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Verizon Issues Statement on Their 4G LTE Outages, Taking Number of Steps to Ensure the “Integrity” of the Network Going Forward

After 3 major 4G LTE outages in the last month, Verizon has finally released a statement detailing the situation (and no, it wasn’t a half-baked Tweet) and what their plans are going forward. According to this release, each incident that occurred was different from a “technical standpoint” and has not re-occurred thanks to their engineering team. While Big Red is estimating that their LTE network has had approximately 99% up time for the year, they have admitted that as a “pioneer” in the LTE market, that there are growing pains and that they are doing everything in their power to rectify them.

So what exactly happened though? We don’t know specifics, but we do now have somewhat of an idea as to how Verizon plans to move forward so that these massive nationwide outages do not happen again. The two biggest things are “geographic segmentation” which will allow them to isolate issues and correct them before they become widespread, and also fix backend software that will provide better performance and reliability.

Update:  GigaOM had a chance to speak with Mike Haberman, Verizon’s VP of network engineering, who was willing to provide some of the technical details. The first outage back in April was due to an IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) core software bug that “led to a complete failure.” The December 7 outage was due to a failure of a back-up communications database. The outages from the last two weeks were the result of IMS elements not communicating correctly. These bugs were not something that could have been predicted and simply decided to show themselves in the span of a few weeks here in December.

I think the big key here, is to remember that this LTE network is still brand spankin’ new and will have issues. There may be more next week or we could get lucky and not see one for another year. Just know that Verizon will have an extra $2 per person starting January 15 to help pay for the corrections (Hah! Sorry, one last cheap shot before the end of the year just felt necessary). :)

The full statement from Verizon is after the break.  

Statement From Verizon Wireless on 4GLTE Network 

12/29/2011

In light of recent events, Verizon Wireless shared the following statement about its 4GLTE Network:

The Verizon Wireless 4GLTE Network is BY FAR the largest and the most advanced 4GLTE wireless network in the world. It is available in 190 US markets and covers more than 200 million people, providing the fastest 4G Network in the US.

Being a pioneer comes with growing pains. The recent issues that affected our customers’ 4GLTE service were unforeseen despite careful, diligent planning, deployment and ongoing upgrade programs.

Problems customers experienced affected connectivity to the 4GLTE Network and data service. Several times, we have proactively “moved” 4GLTE customers onto our 3G Network to ensure all would have a data connection. For brief periods, such as on Wednesday (12/28), 4GLTE customers could not connect to the 3G Network as quickly as we would have liked.

Nonetheless, we estimate that 4GLTE connectivity has been available approximately 99 percent of the time this year.

Why have these issues occurred with our 4GLTE Network? Each incident has been different from a technical standpoint. Our engineers have successfully diagnosed those past triggering events, and they have not re-occurred. We also work diligently to rectify technical problems in the Network before they affect any customers.

Our 3G and 1X Networks continue to reliably process calls, texts and data for customers with 3G devices and, when necessary, 4GLTE devices. It continues to perform at the high level that established it as the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G Network.

We are taking a number of steps, working closely with our network suppliers, to ensure the integrity of our 4GLTE Network. We continue to fortify and improve its performance, and our goal is that our 4GLTE Network meets the same high standards that our 3G Network has set for performance and reliability.

Among the numerous measures we have taken or will take are: geographic segmentation, which enables us to isolate, contain and rectify network performance issues, and maintain service to the majority of customers when an issue does develop; and software fixes that we have developed, tested and applied regularly – and will continue to do so. Both will improve performance and reliability.

And finally, we are learning from these issues and applying the same gold standard to our 4GLTE Network that make our 3G Network the nation’s largest and most reliable.

Verizon Wireless is a leader and pioneer in this cutting edge technology that provides very fast wireless data speeds, enabling customers to enjoy the best experience in video and other wireless data usage. Clear unbuffered streaming video, super fast file downloads and wide availability are among the advantages we offer to customers. The capabilities of 4GLTE have exceeded many expectations.

We will not rest until our 4GLTE network performs at the very highest levels that our customers have come to expect from us.

Via:  Verizon, CNET

Cheers Matt and Jigga_Z!

  • Jay_cee_303

    The problem has been well documented on other tech sites outside of Verizon. There is an issue with the SIM cards keeping 4G LTE devices authenticated on the Verion network. The main symptom of this are dropped connections and/or devices going into a “dormant” state.

