Updated at 6 p.m. PT
On Wednesday, Verizon Wireless customers had to deal with yet another data outage. Like previous technical glitches, the outage was resolved within a day's time and Verizon tweeted an obligatory line about things being back to normal.
At the time of the outage, Verizon's own support forums were filled with complaints from customers who had trouble with both 3G and 4G data service.
When asked about the issue though, a Verizon spokesperson said that the company was "investigating reports of some customers experiencing trouble accessing the 4G LTE network" and that "the network itself continues to operate and all customers continue to be able to make calls, send text messages and utilize data services." The spokesperson said that "3G devices are operating normally."
This statement gave us a case of déjà vu. On Dec. 21, Verizon customers faced a similar outage and the company's response was nearly identical: 4G issues were resolved, but 3G connectivity was said to have never affected. Prior to that, another outage occurred on Dec. 6.
We're not certain why Verizon denied any 3G-related network difficulties vehemently and repeatedly — despite a steady stream of customer reports of the contrary — but we have reached out to the company for comment. We will update once we receive a response.
In the meantime, we're simply glad that the complaints about both 3G and 4G difficulties do seem to have quieted down. Hopefully the third fix will have been the charm for Verizon.
Update: Late Thursday, Verizon issued a lengthy statement about the 4G service outage, although it gave no explanation for the cause. Each of the three outages this month have "been different from a technical standpoint," the company said. "Our engineers have successfully diagnosed those past triggering events, and they have not re-occurred."
The "recent issues that affected our customers’ 4G ... service were unforeseen despite careful, diligent planning, deployment and ongoing upgrade programs."
As to customer complaints that 3G service was also affected, Verizon said, "Our 3G and 1X networks continue to reliably process calls, texts and data for customers with 3G devices ... It continues to perform at the high level that established it as the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G network."
The company did say that "for brief periods, such as on Wednesday ... 4GLTE customers could not connect to the 3G Network as quickly as we would have liked."
Verizon says it is 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."
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