Feature Article

December 29, 2011

Verizon Wireless Customers Experience Data Outages in December

Verizon Wireless customers were none too happy with their service during the month of December, as reports of outages across the country were reported.

Customers trying to access Big Red’s 4G LTE network found themselves without access. In fact, it happened three times. This may be reminiscent of the many reports of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry outages, the incidents VZW no doubt does not want to be compared to, however, complaints came in and the company needed to saddle up its PR department.

Complaints about the service flooded the company’s Web site on Wednesday and Thursday from more than a dozen states. Verizon acknowledged it was looking into the reports.

Verizon Wireless spokesman Marquett Smith told Reuters that the company is investigating reports of network problems.

“The network continues to operate and all customers continue to be able to make calls, send text messages and utilize data services. 3G devices are operating normally,” Smith said.

Customers took to Twitter and Verizon support forums to complain about not being able to connect to their data networks.

Support staff working the @VZWSupport on Twitter have been fielding a flood of tweets about the data outage.

Verizon officials responded in a statement issued that service had returned to normal, but did not say how many customers were affected, how widespread the problem was and how long it lasted. Officials added that the 3G data network “operated normally” during the 4G LTE problem, and that 4G customers were also able to make calls and receive text messages during that time.

Back in October, BlackBerry users across the world were exasperated as an outage of e-mail, messaging and Internet services on the phones spread to the U.S. and Canada and stretched into the third day for Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.

It was the biggest outage in years for BlackBerry users, and strained their relationship with an already tarnished brand.

Canadian-based RIM handles e-mail and messaging traffic to and from its phones. When it encounters a problem, a large share of the 70 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide can be affected all at once. BlackBerry outages tend to occur several times a year, but they usually last for less than a day.

Michelle Amodio is a MobilityTechzone contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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