  • Sporttster

    Whatever they’re doing it’s not working. Last night was the worst night for connectivity I’ve seen yet. It was so completely sporadic as to be unuseable. I’d get on with 4g in the area I was in, South Bend,IN, and it would be great. Go to browse and bam,no data connection at all. 5 bars, no data. Wait a bit, 1x. Go to browse, works but slow. Then nothing…then 4g again,…then 1x…then 5 bars with nothing again. Absurd. I’m a very seriously considering calling them and getting rid of their service and going to T-Mobile. I’ve about had it with this.

  • Javejar

    I been in Elizabethtown & Radcliff Kentucky and now in Richmond, Indiana and have not 3G or 4G services. I am wondering what the hell these guys are doing? I called Verizon Customer service and was on the phone with them for 1hr and they gave me a bs line that Motorola was at fault for the phone issues with 3G & 4G. Now that I’m reading these blogs I am convinced that some type of action needs to be taken against Verizon for misleading their customers.

  • Anonymous

    I am thinking this is not really a big deal. I switched to CDMA only and haven’t had a bit of a problem. New technology has its bugs.

    Since my first giant cellphone in a bag, I’ve been through a majority of the carriers. My best coverage so far was with Nextel (before Sprint / drug dealer Boost network) and Verizon. I ended up leaving Sprint Nextel for Verizon and my service has been absolutely wonderful. You pay a little extra but its worth it. The stores always kiss my rear end when I come in with a problem and I’ve loved ALL my phones. 

    For the good history, I am willing to cut Verizon slack for the buggy new technology. I think in short time it will be much better.

  • Peter Kelly

    “We will not rest until our 4GLTE network performs at the very highest levels that our customers have come to expect from us.”

    Meh.  I’m guessing that upper management slept just fine last night.

  • Mattnphuron

    I dont know about most of you but i only pay 30 bucks a month for data so really thats a dollar a day. If i lost data for 3 full days that would only be a refund of 3 bucks. I really dont want to argue over 3 bucks plus i only lost it for maybe a total of 24 hours so thats a buck they owe me.

  • Anonymous

    I thought it was supposed to be the most reliable 4G network? Not so far. I know Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T all sport 4G networks, too, are they experiencing similar growing pains?

  • http://www.facebook.com/fred4405 Fred Lyon

    So, I just saw on my local news that Verizon has decided to scrap the plans to gouge it’s customers out of $2 more dollars to pay your bill online with a Credit/Debit card or to call to pay your bill. 

  • Gary Pasler

    More outages last few hours. SE Florida. Both 3 & 4G

  • http://profiles.google.com/jtflajole Josh Flajole

    Kellex… how can I get that theme on my Nexus?

  • Michael G

    Not to mention that I’m only getting 2-3 bars on my 3G.

  • Someone

    So it has nothing to do with ePHRD?

    • Anonymous

      It has everything to do with eHRPD* in the simplist 64k ft view. If you read the GigaOM article, where the VP discusses  “IP Multimedia Subsystem bug” …yea… read as eHRPD protocol failure to authenticate and generate IP for your phone’s data. 

  • Morris

    I don’t remember 3G going down this often when it was “still brand spankin’ new.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cohin-Sing/100003075549207 Cohin Sing

    my buddy’s half-sister makes $73/hr on the laptop. She
    has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her pay was $8247 just working
    on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site…  LazyCash1
    .com

  • Anonymous

    4G is out again for me today…. THANKS VERIZON…  -__-

    • Dmurphy5150

      4G/3G is out for me in Chicago…i have no data on my Bionic

  • Weege

    I have yet to see 4G on my G/Nexus. I live in Denver, Co and I havent seen it yet.. Its either 3G or WiFi for me.. ugh. .

    • Michael G

      I live in Chicago and I get one bar at BEST with 4G!  I used a friends Charge earlier today and she had full 4G coverage.  It’s not just an “indicator” problem because her phone was well faster than my Nexus. 

  • Stizzle77

    I think its only a fee for customers wanting to pay there bill over the phone using a credit card. The credit card companies don’t create as much revanue as they did before due to a new federal law so in return they charge Verizon for the processing fees and in return Verizon charges you. Sooooo shouldnt we be mad at our nations banks and not Verizon for handing it down to us?

  • http://twitter.com/Danbaer Polar Baer

    I will be asking for bill credit ! $2.00 for each outage. So I should have a $6.00 credit on my January bill. 

