Troubled, but not beaten, Verizon presses on with its 4G network with the release of a second 4G LTE phone for use on its network. Made by Samsung, the Droid charge joins Verizon’s HTC Thunderbolt as the network’s second 4G phone. But is Verizon really ready for 4G?
As Wired reports, the Verizon 4G network had a nationwide outage recently. The embarrassing thirty-hour outage at the end of April when Thunderbolt owners were treated to an involuntary limitation of data speeds that reached only 2G or 3G service levels.
Verizon tried to keep its service outage low-key, announcing it on Twitter without much fanfare. Since 4G came back up on the Verizon Wireless network, the company has still not disclosed any additional information about the outage, leaving Verizon susceptible to rampant rumor and speculation, something that probably will not benefit the company.
The fact that Verizon’s 4G was so volatile that it was knocked out by just one handset led the company to postpone the release of the Droid Charge until the device could actually connect at 4G speeds.
Now that the 4G service problem has presumably been resolved, Verizon customers have something to look forward to: a choice. Those who have not hopped on the Thunderbolt bandwagon can now consider the Samsung smartphone, one that Wired says is virtually identical to the HTC handset in specifications, performance and features.
Verizon Wireless stores have reportedly been sitting on the Samsung Droid Charge for some time, awaiting the go-ahead to make it available for general sale. With them now being sold to customers, analysts seem to think that Verizon believes that it has resolved its 4G service problem.
A Verizon executive speaking at a California Sony Ericsson event told the audience that Verizon has learned from its 4G debacle and was in the process of making adjustments.
Sprint was the first American wireless provider to offer nationwide 4G on its network using the much-disputed WiMax standard. Although billed as nationwide, Sprint still has gaping holes in its coverage a full year after its 4G rollout. Verizon and AT&T also have significant holes in their coverage as they attempt to placate subscribers in the largest metropolitan areas before providing service to smaller cities.
According to Wired, Verizon now serves about 45 markets with 4G service, leaving many customers frustrated over the fact that they cannot take advantage of the fast data speeds even though they have an HTC Thunderbolt.