19
Dec
verizonwirelesslogo

After months of wondering and looking around for answers, we think we've finally found out why all of Verizon's 4G LTE phones (and modems / USB dongles) are having data connectivity issues, and it's a wee-bit technical even for us, but we'll do our best. This information has been gathered from various comments and forums across the net, so, take us at our word here.

When Verizon launched its LTE network in November of 2010, it was the first time the carrier had utilized a GSM-based (WCDMA, as opposed to CDMA2000) network in the United States. All Verizon phones and data-enabled devices had previously run on CDMA2000 connections - the network responsible for Verizon's 3G and 2G data. CDMA2000 uses an older authentication system (identifying and OK'ing your device to connect to the data network). Verizon's new 4G LTE network uses a newer, different, and more robust scheme to authenticate devices.

So, in an attempt to smooth out the transition to the new technology (Verizon intends to decommission its 3G network in most areas eventually) and ensure handsets used uniform schemes to connect to any part of the data network, Verizon essentially made it a network directive that all 4G LTE devices would use a single authentication system for both 3G and 4G data connectivity. They did this by requiring all 4G devices use UICC SIM cards, which allow for authentication on many types of networks.

This is what your 4G LTE UICC SIM card does - it's responsible for authenticating you on both Verizon's 3G and 4G networks. Verizon 3G-only phones use the old authentication system, because they don't have these SIM cards. Verizon is the only carrier in the US currently operating on this somewhat odd mixture of authentication schemes and network technologies. This means there are now millions of devices connecting to Verizon's 3G network using an authentication scheme Verizon hasn't previously utilized on that network, and (major) hiccups are occurring as a result.

The "hiccups" are authentication failures - the new scheme is extremely particular about failed attempts to authenticate a device. Your device authenticates regularly, "checking in" with the network to ensure you're still supposed to be connected. When your device fails to authenticate on the network (for any reason - and there are a gamut of possibilities), Verizon will kick you off the data side (not voice, though), either 3G or 4G. At this point, you notice you no longer have a data connection, and throw your phone at the nearest wall.

The severity of the problem can depend on your device. Some devices are more likely to re-attempt authentication immediately, and ten or fifteen seconds later, you're good to go. Some won't - and have to be forced to re-authenticate by switching in and out of airplane mode. Some won't even respond to that, and have to be powered on and off. Our speculation in regards to the varying severity is that it more than likely depends on how aggressive the phone's battery conservation software is. If a device loses connection, it may think it's in a "fringe" coverage zone and stop attempting to reconnect to the network to avoid wasting battery. It could also be that the device's software is just poorly written to deal with such regular failed attempts to get network authentication.

Verizon has promised fixes for this issue on almost every 4G LTE phone it has released. Some updates to phones like the ThunderBolt have decreased the prevalence of the problem for some users, but it seems there has been no "magic bullet" as of yet. Verizon has specifically said it's investigating the issue on the Galaxy Nexus, but we wouldn't expect miracles given their track record on this debacle. My DROID Charge review unit had the problem. The ThunderBolt obviously had the problem. My DROID BIONIC has the problem (the new update did not fix it), and now the Galaxy Nexus is suffering from it as well.

Of course, the root problem is Verizon's obviously flawed implementation of its new authentication system, something they've doubtless been working to correct. The fact that devices are so often failing to authenticate is an issue for Verizon to resolve on its end, so let's hope they're nearing a solution.

David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Ed Epsiz

    Damn, this might explain why my wife's Galaxy 10.1 tablet constantly loses data connection on the Metro North train line here in New York. We got the 10.1 tab rather than iPad because it has an LTE antenna but now it seems like that's a liability rather than an advantage...

    • David Ruddock

      That would sound like more of an issue of a gap in signal coverage. However, if it loses connection and refuses to get it back in an area where you know LTE coverage is available, then we may be talking about the same problem.

      • allen

        Not a signal coverage issue. Mine drops off at various times, only to reconnect an hour later- all while sitting on my desk.

    • Ryan S

      Ugh, not only did google hitch the new Nexus to a lame horse but they even gave the horse editorial control....

      None of this really makes sense, why would Google allow all of this to go down given the popularity of Android? I could see the original on T-mobile because they were the only ones playing along at the time but now they have some power.

      • Cody Callaway

        I would call this unfortunate, but I wouldn't call Verizon's LTE network a lame horse. The reason they went with Verizon is that they are at least a year ahead of the competition (even further in the case of Tmo and Sprint). Verizon is the only network that can claim they have a real 4G network that more than a couple of big cities on it's lineup. This is hardly the problem you think it is, but nonetheless it is still a problem (as with all new technologies 3G both CDMA and HSPA variants have had many) This is just what happens, but to call Verizon a lame horse and then suggest the GNex should have been launched on TMobile (when most before this last hour would have thought would most likely not exist next year) is a little out there my friend.

        • http://androidpolice jay

          So 4G and LTE aren't what we have been led to believe. Can this be a reason why Apple is sitting on the sidelines watching this comedy of errors?

        • DoUcThat

          The ipad 3 and the iphone 5 will both have LTE connectivity. Not sure why apple was behind on the LTE.

        • DoUcThat

          Oh yea, and Verizon's LTE isn't a lame horse, whatever that even means. 4G is absolutely amazing (when it works).

    • Antonio

      I ride the Metro North daily, and I can tell you that Verizon's coverage along that route is terrible. The only reliable coverage is when you get close to the Harlem 125th stop. I thought I had blown the wireless radio in my Motorola Droid, but then when I got the Galaxy Nexus, I had the same problems.

  • http://www.bonus-level.com Punkdefied

    Have you reached out to VZW about this? I'm curious if they have a response to confirm/deny. It sounds like Android Police might have ID'd the culprit.

    • David Ruddock

      Verizon has consistently acknowledged an "issue" on a number of devices, but never on any large scale, nor have they ever expressed what the actual problem is. I wouldn't ever expect them to explain it in any sort of detail, it wouldn't look good for them.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

        Imagine if this became common knowledge. Given how VZW is pushing their LTE network as if it's the BEST AND ONLY thing they have to compete against the other carriers, the fact that it seems to be a detriment to them right now is a pretty bad sign. I would imagine this could scare off many prospective customers until 2014 unless the problem is solved.

