Verizon Wireless said today it has restored 4G LTE service to customers across the country who got stuck on a slower connection for the past day and a half.
The company's network operations team resolved a technical issue last night, but didn't disclose the cause of the problem, which had forced some customers off its high-speed network and on to the slower 3G service since late Tuesday. Some customers had complained of losing 3G access as well, dropping down to the 2G level, which is primarily designed for voice and text messages.
The outage came just a few days after the one-year anniversary of the launch of Verizon's 4G LTE network, a smudge on a key milestone for the company. This month, the Verizon 4G LTE network will extend to cover 200 million people and 190 markets. The speedy service has been critical to the company's establishing the perception of network superiority and justifying higher prices for its 4G smartphones.
It's also not the first widespread outage for Verizon. In April, a glitch caused its Thunderbolt smartphones across the nation to lose their 4G connection, relegating it to slow data service, voice calls, and text messages. That hiccup came a little more than a month after the debut of the Thunderbolt, which was the first 4G LTE phone for Verizon.
For this outage, Verizon noted that customers were still able to make calls, send and receive text messages, and use 3G data. The outage appeared to be intermittent, with customers affected at random times and locations.
The service bug isn't likely to slow Verizon's lead over its competitors. The big carrier remains far ahead of AT&T, which is just starting its 4G LTE rollout, and Sprint Nextel, which plans to have its 4G LTE service up next year.