Verizon restores LTE service after second major outage

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) said it restored LTE service to customers across the country by Wednesday evening after an outage that lasted for the better of a day for some customers. This was the second major LTE service outage for Verizon this year. 

In a statement provided to FierceWireless, Verizon said that service was restored after company's network operations team resolved an undisclosed "technical issue."

"Some 4G customers had reported intermittent or unavailable 4G service, or devices operating on 3G, for periods of time starting late Tuesday," Verizon said in the statement. "Throughout this time, all customers were able to make voice calls, send and receive text messages, and 3G data devices operated normally."

Verizon spokesman Tom Pica declined to comment on the cause of the outage or how widespread it was. Reports indicated that LTE customers across the country saw their service disrupted.

This was the second major outage for Verizon since it launched LTE service in December 2010. A nationwide, 24-hour outage in April was caused by a software bug in Verizon's IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture.

Yesterday's outage also came just days after Verizon celebrated the one-year anniversary of the launch of its LTE network. Verizon said that as of Dec. 15 it will cover 200 million POPs with the network.

Tolaga Research analyst Phil Marshall said the latest outage was likely caused by a problem in Verizon's core network. 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. Marshall also said the outage might have been caused by software loads on the network infrastructure as part of a network update.

"They've had other outages and it seems as though these sorts of things shouldn't happen," he said. "It points to the challenges in a new technology and bringing it to market rapidly."

For more:
- see this CNET article
- see this Verge article
- see this IDG News Service article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this PC Magazine article

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