        I find it a little odd that they are planning the 3G decommission in 2014 when they are still selling quite a few 3G only devices and I believe they still have a few coming in the future. That would be pretty terrible to cut out the 3G network when they will almost certainly still have contract customers who might not have upwardly capable devices (at the very least, the iPhone 4S will still be for sale until late 2013 or longer)

        • Cody Callaway

          And this is better than what Sprint is doing? They are knowingly selling all of their top tiered phones as "4G" on a network they plan to ditch in favor of LTE as soon as they possibly can and to make matters even worse they have not (and will not) expand WiMax here in the states. Even worse than that these "4G" smartphones they have been pushing for the past year and a half as their big phones (except iPhone) will not be able to use the shiny "real 4G" towers they plan to launch in the middle of 2012. Oh yeah and to make that even worse they shove Carrier IQ on ALL their devices because they say "it helps them manage their network" (to be fair their has been a few big companies come out as being with Carrier IQ, but Verizon is not one of them). ATT and TMo have been falsely calling their hyped 3.5G network as 4G and boldly making claims while promising 4Billion dollars to TMo if their plan to merge falls through instead of doing it the right way and actually using that money to build up their network. They are also guilty of the 4G phones that wont run on LTE and I think they should be responsible for letting their customers know about that.

          I could go on for longer, but the point is no matter where you look in America you will see this. They sway the media and use marketing terms to hype their networks with lies that they can never keep. If you ask me I would rather be in bed with Verizon and have an actual 4G LTE phone that well averages over 12 down and 7 up with very few "authentication errors" and a network that covers much more than any of the other carriers in America and also doesnt cram marketing terms down our throats to cover their lies while overcharging for their fake 4G networks. All in all they should all be ashamed and held accountable, but Verizon is (in my humble opinion) the better of the 4 beasts.

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

          Just to take your points in order...

          1. Yes, at this very instant in time, this is worse than what Sprint is doing. Sprint has not actually screwed up 3g for existing customers as it seems VZW has. At the very least, the other 3 haven't caused long-term loss/unreliability of existing service BECAUSE of new service. If this is not fixable, then VZW is going to lose a massive chunk of customers over network unreliability and they probably can't migrate their towers to solve the issue for at least 2 years. I freely admit the idea that it's not fixable is preposterous, but the real question is, How fixable and at what possible trade-offs?

          2. What would you have Sprint do, continue pumping money into technology that's basically been damned by everybody? Grow up. The only shame is that Sprint didn't figure it out sooner...

          3. The real definition of 4G aside (none of them are true 4G, btw), I frankly don't see the reason most people are so concerned with it. Data caps have become a reality and they aren't relaxing with higher speeds. Since most people only stream music (which is just fine on 3g) and occasional video (which is still pretty great), 4g is currently a zero-sum luxury that is being heavily exploited (mostly by VZW).

          4. Judging by your wording, it appears you haven't kept up on the CIQ debacle, 3 of 4 carriers used Carrier IQ. VZW claims they don't...but their denial was extremely specific and I feel like the other shoe (spyware) is about to drop. I'm not being cynical, just considering the practical likelihood that a company with over a decade of privacy violations wouldn't think twice about copying CIQ functionality.

          5. Bringing up the failed AT&T-Mo merger and criticizing their rollout of HSPA+ as reasons why customers should tuck tail and run from them is really grasping at straws. The merger is business and nothing that the others haven't done in recent history (look how bad VZW treated Alltel). The HSPA+ network has almost completely replaced 3G in most markets across the country (meaning a huge 3G upgrade)...so it's weird you use that as a negative ;)

          Don't take it so personally, at this point it's speculation (at least no absolute proof seems to have surfaced) and it's not a catastrophe, it just means that another network has taken another black mark against them for another stupid blunder. They all do it...In the last month all 4 networks have had at least 2-3 black marks against them...it's been a bad season for the carriers :D

    • Tony

      I have an "open ticket" with my Nexus as of last night (after spending about 30 minutes on the phone with them, and getting transferred from "technical support" to "advanced technical support") - they have promised to call me and let me know their fix no later than tomorrow... I'm crossing my fingers.

      • john

        It would be awesome to hear the end result.

      • john

        I have been having the same issue since I

  • jnt

    Thank you for this - this has been a mystery for awhile... pressure needs to be put on them to fix this.

  • S.Braun

    My droid charge connectivity was actually pretty damn good when comparing it to my new Nexus. I really didnt have much of an issue as I do now

  • zach

    Thanks for the explanation. Now i know it isn't entirely my phones fault. I'll stop throwing it at the wall now :D

  • Prok

    The Nexus also has weaker signal across the board, which just makes the problem look even worse. I imagine having a weaker 4G signal increases the chances of authentication timing out and causing issues.

    Hopefully future radio updates make it work better. My Thunderbolt and my buddy's Rezound have consistently better signal than the Nexus thus far. However, despite the limited bars, I've had no issues with voice or 3G data thus far.

    • jroc

      The Nexus also has weaker signal across the board, which just makes the problem look even worse. I imagine having a weaker 4G signal increases the chances of authentication timing out and causing issues.

      This times 1000. I agree 100%.

  • john

    I mean its pretty obvious that its not phone specific because all of them do it, My TB was horrible, my Bionic was horrible, and now I have a Nexus, which still does it but nowhere near as much as my TB. So it's on all 4G/LTE with Verizon, just some phones reconnect quicker then others. I am much happier with my Nexus then I was with my TB and Bionic, My TB was so slow and would get so hot to the point I would just let it sit after using it. but hopefully Verizon gets this corrected.

    • jroc

      I would ask you to do what other have said about the G Nex...compare the T Bolt and Bionic after their latest updates.

  • Big Al

    wow, talk about them selling something they cant deliver

  • Canyoufindben

    It was my understanding that VZW was looking into a Signal strength bug, specifically on the GNex, not just the data dropping.

