Verizon: LTE outages a result of network's 'growing pains'

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) attributed the recent spate of LTE service outages it experienced to "growing pains" that come with building the largest LTE network in the country. The company said while the disruptions were unfortunate they were also unforeseeable.

Verizon experienced three brief LTE outages in December and four overall in 2011 (it also had an outage in April). In a bid to repair the damage to its reputation for network reliability, Verizon said that the outages were partly the result of Verizon's rapid deployment of LTE to more than 200 million POPs, a point analysts have mentioned in the past.

The outages "were unforeseen despite careful and diligent planning" and each was the result of a different technical glitch, including software issues, Mike Haberman, Verizon's vice president of network operations, told Dow Jones Newswires. "When you're operating the biggest, most advanced network, there are growing pains."

Interestingly, Haberman said in a separate interview with GigaOM that all three outages in December were the result of technical problems with Verizon's IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture, which was the culprit of the April outage. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) and Nokia Siemens Networks are the key suppliers for Verizon's IMS network. Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) are Verizon's main radio access network vendors for its LTE network.

Haberman said the company's LTE RAN was working properly, but customers lost service because the IMS core could not recognize them. Haberman defended Verizon's vendors, and said they were experiencing the same kinds of growing pains the operator itself is going through. 

For more:
- see this Dow Jonews Newswires article
- see this GigaOM post
- see this PC Magazine article

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