Verizon Wireless, the United States’ largest mobile operators in terms of subscribers, has attributed the recent spate of Long Term Evolution (LTE) service outages that have affected its network to ‘growing pains’. An official press statement released by the mobile operator reads: ‘Being a pioneer comes with growing pains. The recent issues that affected our customers’ 4G LTE service were unforeseen despite careful, diligent planning, deployment and ongoing upgrade programmes. Problems customers experienced affected connectivity to the 4G LTE network and data service. Several times we have proactively ‘moved’ 4G LTE customers onto our 3G network to ensure all would have a data connection … Nonetheless, we estimate that 4G LTE connectivity has been available approximately 99% of the time this year’. The statement comes after Verizon experienced three brief LTE outages in December, and four overall in 2011.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Verizon launched its LTE network on 5 December 2010, going live in 38 cities and 60 commercial airports, with coverage of more than 110 million people. As of end-December 2011 the 4G network was available in 190 US markets, covering more than 200 million Americans; nationwide coverage – ‘comparable to the current 3G coverage’ – is planned for 2013.