  • http://atechstory.com atechstory

    Interestingly enough, I've seen none of these problems on the Rezound I've been testing out. I'm going to chalk this up partially to Samsungs faulty radio hardware rather than just Verizons network.

    • Steve

      Oh, trust me it happens with the rezound. All the time depending on how strong a signal you get.

    • jroc

      Yea..I have a Rezound and my data dropping issue is getting stuck in 1x and having to reboot it.

      So ALL LTE phone on Verizon can be effected.

      Some have worse issues than others...

  • RandomDude

    Can you point to some of the forums/threads that have allowed you to piece this together? I'd be interested in seeing some of the technical details on this one.

  • Steve

    Ahha, this explains why my Stratosphere was having issues staying on 3G. I guess the 3G network erroneously kicked it off but the 4G network still worked fine. I put the SIM in a GNex and it did the same thing. Put my fiancee's SIM in the Strat, 3G came back.

    I finally got a new SIM at VZW and I haven't had another issue. But still... weird.

  • djembeman

    The only time I've had 4G issues with my Bionic is when there have been widespread outages. Switching to CMDA only mode (3G) has restored data during the outages. It's been rock solid on a regular basis in Colorado Springs.

    • djembeman

      I should say 4G has been rock solid on a regular basis here. Just to clarify.

    • Tony

      Not for me - manually switching my Nexus to "CDMA" mode, from "LTE/CDMA mode" has fared no better. I'm in Irvine, CA (Orange County).

  • Mike

    two days ago a vwrizon tech guy pretty much said the very same thing to me. Told me if i was in a weak 4g spot to change to cdma only. That has worked so far hopefully till they get this fixed

  • http://wyldtek.samsession.com Sam

    My Samsung LTE hotspot has this problem really bad. Its great when its working, frustrating as hell when its not.

    • Steve

      I hear you. My rezound with MHS is absolutely useless due to this. I should not have to pay for a service that only works partially if at all. But it's my only connection. I just bought a tablet that is pretty much useless now!

  • caseyb

    could they make it so these 4G LTE phones have to use SIM cards to connect to 3g as well?

    • Steve

      They do now. Without SIM = No 3G.

  • Chaimss

    Ahhhhhhh, thank you so much- this was driving me nuts! I just hope this is a problem they're working on.

  • Doc832

    Well this would help explain why the BIONIC users like me are so frustrated. We had awesome 3g coverage at home until the 4g phones entered the house. Now we are forced to stay on WiFi all the time, even with the up grade.

  • GMoGoody

    In the Philly area My wife and I are constant on 4G, but see this issue on our Thunderbolts when we get into the 4G/3G fringe zone. If I see no Data connection I pop it into airplane mode and then it re-establishes.

  • taylord

    On the bright side, it's not a phone-specific hardware issue per se.

  • Marc Royal

    I have noticed a more stable and consistent 4G LTE data connection since the update on my Droid bionic

  • Byonik

    I typically just leave my Bionic locked in 3G mode until I need additional bandwidth for certain activities (pretty much just streaming video). Saves battery and data connection is very consistent.

  • troy

    I thought my Razr was behaving much better in the week leading up to that back nationwide outage, and has returned to its old behaviour since then. I wonder if they put in a fix that worked, but eventually took down the network, and had to back it out!

  • TMWES

    I was pretty vocal to VZW about the data dropping with my Bionic...so much so that I got them to send me a Rezound instead of another Bionic. It just came yesterday and I gave it to my wife, so I don't know if it has the same issues.

    My Nexus shows up tomorrow; thrilled to learn I'm going to have the same data problems I've always had.

    • snopro

      I have a nexus. And im on my second one in a week. Poor signal issues

  • Wordup

    The update fixed my Bionic data issues and my girl never had a data issues on her Razr. I believe the Rezound has never had data issues either. Could it also be that Samsung uses subpar radio hardware...cuz they do.

  • Diamond Dave

    This really needs to get National News attention. Please consider pushing for CNN
    to investigate further. http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form11e.html

  • Jim W.

    This is absolutely ridiculous.

  • Mike Philly

    This is so ANNYOYING!!!! My friends laugh at me for paying 120 bucks a month and I can't use the phone!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH SOOOOOO ANNNOOOYYYINNNNGGG!!!!!

  • Jack

    Ahh. So it loses its connection by design. Nice. Case closed.

  • Kathy

    Love this. I have had my Bionic only a month went back to the Verizon store to try and get it exchanged. Verizon tells me it is a phone issue, I need to contact motorola. Verizon stated that motorola told them not to change phones out for this issue, because it is not all Bionic's. Which is true, my boyfriend just got his phone two weeks ago we can be sitting side by side and I have no 3g/4lte signal and yet his is fine.

    Well at least I know that I am not the only one.

  • Rob

    With by Bionic I can have 5 bars and I'll loose the data connection. Sometimes I can get it back by switching to airplane mode for a bit, other times I have to power it off. When the update showed up I was hopeful it would fix the problem however it has actually gotten worse since the update. And they were mistaken when they said the 3G network worked fine today during the 4G nationwide outage. I had no Data service at all for most of the morning. Really sick of this.

    • djembeman

      If you switched into CDMA only mode you should have got a 3G connection. 4G is back now for me though. Colorado Springs. I don't know why when there's a 4G outage the phone won't pick up 3G in CDMA/LTE mode. I always have to switch to CDMA only.

  • dr evan levine

    Have a DROID and this sucks. Endangered carr to my patients as I cannot get records sent all the time. Verizon response to me sucks. Asked for I phone and refused. Any lawyers out there?

  • RagingGemini7

    I kind it very odd that my Bionic's 4G connection was great for the first 3 months. I'm on both 3G & 4G. Not once did it loose it's connection until last week! Now it's loosing the signal several times a day & is in 3G most of the time & is so slow I want to pull my hair out. I only switched to Verizon because my home is on the edge of At&t service area & the newer phones wouldn't connect/stay connected. Now I'm having to power down my Bionic all the time. I HATE IT! For the high $$$$$ I'm putting out, I want it to work! OK, I'll be fair, I shouldn't have to power off my phone to get it to work.