  • Irtechneo

    i have to be honest i dont think their brief outages are nothing to get in a tizzy about.  I work for a major ISP and a lot of our outages are due to unforseen bugs with vendor equipment.  What I am referring to are stuff like firmware upgrades on routers or if the vendor releases new softwar for ther equipment.  At least they are being honest and fixing it quickly.  It’s not the end of the world if your phoen doesnt have internet for a couple of hours.  Just my two cents…….The extra two dollar fee on the other hand is ridiculous.  We should all start mailing in paper checks and flood their finance department.

    • SruNano

      Then we would still be spending money on postage fees :/

  • AngryTurd

    Everytime LTE goes down, a puppy dies…Verizon hates puppies…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Rose/100000483772011 Aaron Rose

    Step 1: New fee
    Step 2: ??
    Step 3: Profit!

    • AngryTurd

      Verizon stole my underpants…

  • http://twitter.com/Underscore_Hero Kelvin Tso

    So far on those 3 days of no 4G, 3G has been working good for me where I live, maybe you guys complaining just live in remote areas, or high density population cities…..

    • Michael G

      I live in Chicago and it’s jacked up here.  I understand and can tolerate an occasional outage but they’ve become frequent and for a company to advertise such great coverage and the fastest 4G; added with a new $2 B.S. fee, complaining is expected. 

      • http://twitter.com/Underscore_Hero Kelvin Tso

        At least your calls won’t be dropped….every carrier has a lil give and take. And Verizon just retracted the $2 fee, a few days of outages are tolerable, just like my broadband provider at home, but when they fix the issues, it just works. 

  • Anonymous

    LTE to the knee. :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Shipley/100000074541768 Michael Shipley

    each outage was different from a technical standpoint? The 2nd and 3rd in Dec sound the same to me, responding and communicating are one in the same:

    “The second, last week, was the result of an IMS element not responding
    properly, while Wednesday’s outage was caused by two IMS elements not
    communicating properly, Haberman said.”

    • Anonymous

      They sound similar.

      The first implies one core element just went bad. The second implies a configuration error that caused issues, or something along those lines, possibly related to the repair the week before. 

  • AngryTurd

    Everytime LTE goes down, they should have to pay us a $2 inconvenience fee.

    • Anonymous

      Hell yeah! Screw you and your incessant nickel and diming!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1245102779 Michael Elliott

      was anyone able to get some form of refund for this happening?

    • http://www.inerdtia.com/ inerdtia

      They should prorate our monthly bill based on network uptime.

  • Anonymous

    The technical explanation by verizon is provided in full here:

    http://gigaom.com/broadband/verizon-explains-its-string-of-lte-outages/

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Added to post. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Anonymous

    Did we really expect anything different from Verizon? The tout their reliability, coverage, goals that really mean nothing if the network is down. I agree that the network has not been down for long but these excuses and hiccups in the service are harder to swallow when they are asking us to pay $2 more just to pay them..

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710530141 Tyler Buchanan

      No they’re asking for $2 more to pay the credit card companies, there’s a difference

  • http://twitter.com/Justinwrites Justin True Anderson

    Incompetence, rampant in our government — rampant in our corporations.  I really wish T Mobile reached out here.

  • http://profiles.google.com/elliot.devries Elliot de Vries

    “For brief periods, such as on Wednesday (12/28), 4GLTE customers could not connect to the 3G Network as quickly as we would have liked.” 

    “As quickly as they would have liked”?  Once you pass an hour of no data at all this is wording just doesn’t really cut it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000106808261 Keith Sumner

      Connect as quickly? An hour of no data?

      I don’t know about you but I went for about 12-16 hours with no data AT ALL on 3 separate occasions

      • http://profiles.google.com/elliot.devries Elliot de Vries

        Yeah. It’s absurd.

        I was completely without data the other times.  On Wednesday I was without 4G pretty much all day.  3G I was also completely without for an hour or two, and then that came back intermittently for the rest of the day.

        It’s a complete lie of omission to say “Our 3G network was going strong” when your 4G customers couldn’t access it for hours at a time.

        • Anonymous

          It’s not a complete lie, CDMA-Rev A has not gone down, and in fact the LTE network hasn’t gone down either. Your ability to authenticate to either and use it through eHRPD is a different story. (explained this yesterday) But the network itself didn’t go anywhere. (Ask any non LTE device user)

          • http://profiles.google.com/elliot.devries Elliot de Vries

            That’s why I said it’s a lie of *omission*.

            “Lying by omission” means leaving out relevant details to create a misleading impression. You don’t have to say anything untrue to do it– just leave out other important information.

