Updated 6:45 p.m. ET
Uh oh! It seems that it's not a good day to be a Verizon Wireless user. Based on an overwhelming number of reports in support forums, the cellular provider's customers are experiencing 3G and 4G data outages across the U.S. right now.
We've reached out to Verizon for more information about the issue and will update this story once we hear back, but in the meantime we're checking on the complaints in Verizon's own support forums.
Users are reporting trouble maintaining a steady data connection as well as misleading connectivity statuses (some devices are displaying icons which suggest connectivity, but no actual connection occurs). According to the folks at The Verge — who have been keeping track of the origins of the posts — the reports are coming in from "pretty much everywhere" including California, Rhode Island, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York.
Are you a Verizon customer and experiencing issues with your data connection? Please let us know in the comments below.
Update: Verizon Wireless responded to us with a brief note stating that things should be getting back to normal:
Verizon Wireless 4G LTE service is returning to normal this morning after company engineers worked to resolve an issue with the 4G network during the early morning hours today. Throughout this time, 4G LTE customers were able to make voice calls and send and receive text messages. The 3G data network operated normally.
Wireless analyst Jeff Kagan chimed in to point out that it's not particularly surprising that an outage like this occurred in the first place. "As the wireless world becomes more about wireless data we can experience more of these outages," he says. He also offers some words of warning:
Expect wireless data traffic to explode during the holidays starting this week with Chanukah, then Christmas and the weeks following. We should brace for impact of all those users gobbling all that wireless data. Sounds like the right atmosphere for outages and slowdowns.
Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET: Verizon Wireless said it has fixed the data service problem, the second high-profile service problem this month for the company. The carrier said the problem with its 4G network was resolved by 2 p.m. ET, with data service restored for all customers of the 4G network late in the day. Verizon did not explain the cause of the problem. While some customers had complained online of problems with the older 3G service on Wednesday, company spokesman Tom Pica said 3G devices had not been affected. Verizon Wireless said that voice and text services had not stopped working — Reuters
Want more tech news, silly puns or amusing links? You'll get plenty of all three if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.
First published December 21 2011, 9:01 AM