thousands of customers and its own retail stores in certain parts of the country. The operator also announced that it has deployed XLTE, the brand name for LTE deployed over its AWS spectrum, to more than 300 markets.

Over the weekend, Verizon said it had resolved an outage affecting its My Verizon online portal, which began early on June 27. The portal was down for nearly 24 hours before Verizon told customers via email and Twitter on the morning of June 28 that the problem had been addressed. However, some Twitter users were sending tweets to @VZWnews on June 29 regarding problems they claimed they were still having with the portal.

During the outage, a message displayed on the portal informed impacted customers that "some account actions are temporarily unavailable while we upgrade our systems." Verizon's own retail stores were impacted as well. Not only could subscribers not make online bill payments, but upgrades and activations could not be processed.

Verizon told media outlets that the problem affected customers throughout the Northeast, Midwest and some southern states. Following publication of this article, a Verizon spokesman told FierceWirelessTech that the issue affecting some customer access to account information "was an unintended consequence of a software update performed by the company on its billing system."

In other news, Verizon announced that more than 300 markets now have XLTE service, which offers at least doubled capacity and faster peak speeds to customers. Verizon already deployed LTE to some 500 markets using its 700 MHz spectrum and has been adding bandwidth where possible by also activating LTE service on its 1.7/2.2 GHz AWS spectrum, which the company notes is particularly effective in densely populated areas. One of the latest markets to gain AWS coverage is Huntsville, Ala.

Just a month ago, Verizon was saying it had activated XLTE service on its AWS spectrum in more than 250 markets.

In a blog post, Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Debi Lewis said nearly all of the devices the operator sells, including the newest Droid devices, Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 and Note 3, and the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, are XLTE Ready when purchased. "Today, more than 35 percent of all devices operating on the Verizon Wireless network can take direct advantage of the added capacity that AWS provides," she noted.

For more:
- see this Verizon release and blog post
- see this Verge article
- see this Re/code article

Related articles:
Verizon touts numbers behind its XLTE rollout
Verizon confirms 'XLTE' marketing for LTE network to highlight AWS deployments
FCC approves Verizon's $3.9B AWS purchase, T-Mobile spectrum swap

Article updated on June 30, 2014, to include additional information from Verizon.

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