  • lgrevolution owner

    Well, finally I found the answer, I recently purchased lg revolution two weeks ago, working great for first two days but then noticed frezzing with no data sign, only regular voice signal, I cant even reboot this phone, only or either turn off or pull out the battery and it fixes the problem temporary for another day or two. Is very constant issue and I moved from Tmobile. I really only care to make reliable call, but this is worst, the phone start freezing when cant connect to data. I might have to get a temporary basic verizon phone in the meantime, did not know about 4G phones issues. Well I thinj I have to wait until this technology matures enough but paying data plan for nothing in 4G phone plan will hurt.

  • AZPaulBunyan

    I've had the same problem since getting my Bionic in late Sept2011. Tech Support kept saying ... wait for the update (early Nov2011, then late Nov2011, then early Dec2011). Update 5.5.893 doesn't help ... so now they say ... wait for the next update in Jan2012 (I'm not holding my breath).

    My solution:

    1) Force the phone to 3G only, all the time ... Settings | Wireless & Network Settings | Mobile Networks | Network Mode ... select CDMA only.

    2) Shutdown WiFi when on data, and shutdown Data when on WiFi ... Settings | Battery & Data Manger | Data Delivery | Data Enabled ... uncheck for no 4G/3G data.

    From my experience, they both limit massive battery drain and keep the data connectivity.

    It is a pain to keep changing from WiFi to Data, or Data to WiFi ... but I've gone from massive battery drain to now easily making it through the day, with battery to spare.

  • Angry

    This is Verizon's dirty little secret. I just spent over an hour on the phone with their tech people last night going over this exact issue. I went from an HTC Incredible to a Galaxy Nexus on 12/19, and thought it was the phone. I am living in an area with excellent 4G a mile in every direction, but not in the exact spot where I live, probably due to topography (lots of hills and valleys around me). So I get a weak-to-spotty 4G signal. My Incredible always got pretty good and consistent 3G, but now I often have no data at all: 3G or 4G.
    Here's the real issue: how can they charge full-price for a service they're not delivering on a consistent basis? It's like selling me 90% of a loaf of bread, but charging me for a full loaf. The way I see it, the various state consumer protection laws could land Verizon in the hot seat if they don't clear up their act quickly. Many consumer protection statutes provide for treble damages, plus attorneys fees. I will not hesitate to go that route if this is not corrected right away.

    Verizon, I know you read these posts. Please correct the problem. Stop screwing around.

    • Tony

      Class Action Law Suit, anyone?

    • kaytee

      Agreed! I went from the Incredible to the Galaxy Nexus at the same time you did. We had problems getting it to activate at first. A few days later, I lost data on vacation (should have had 4g, but live in a 3g area). That lasted a few hours. There have been a few other times I've lost data connection, but it hasn't lasted long. Now, I've lost it for almost a full 24 hours....I'm furious! This is absurd!

  • Angry

    To be fair, Verizon is doing a lot better with this issue in the last few days. I guess that hour-long phone call with their tech people did some good.

  • Colleen

    you should also add the samsung stratosphere to the list.... my problem got so bad they actually had to replace it with a different stratosphere..... but i dont have high expectations as to how its going to go

  • Jon Booth

    Excellent job of explaining the issue. I love my GNex, it does a great job at most tasks. My sound levels in various applications and modes are at times wonky, and yes this data network loss stinks - yet it still does a better job than most.
    What I find surprising is how slow the updates have been. This is an Android reference device. That being said... Newsflash: WE EXPECT UPDATES Google, it is why we bought a Nexus in the first place. This is a new OS and device - nearly 30 days into it and there has only been one update on the day it was introduced?!? I force a check for updates daily and find this is well beyond the realm of possiblity or reason. Releasing software updates is not an admission of guilt or failure folks, it is a fact of life in advanced technology. Users that cry about frequent updates need to go back to a basic flip phone or live in the "walled garden" of strict user control for a while. Get with the program Google and make the needed changes please. This is an awesome device that is being neglected by all parties involved and that is what really hurts its reputation.

  • UT

    David Ruddock, thank you for the awesome post of your findings. Am holding off purchasing the Nexus, for now. Too many issues with and can't justify the time that could be spent trying to troubleshoot. I can hear the corporate execs now ( behind closed doors ) "just get it out there and we'll fix the bugs as they become apparent...let's hit our numbers !" May go with the Rezound as I've heard it is very reliable - albeit poorer battery performance than others ( and really want ICS ), the Apple 4s, or hold off entirely ( wish the Iphone 5 was ready ).

  • Fredric Levine

    I thank you and all message boards as it allows users to chat about their individual experiences as I always feel like an idiot when I call Verizon and I feel like I am the only kid on the block EVER to of had an issue.

    I was dumb and waited in line to be the first to get the Blackberry Storm. After 24 phones through the FRU process I was told to show up on the launch date of the Blackberry Tour and bring the box and all the packaging for the Storm. I was swapped into the Tour using a code that changed the equipment but didn't alter the contract. Then...... The trackball started to act up and I went though a dozen or so of these phones.

    When I realized that I was done with RIM I decided to go to the "dark side" and purchased the Droid X. I certainly went through several FRU's during the 1.5 years that I had it and was honestly getting bored with the device.

    I had sworn that I would NEVER be the first on the block but then the adrenaline started pumping and I was one of the first to get the Galaxy Nexus. I purchased the phone during the "holiday season" so I had an extended trial period of the phone. I do not live in a 4G area but was getting tons of complains from people on the other line that the speaker phone was AWFUL. I took the phone back to VZW and got another new Galaxy and the issue is not better. With that being said, it was not the specific device but a defect in the hardware or the need for a patch.

    January 15, 2012, (TODAY) is the last day to return the phone that were purchased during the holiday season and I am so conflicted. I love ICS, the display is amazing, BUT the battery life is horrible to the extent that I bought the Y adapter kit that gives (you a second primary battery, charger for that battery as well as the phone at the same time). I also purchased the extended battery 50% off but no belt clip is made to accommodate the battery so I really can't use it.

