Verizon Wireless: ‘Lessons learned’ on LTE network outage

SAN JOSE — While speaking at Ericsson’s Business Innovation Forum in Silicon Valley today, Verizon Wireless executive director of long-term evolution (LTE) ecosystem development Brian Higgins got the inevitable questions about VZW’s big network outage in April. Verizon’s mobile broadband network cut out nationwide for about 24 hours, denying hundreds of thousands of 4G customers access to both the LTE and 3G EV-DO networks (Unfiltered: Verizon LTE back online, but VZW not identifying the outage’s cause). Higgins didn’t reveal any details about what caused the outage or which of its vendors were responsible, but he said that the issue was fixed and VZW has taken steps to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.

“Certainly there are going to be some lessons learned,” Higgins said. “We’re going to make some adjustments, and some of those adjustments have already been made. … It was an important issue. We worked through them. Our vendors were very responsive.”

Whoever the responsible party is, it probably wasn’t Ericsson, whose North America VP of strategy and market development Arun Bhikshesvaran stood next to Higgins on stage. Ericsson supplies the radio access network and elements of the evolved packet core for Verizon’s LTE deployment, but since the outage affected the entire network, rather than just a single vendor’s markets, the problem was probably much further up in the network.

Cisco Systems provides the common packet data network (PDN) gateways, while Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks both supply elements of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture bridging the whole network.

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