Verizon Gives Us Insight Into What’s Going On With These December LTE Outages


This month, Verizon and their consumers have suffered through three different LTE outages, one lasting as long as half a day. Up until now we haven’t really gotten word from Verizon regarding what exactly is going on, just quick statements from them confirming there were outages and that service is restored.

After the third time we understand many people wanted to know why this was happening. After all, we’re hoping that this won’t be a recurring theme. Verizon’s VP of engineering Mike Haberman spoke with GigaOM and gave them a quick rundown as to what’s going on.

Long story short, there have been a few unforeseeable errors with the IP subsystem of the LTE network that prevents many from being able to connect. According to him, three different problems were responsible for the three different outages.

The first outage on Dec. 7 was caused by the failure of a back-up communications database. 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.

There’s pain associated with rolling out new network technology, and we totally understand that. Unfortunately Verizon can’t guarantee that these issues won’t pop up again in the near future. It’s not easy to fix a problem that doesn’t present itself until it brings most or some of the entire network down.

They are taking measures to help better isolate these issues, though, by upgrading the software and splitting their network up geographically so that any outages won’t affect the entire nation. It may be another year or two, or more, before Verizon can work out most of these critical bugs, but we’re glad to know that they’re doing everything they can to keep a respectable amount of up time.

Says Verizon: “We will not rest until our 4GLTE network performs at the very highest levels that our customers have come to expect from us.” We’re just glad to know they’re working hard behind the scenes each time a high amount of outage reports are received. It hasn’t been fun but those are the breaks of being an early adopter. Just try and work through it, folks. [GigaOM]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I call bull. Why didn’t Verizon run tests to see if these occurrences happen before unleashing it on an unsuspecting public? If they can’t guarantee good service then that is a breach of contract in my book and grounds to negotiate a new contract in my favor.

  2. Bla,bla, bla. Give us an automatic refund on our bill instead of forcing us to call customer service and wait on hold and have to argue with the rep.

    1. They dont chatge extra for lte, 3g still worked for me on the outages

      1. They sure do charge extra for their 4G phones…

        1. not monthly that would require a refund or discount on our bill. We pay more for the phone, depending on where you bought it, but not monthly.

          1. Are you stupid? They charge additional money a month for the data packs…

          2. my bill hasn’t changed in 3 years….

          3. Verizon has a array of data packs and non-of them are unlimited. This article alone proves that verizon is garbage. I’ve been with sprint for years now, and they’re great. No BS charges, everything unlimited, great coverage. Verizon can suck on my dick

          4. 3g and 4g data on a phone is the same price.

          5. You’re ignorance is amusing. Sprint borders on bankruptcy, doesn’t own their own 4G network, had to bail out Clearwire to maintain their 4G network, has leveraged themselves to the hilt for the iPhone, charges $10/mo to have a 4G phone even if you aren’t in a 4G area, uses the 2100MHz band which has horrible penetration and you want to call Verizon garbage? Really?

          6. And what phone are you using?

          7. Sprint touch pro converted to vzw, og droid, and now galaxy nexus. Maybe its different from those not on unlimted data, but mines never changed due to vzw having 4g. And seeing how you had sprint service for years, how do you know what a vzw bill looks like now? And i have had vzw for 8yrs now, unlimited data since they introduced it, i used to pay $45/m for unlimited data.

      2. Both of my 4G phones (Thunderbolt and Nexus) were also unable to connect to 3G. The Thunderbolt was also unable to make voice calls.

  3. Wow! I’ve been with verizon for 2 weeks and seen 2 shutdowns and I could care less.They gave me my gnex for $150.00 then used the hotspots glitch to get unlimited data for 29.99.and there data on 3g still craps on tmo in the Philly area where it shows you 4g but your really on edge.I love verizon!!!!!!#

    1. I’m unfamilar with this “hotspots glitch” you speak of – what is it?

  4. That’s why they need to charge the $2 fee for payments so they can isolate any issues with the new network…*rolls eyes*

  5. 3g wasn’t working for me during these outages, and reports back up that 3g wasn’t normally working on 4g devices. If 3g worked, not a big deal, but with both down it is a big deal.

  6. Then allow my phone to go back to 3g network when 4g is down. I had no service at all in Sacramento for several hours. Lame excuse.

    1. Same here, i had to sit on WIFI till the end of the day. (Also in Sac) I’m going to be calling them today to get a credit to my account. 3 outages in a month is too many. 

  7. I’m sorry, but there is no excuse for a nationwide outage.  If you have problems with IMS not responding, there should be a failover to another IMS that works properly.

    And if the back-up communications database failed, and caused an outage… that tells me that the primary database wasn’t working at all.  Does this make sense?  I don’t think so.  Verizon better step it up.  This is becoming quite embarrassing for them.  The $2/payment fee doesn’t sit well with me at all, and shouldn’t sit well with anyone, especially until they can get a handle on 4G LTE.

  8. Phandroid – brought to you by Verizon and google…

  9. I couldn’t tell there was an outage. Verizon’s West LA/Santa Monica/Culver City 4G coverage is nearly non-existent. Hell, I’d be happy if we could get decent 3G signals. Nothing is more aggravating than 1x data. It’s like having FIOS and but getting dialup speeds.

  10. I’m not an early adopter. I bought the phone and they forced 4G on me. Is there a 3G version of the Thunderbolt or Galaxy Nexus available that I am unaware of? If so, could you please point me in its direction?

  11. J Peters …I, don’t know who your with but …don’t hate dont hate! Why, shouldnt Phandroid be all over stories about the biggest cellphone provider…in the US when they are having a big issue like this??

  12. i feel like im the only person in the world who,when verizon announced they were rolling out a 4g network,didnt expect it to be as reliable as the 3g network right from the start.

    i know that they call it reliable and everything,but what are they supposed to say? people should know by now to do their own research,and not take a particular carriers word about how reliable their network is. but i feel like a lot of people didnt do that. a lot of them just bought 4g phones because it was cool,and are mad because the network isnt perfect yet.

    i guess all im trying to say is stay patient,i dont see this being a problem for more than another 6 months,i trust that verizon is going to do something soon to resolve the issues

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