    I too loose connection and have a concern about the lack of an SD card slot. I was having issues taking my pictures from the Droid X (8 mp camera) and transferring them to the Galaxy Nexus through the Windows desktop. I was told by tech support that the GN is a 5mp camera and since the pictures were taken with a high res camera the phone would not accept them. I have to use Google Photo to sync my pictures up as the software converts the pictures to allow them to push to my phone. This was not what I was expecting but I guess it is one of the many workarounds that I needed to make.

    In addition, VZW techs have told me that they had less than 2 days to learn the device before it was released and therefore they are learning with us and on many occasions I feel like I am giving them tips. When I swapped from GN #1 to GN #2 my stored messages in Visual VM were not coming over. They had (!) points and even with hitting retry to attempt to get the stored messages it didn't work. I noticed this after 4 hours of pushing my apps from market.android.com and recreating my folders. When the tech told me that Visual VM was built into the phone and could not be removed and suggested a factory reset I was ticked. Before taking the "easy way out for the tech" I did some research and found out you CAN uninstall Visual VM and reinstall it from the Market.

    Also note that for FaceBook and LinkedIn the contacts do not "link" to people in your address book and are stored as separate entries. This is an issues that was CREATED in ICS but was not an issue on Gingerbread. We seem to have taken a few steps backwards on this one.

    Just be careful asking the Big Red Techs for help because they ARE NOT familiar with the ICS OS yet or the phone in general.

    • Tony

      Hope you returned it, and got the iPhone. I have a data-less Nexus, while my wife and daughter are happily enjoying their data connections on their iPhone 4's.

    • http://Comcast C. Kalin

      If you have the Galaxy Nexus and extended battery there is a Belt clip that works which I have. It is the Shell/Holster Combo With Kickstand

  • http://androidpolice jay

    Are these the reasons Apple is sitting on the 4G/LTE sidelinees?

  • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

    I know this is a few weeks old, but I still think this is relevant.

    I don't think the issues are limited to just data. On two occasions now on different devices, I have encountered a situation where VOICE failed, but data was just fine. I had a 4g or 3g data connection and could browse the web and do anything with data like normal. I could receive text messages, but I could not send text messages or make or receive calls. The phone showed it was in service, but when making a call, it would just drop after 15 seconds every time. Reboots, sim pull, LTE/CDMA toggle, nothing helped. Data worked, but no voice. If I called my phone from another number it would go right to VM. It was if data authenticated, but voice did not. Just the opposite of above.

    Then after about 30 minutes and countless reboots and different phones, I could make calls again.

  • nancy

    maybe I am lucky but I used google maps from ny to stowe vermont without an issue of loosing connection. I also used the samsung tablet 10.1 tablet on the same trip.

  • grkm3

    I spent an hour on the phone with verizon today with a tech trying to fix my nexus.I have never installed any jail breaks or any roms and running a bone stock nexus.I had this problem the very first day I bought the cell and even went right back to the store the next day saying my stupid cell wont connect.

    We tried everything you can think of,booted the phone in safe mode,tried every setting possible like turning data roaming on and telling it to use either 3g or 4g and even going into the *4636 menu of the cell and forcing it to run 3g with no luck.

    I then did a factory reset and still my cell will not connect to a 3g network and the tech thinks I need a new sim card or the cell is broken.I tried telling him that there are others with the same exact problem but he insisted there is no problems with the network in my area.

    He even manually forced my cell to re sync and update its roaming towers or whatever that is.

    as of today my cell has not had 3g data for the last month and it comes in maybe 3 times a week and then I loose it.

    this makes sence what this article is saying because in a 4g zone my cell works fine,it just sucks because 90% of the time Im not in a 4g zone.

    I have a setup tom to try a new sim before the cell get exchanged but Im 100% sure its verizons fault and not the cell.

  • Jacob Hanes

    I have a 4G Novatel Mifi device. Have this problem with losing the data connection big time! It loses the connection every few minutes, and the only thing to do is to wait for it to reconnect. It is so frustrating. Coverage is not an issue, Verizon tower is close to our house. Therefore, what is explained here has to be the reason. The Verizon tech support rep had us reset the device, which didn't help a bit. Don't know what else I could do. Paying $80 a month for such shitty connection doest seem worth at all. But we don't have options, because Verizion is the only provider that has 4G coverage in our area.

  • Sam

    I have an Android phone exhibiting this exact behavior: internet shuts off but voice and SMS work fine. click: Settings -> Wireless & networks -> Mobile networks, I see "turning on..." and nothing happens. Browser doesn't work. Nothing fixes it (e.g., airplane mode off/on). After a while, I get internet back.

    Is there some way to verify I am experiencing the authentication issue in Mr. Ruddock's article above?

  • Tim

    As a Galaxy Nexus user on Verizon, I personally have no f'n clue what connectivity problem you are talking about. Coming from AT&T, I am extremely impressed and shocked when I hear all these babies crying about Verizon. If you think Verizon is so bad, I invite you to try the competition. I'll just sit back and be the guy saying, "I told you so".

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

    As an intelligent and reasonable person...I personally am sick of snarky people who don't realize that every single user everywhere is going to give different results. Where I live, every single thing you just said could be mirrored to AT&T. On AT&T I get great data speeds, coverage everywhere and no dropped calls (except going around a single corner on a back road where EVERY carrier drops out). It's worth noting, Verizon is laughably bad here with every person constantly complaining about data outages, slow data service and dropped calls (all while seeing full bars on their phone). Verizon is so bad here that even Sprint is seen as being considerably superior.

    Ok...re-reading that I am being a bit over-ranty, sorry 'bout that...but the points remain the same.

    • jroc

      Exactly...

      In my area Verizon is so bad...AT&T might be better...SHOCKER!!!.

      But yea...more ppl need to spend time in ALL TYPES of reception areas before saying they dont have the same issue or ppl are crying...