          • Anonymous

            Except it’s still not a lie of omission to say the 3G network was going strong. It was. It didn’t break. Just because you couldn’t connect to it doesn’t mean it’s not there. All 3 times with these outages I’ve been able use 3G after 5-10 mins just fine.  It’s like saying because your cable modem broke the internet went down. No it didn’t. Apples and oranges.

          • http://profiles.google.com/elliot.devries Elliot de Vries

            All this means is that you still don’t understand what a lie by omission is.

          • Anonymous

            Not at all. Verizon saying their 4G network was going strong would be lie of omission in that it it’s actually there yes, but NO ONE could connect to it. Not the case with 3G sorry.

          • http://profiles.google.com/elliot.devries Elliot de Vries

            That’s just an arbitrary stipulation that you made up, that it could only be misleading if absolutely no one could use it.

            “[A] lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception.”

            The important fact: substantial numbers of 4G users could not connect to 3G for hours at a time, despite the fact that it was up and running.

            The misconception created: that substantial numbers of 4G users did not lose access to 3G data, other than not connecting “as quickly as they would have liked”.

          • Evan Knofsky

            Just because YOU had a problem connecting the majority had no 3G problems

          • http://profiles.google.com/elliot.devries Elliot de Vries

            Yes, Verizon *correctly* said that their 3G network was going strong.  I  never said that this was not true.

            My problem is that they also *failed* to mention that many 4G users couldn’t access it for hours despite this.

      • LionStone

        No data? Not even 1X?

  • Junianby

    My 4g is down as I type this!!! On 1x right now. I’m just south of Pittsburgh,PA

  • AndroidGuy

    In lieu of the $2 fee, I am on HBO Go streaming movies non-stop while at work. Not watching them, just playing them on my phone in my drawer. I figure I might as well work that 4G network to the max so VZW will possibly allocate more resources (cost) to maintain that network. Then my $2 is going to good use. Who knows, maybe I will hit 100GB by the end of my billing cycle.

    • http://twitter.com/JIrizarry723 JAVIER IRIZARRY

      if you hit a 100GB than that is something that has to be posted

      • Nerdy Desi

        I did that last month.  : D

    • Joojoo

      I feel sorry for the people using the same tower as you.

    • http://twitter.com/TonyG916 Tony

      stream much bro?

      /obviousreply

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710530141 Tyler Buchanan

      STOP USING MY BANDWIDTH PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT TO USE lol you’re screwing your fellow droid lifian as much as verizon

  • Bob

    Just now they are thinking of geographic segmentation?  For that to be implemented now hints at a network that has just sprung up adhoc, versus a plan from Day One to protect the network in case there’s a problem in the northeast or a router in Idaho.

    • Daniel Morgenstern

      mistake…didn’t complete my thought…please delete, mod. Thanks!

  • Interstellarmind

    Verizon sucks when it comes to it’s device management and ability to maintain proper billing… but their network service is unparalleled and *sometimes* worth the aforementioned problems.

  • http://twitter.com/JsinLegacy JsinLegacy

    when I am getting 0.17 on down and up in terms of speed… Verizon your 3G network is failing.  I don’t care if you have the most advanced or fastest network out there if it never works correctly and is constantly down.  

    • http://twitter.com/GRZLA Grizzly Atoms

      Your personal experience isn’t the overall status of the network.

      • http://twitter.com/JsinLegacy JsinLegacy

        No it is not, but when others in my town and state are reporting the same issue, its safe to say that I am not alone and that their 3G service is not as up to par as they make it out to be.  

        • Baranauskasb

          My tmobile galaxy s2 downlinks 14-16Mbs average and peaks 25 currently. I’m in pittsburgh, no verizon phone has touched my speeds, and all of my buds have verizon 4G LTE. Not bashing it, I’m just saying they need to step it up.

          • Anonymous

            That is not bad if it is a true average. However our Verizon 4g speeds have certainly topped that. Now as far as averages But I’d say mine ranges from 0+… :)

            Do any of your buds have the Nexus?  How do you like it compared to your s2?  

        • Snowbdr89

          I can’t complain about my vzw 3g I get between 1 an 1.5 mbps here is slc.

    • Jeff

      Same here. Verizon’s 3G is extremely slow in most places I go to.

  • http://twitter.com/Punisher6G Adam Morehouse

    The Galaxy Nexus II is launching next week too. 

  • U Mad Bro? No But Your Mom Is

    Good. Get on that Verizon.