Verizon finds cause of LTE outage

Verizon Wireless is working to solve the problem and expects its 4G network to be restored one market at a time

Verizon Wireless has determined the cause of an outage that crippled its LTE mobile data network starting late Tuesday and it is working to solve the problem, but the carrier has not estimated when the system will be restored.

Users of LTE (long-term evolution) smartphones can still make phone calls and use slower data connections on Verizon's CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) network, according to a Verizon statement released at 4:15 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday. However, subscribers can't use the LTE network, Verizon's fastest, nor activate any LTE devices, the company said.

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"We have determined the cause of our issue and are working with our major vendors to restore connections," the statement said. "We expect to see the network restore on a market-by-market basis. Timing and additional details will be provided as they become available."

Verizon first acknowledged the problem earlier on Wednesday after published reports that the network had gone down nationwide. The outage was the first major blemish on the LTE network, which was launched commercially late last year. Verizon's is the first national network using LTE and has delivered average speeds of 6.5Mbpsdownstream and 5Mbps upstream in tests by PC World. Rival AT&T plans to launch an LTE network later this year.

Some subscribers reported having to use EV-DO, Verizon's 3G technology, for data connections on Wednesday. In its statement, Verizon warned that some users might only be able to use CDMA 1x-RTT, the carrier's slowest mobile data network, during the outage.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's email address is stephen_lawson@idg.com.

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