  • Michael

    I called up Verizon Wireless and their tech support had me read off my installed apps to see if there were any that are known to cause issues, changed a few network options that had defaulted to settings that they should not have been on, and he updated some things in there system (I think this has something to do with settings attached to my old phones). I'd suggest calling them up, since they aren't going to waste your time and just tell you to power-cycle the phone (well, they may ask if you've tried that).

  • eturk

    Have Galaxy Nexus on Verizon with exactly this problem! Whether I stay in CDMA or LTE/CDMA, eventually I'll loose data when my phone sits idle and must reboot.

    Even updating to the 4.0.4 leak didn't fix it so Google/Verizon are not closer. Now I see why no other phones/vendors are jumping on ICS. If all Verizon phones upgraded to ICS tomorrow their support system would be crushed by the calls.

    I suggest folks on here having this problem contact http://www.engadget.com and tip them. Only the free press will have any power to get the corporation to listen. Profits is all they will listen to, not people.

    • An engineer

      Please read the article again, this has nothing to do with ICS.

      • eturk

        That's clear! it is NOT ICS. My point is that the most recent update on a device, from Verizon (which happens to be ICS) doesn't fix the issue. I think now it's actually gotten worse.

        There seemed to be some radio tweeks, the data connection is a little better, but the issue of dropping all together and needing to power off has not been addressed.

        Will be good to watch new phones coming out and see if they have this data issue. Will a class action suit be the only want to get it addressed?

  • http://androidpolice Walter

    Thank you Mr. Ruddock. This the best explanation of what is going on with the Verizon 4G network. It correlates with everything I've observed while using an LG VL600 device through either a router or the VZacces manager. I have spent several hours talking to Verizon technical support and they never suggested this. They all seemed clueless about what was going on and some did'nt even seem to understand the problem I was describing. It's something that Verizon obviously doesn't want to be reported in the media.

  • eturk

    Let's all tip http://www.Engadget.com about this article and or problem do the media DOES report in it. That will spread it to all tech blogs. Only way to have a shot at Verizon addressing this.

  • Tech Nerd

    We we form a class action law suits to Verizon to fix the issue

    • eturk

      Just like the successful class action with Apple selling crap power cords that frayed and cost $80 to replace, or selling iPhone 4 that couldn't be held. Apple must give $15 to every owner of iPhone 4 for lying to them.

      Class action is about the only way any mega corporation listens now.

      • Disgruntled client

        Let us know where to sign

        • eturk

          Looks like AT&T blocks all customers from being able to do class actions. No wonder they give such back service and no one does anything about it.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/matt-spaccarelli-att_n_1354573.html

          Maybe Verizon has the same weasel clause so they can't really be challenged?

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody Toombs

          I may have misremembered the details, but I believe that article's phrasing is misleading. As I recall the legal ruling is that customers must first ATTEMPT arbitration and in the event that it fails to work out there, then a class action suit becomes an option...

          The reason AT&T gave for this stipulation is to keep legal costs down and get faster results, since class action suits typically run upwards of 18 months and countless millions of dollars while Arbitration frequently can be resolved in 2-3 months and rarely hits 7 digit costs. No doubt, the real goal was to get the confidentiality clause, but that's considered a side effect. Worth noting, it is possible to get group arbitration similar to a class action suit (it's called something else but I forget the name), however this method doesn't seem to allow for forcing the company to release customer lists or advertise for possible plaintiffs like a class action suit does, which means it'll never reach ALL affected customers.

  • ben dover

    Honestly I care more about when they're going to fix it. I've been with veri$on over 5 years, this is my first with a 4G phone & I've lost the data connection more this year than ever. Come on, verizon

  • taylor

    I am on my second Bioinic replacement which came after they replaced my Thunderbolt with one. I am tired of this issue and call every couple of weeks to get a replacement. I don't care if it isn't the phone. If I'm not getting 4G service, I want a new product. They said my next problem that I can get another different phone. The tech support has no idea about this issue and they just it's my phone. Oh well, Nexus for free, here I come. Verizon is so stupid.

    • Andrew

      haha! They just replaced my Rezound with a "certified new" replacement. I was stoked when i the replacement actually let me stay on Facebook without losing connection. But that only lasted an hour! Losing connection again after 4 hours of activating a "certified new" phone! Ill call to see if I can get it replaced with the Galaxy S3!

  • Andy

    I was have lots of problems with the bionic from day 1 after day 9 I took it back when back 2 using my droid X and got i think $30 of credit for the headaches they caused. got a galaxy nexus still have lots of connection problems but not nearly as bad as the bionic. Since so many people are having problems me being 1 of the has any one suggested a class action lawsuit. myb if we start talk about that they will get there network fixed a lot faster

  • Jw

    I just received my galaxy nexus 2 days ago. It not only had data issues ,but also voice. Connection issues. So, it looks like Verizon has not resolved the issue as of 6/19/2012

  • Sarah Brunton

    This is one of my MANY problems I have had with Verizon. I have filed a complain with the FCC and I also just wrote to my local news station that investigates stuff like this. I copied what I sent them below. If anyone has a story similar to mine PLEASE let me know!! :) I am all for a class-action lawsuit.

