Verizon may be the largest U.S. mobile broadband supplier, but a series of network outages throughout December have plenty of customers on edge, and it's the kind of thing many customers won't forget. After all, it was just this kind of coverage issue that drove so many people from AT&T over to Verizon a year ago as AT&T slipped to the number two spot among U.S. telecoms.
Engineers had fixed the month's third outage of Verizon's 4G network, after people complained they were getting only 3G signals or no signal at all, Verizon said Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal. That Verizon already has the largest 4G network in the country is reflected in the premium prices people pay for smartphones and data plans. This latest outage is the fourth one this year.
Each time, there was not much of an explanation from Verizon, other than noting it was only a 4G outage and that voice calls and texting were not affected. While the 4G network is not as widespread as the 3G network, it is available to more than 200 million people in the U.S. On the other hand, AT&T's newer 4G network is only available to about half as many people, but they've had no outages in the few months the system has been up. Whether or not people start to head over to AT&T remains to be seen, but Sprint is also starting to build up its 4G network, so Verizon has to make sure they stay ahead of their two main competitors.
Verizon has already tried to expand its 4G network by buying $4 billion worth of broadband spectrum from cable companies like Comcast. While they were closing that deal, AT&T lost out on its bid to buy T-Mobile so they could build up their own 4G network.
Tell us in the comments if you've had any Verizon outages where you live or if you plan to switch carriers because of the outages.