    "
    I have had countless issues with my Verizon Android phones (emphasis on the "s"). Starting over a year ago when I had the Droid by Motorola and had to get it replaced under warranty. Verizon sent me 5-6 refurbished phones that were all broken when I received them. After so many replacements and discussions with dozens of their employees they finally sent me the Droid 2.... upon receiving I had that replaced up to 5 times as well for same out of the box issues. I gave in and called Motorola because Verizon told me I needed to deal with them directly and Motorola wanted me to send them back the phone and PAY THEM to fix a phone that they sent to me broken. When I asked for the employees name she hung up on me. I called back to talk with another employee who told me that they wouldn't even take my phone back and I had to deal with Verizon. I finally went back to Verizon and discussed my issue with one of the salesmen. He was helpful and called Verizon to have them issue me an early upgrade (so again I'm paying for a new phone considering Verizon couldn't send me a working one) and I settled on the Motorola Bionic (that I was assured was the best phone and ALL the sales pitches were targeted at the Bionic, even when you called to pay your bill they had recordings promoting this phone, which they've never had before. I was hesitant on getting another Motorola phone because of all the issues I had with the previous ones. The first Bionic I received seemed fine until I took a picture and realized the camera was broken. I took it back, within the 14 days, and received a brand new Bionic *after going through several hard resets*. The new new Bionic's speaker was broken, so we went through multiple resets and they replaced that one as well with another brand new Bionic considering it was in the 14 days still. This NEW Bionic had connection issues right away, so we reset it and I had to get it replaced as well (I had to fight to get the last one replaced). I am on around my 4th Bionic and the last few months I've go through countless periods of no data connection, I can't use my phone for anything. No internet, texting, calling, or even apps. I get to just look at my phone when this happens. I called Verizon multiple times throughout a few months asking if there were outages in my area and if this is why I was having these issues. There weren't. I finally took my phone in and had the SIM card replaced. The same day my phone completely lost service again and I took it back. The salesman there ordered me a refurbished phone. I received the refurbished phone with my fingers crossed that this one would work and set everything back up when I got it, my emails, apps... everything. I try and make a call and the speaker is blown out! I put that phone back in the box, and go back to using the one with dropped data connection. They send me another phone. I pull it out of the box and the power button is broken! I put that one back in the box and send it back. I start doing a lot of researching online and find hundreds of people having issues with their refurbished phones as well. Along with more than hundreds of angry Verizon users with the same dropped data connection as I have  on ALL of Verizon's 4g LTE phones. Apparently, Verizon knows about this dropped data connection issue and has been hiding it and telling customers it was going to be fixed in the NOVEMBER update. I've had a couple updates since then and the issue has never been resolved for most people. From what I have found Verizon doesn't want the media involved in this issue. I filed a complaint with the FCC, because I saw that solved the issue for many other users. As soon as I told Verizon that I filed a complaint with the FCC they offered to trade my phone out with a different phone... still refurbished. A phone that still has the same dropped data connection issue. I do not want this phone. By the time you guys reply to me I will have received this phone that I am NOT HAPPY I was once again tricked into getting from them.
     
    I want my money back for the times I have been out of service. (Up to 30% of the time). I want to be compensated for the amount of money I invested in this phone and the fact that I'm getting a refurbished phone to replace a phone that I had BRAND NEW (multiple times). And I would either like to terminate my contract with Verizon at no penalty to me, or have them give me a brand new iPhone that has NOT had this issue as all their other devices. I am beyond frustrated. I pay top dollar for my phone plan with them and I have been jerked around by them with many other people. I want them to own up to all of these issues and make it right!! I guarantee you run my story you'll have hundreds of more emails from people with the same story as I have. PLEASE contact me back ASAP. I am a single, hard-working mom and my time and money is very valuable. Verizon has done nothing but use and abuse me as a customer/consumer."

  • Rkmauldin

    Thanks for this info...it is probably closer to actual than any other post I have seen on this subject. Let us know if you can get any further info on this issue because it is certainly starting to cause a lot of issues everywhere from the postings I have read the last 3 days.

  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    My Droid 4 has this problem. Based on this article, it seems there's really nothing that can be done except to wait for ICS, which hopefully will handle these "hiccups" better than Gingerbread.

    • Andrew

      I dont think ICS is going to fix anything because the Galaxy Nexus (stock with ICS) has the exact same problem. Its a network issue thats starting to bug everyone.

  • Brent Breaux

    For anyone else that stumbles upon this great post, I just got a Galaxy Nexus two weeks ago and 6 months later this problem is still around...I have this exact problem, and nothing else I've come across on the interwebs explains it like this article does.

    TLDR version: It is still a problem that has not been fixed by Verizon and/or Google.

  • Bring back Alltel

    Can someone say "Class Action". The biggest complaint I have read is that we are all pay a premium rate for data that cannot be conveniently used on a consistent basis. Verizon needs to figure this problem out quickly or start offering reduced data charges before all their customers sue them and go to other carriers. I have the Thunderbolt, and I am way over dealing with this issue. I'm very much considering going to another carrier and Verizon can "kiss it" trying to have me pay for early termination. It's not my fault their network isn't working correctly. Why should I be penalized for it?

    • sickofverizon

      i'm in for class action!

  • Skeptonomicon

    For all those frustrated with this problem, I really think arbitration and class actions are a bit far fetched. They could be done, but take a lot of effort, and the cards are stacked against you because of the agreements you signed. If you want to escalate this problem, the best thing you can do is post a link to this article on social media sites such as Facebook, and Google+. If other people see the posts that have had this same problem, they will propagate the story and hopefully it will go Viral. I am sure there are a lot of people out there that have had these problems and have never taken the time to investigate it. If they see the problem posted on Facebook, I am sure they will share or like it, and spread the word until Verizon is forced to take the problem more seriously.

    • sickofverizon

      i know classaction and arbitration are far fetched...as far fetched as actually getting reliable service from verizon. so my only option is to not renew my contract with them.

  • http://twitter.com/donrua don rua

    With a family plan for 4 years now, and over $100 per month, I've paid Verizon thousands of dollars. i don't want $15 compensation in a class action suit, I want a refund for the years of not getting the service I've paid for. Why don't I just switch? Because of the penalties involved. They lock you in, then don't deliver, all the while cashing premium checks. With a family of 4+ phones, there's always some issue that has someone needing to replace their phone, which puts the contract end date out farther before you can ever get to the renewal date for all phones at the same time. This is not just a recent problem, and I don't think Verizon is doing enough to fix it, and because they must know the problem based on complaints sent to them (and discoverable by subpoena), then they should have proactively sent refunds to all those who has lost service. They know, they have the stats on every phone, yet they've failed to compensate anyone for being ripped off, and they've failed to let people out of their contract with no penalty. They should also be hit with additional punitive damages to demonstrate that if you are going to charge people for a data plan, you must deliver that plan or refund their money.

    • Suzanne L

      I never looked at it this way. You are correct. For what we pay THEM WE SHOULD DEMAND . .NOW. .FOR COMPENSATION SINCE THIS TIME ISSUE IS GETTING ME ANGRIER BY THE MINUTE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharonnelson.nutt Sharon Nelson Nutt

    God Bless You, David Ruddock. I mean that from the bottom of my heart! I've spent 2 entire days trying to find out why my 1+ year old VZ Thunderbolt has started really acting up. Oh, I've had issues since the beginning like losing 4g AND no 3g in the middle of a large city covered completely by 4g/3g service! I was new to smartphones, but I LOVED THIS PHONE. Yes it would suddenly reboot once in awhile, sometimes I'd set it for my alarm in the mornings and oversleep 'cause it didn't alarm. It had shut itself off during the night. But no problem! I LOVED THIS PHONE. I have been a VZW customer since before it was Verizon - late 90's. Always swore by them. Service was always there even if I were in the hills of KY, albeit it analog. No problem! I LOVED THIS PHONE!. Now it drops calls all the time, turns itself off all the time, it was on last night, I picked it up to see if it needed recharge yet and it wouldn't come on at all. Pushed the power button several times, no luck. Plugged into the charger and the HTC white screen comes on, goes off, stays off. Push the power button again, white screen comes back, but it takes 6 full minutes to fully turn on and bring up the screens. Called VZ, no help, asked for mgr. tech support and got him - no help, no idea when or IF ICS is ever coming. Called HTC and found their tech support hotlines were all shut down with a recording that if you have trouble with your HTC phone, call your carrier - they are no longer taking calls for that. My contract with VZ is up this coming Spring 2013 - I am so outta there. ANY other carrier has got to be better than vzw now - they have hit the bottom of the manure pile as far as I'm concerned. They've driven off all their longtime, loving customers who used to swear by them! They charge for every single move you make on your account now -- just not worth it. They owe US ALL hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to reimburse all the times we've not had what we were paying through the nose for. 'Nuff said.

    • sickofverizon

      ditto!

  • Silk Beast

    Reposting... (sorry if this is a duplicate)

    I have also been plagued by the connectivity issue. It's been frustrating me tremendously since Summer of 2012. The main app that "disrupts" the connection is FACEBOOK. I've learned to live with the problem, but I continue to be very angry with Verizon. Why? Because either they do not admit there is problem or they have said things like "the issue will be fixed this month" or "you must have have an app that is causing problems--you need to reset to factory defaults". Of course, I don't want to give up my unlimited data plan, which is one reason I've stuck with the phone for so long...

    I then thought of rooting the device to see if this would fix the connectivity problem, among other benefits (such getting rid of bloatware that I hate). I also heard rooted phones can dump Gingerbread and get Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), take screenshots, be set up device as wifi hotspot, which is a major benefit. Needless to say, I did not root due to laziness and also for fear of doing something wrong and ending up with a "brick".

    Well, my Thunderbolt upgraded last night to ICS on its own. I'm sort of happy, even though the update came so freaking late. I'm now experimenting to see if the connection problem has been fixed.

    My current verdict is: NOT SURE. Why? Well, the facebook app *seems* to not cause an issue anymore, but I really don't know. I had learned to look to for the disappearing "4G LTE symbol" to indicate the connection issue. Now the symbol remains, but in a "grayed out status" so I’m not sure if this is a trick by Verizon/HTC or not. I would love a test to really make sure the connection issue is gone, but I’m not sure whether such a test exists…

    Any inputs from other frustrated TB owners?

  • Blueglacia

    My Razr Maxx (ICS) and new Razr Maxx HD (JB4.1.2) both had this 4G disconnect problems on Verizon. It tends to occur about twice a day: around 8am and 11pm. "Network Type and Strength (under Settings)" shows 4G signal remains strong during the disconnect. Rebooting obviously restores the connection immediately. Instead, I quickly toggle Flight Mode on and off, which re-engages whatever system service responsible for holding 4G connection. This suggests to me that a modification within Android could easily overcome this disconnect issue. Only if Google is aware of this issue and the solution.

  • jon

    I have an HTC DNA with Verizon, both my wife and me suffered greatly with this problem recently. If the class action suit stands, I wish we are able to terminate the contract without penalty as part of the compensation of the class action suit.

  • FED UP WITH THE LYING!

    I have been with verizon since the beginning and I have sent many customers their direction! When I used to call their customer service was second to none (that is why I have always stayed with them), now it is a big joke! My Daughter has a samsung galaxy nexus for about the past year and a half now. I believe she has had about 15 - 16 replacement phones and verizon is still pretending that they know nothing about this issue, In reading this post I know know for sure that they know and are just pretending that we are the only ones that have a problem with no service!
    My wife and I have the Motorola razr maxx and have great 4g service everywhere around where we live, my other daughter has an apple I phone and she also has great service! All together my brother and I have 10 phones with them and pay over $7000.00 per year, this does not include the rest of my family that has verizon service (and I have a big family).
    After spending several hours on the phone with verizon techs and them acting like we are the only people in America having these issues, I am fed up with it!
    Just send me another phone like you used to do verizon, so I can get the service that I am paying you for!

  • maja

    I see all these comments are from two to a year ago and I have been having the problem for a year now and have had my droid RAZR replaced three rimes, had the sim card replaced three times(no charge for either) and after having the same problem again I called to cancel my contract with them cause they were. offering me a replacement phone that wasa downgrade. Instead I demanded a droid RAZR HD and now monthsafter I'm having issues on this phone as well. even while I type this Ive lost my connection many times yet I'm on WiFi at home and it's losing that as well. I absolutely hate this. $100/month for unlimited data and lousy 450 mins/month and yet I can't even using my data when I want. Has anyone come to a permanent fix?

  • Apachemom

    I have the LG Intuition, they have sent (verizon police Patrol) to my area to check signal, lol. I am suppose to have 4g funny 1X is the story to my everyday life. Help

  • Suzanne L

    I have the samsung galaxy mega same thing. Like most of you I need the connectivity to be exact because of my business. Needless to say my customers are increasingly difficult to persuade to patience. Any other suggestions? Another carrier is looking like my only option. I can't wait to much longer.

  • lance

    Thank you this has been a huge help. I have had this problem for months and now I finally understand why.