Let me start off by saying that prior to Christmas 2011 I had never had any problems with my 4G service other than the nationwide outages that Verizon owned up to.
That being said, since 12/25/2011 my service has been a nightmare. I have called Verizon non-support every day in an attempt to reach some sort of resolution as to why I am unable to obtain any service other than 1x. This is in what was otherwise always very solid 4G areas.
I explained to support how I have a 4G aircard provided by my work, and my roommate has the same phone (Thunderbolt), each of which has had solid 4G service. However, my phone will not obtain a 4G connection, nor 3G, simply only 1x.
Verizon's attempt at supporting this issue was to throw hardware at the problem. I did not have 1 or 2 replacement phones, but 3, along with SIM cards! None of which has resolved the issue. My roommate continues to enjoy his 4G service, and my aircard continues to work on 4G, however if I turn off WiFi on the phone, 1x I go.
Fast forward to yesterday 1/7/2012, problem still occurring and Verizon calls me with a resolution. Oh the joy, finally something to ease my pain from the slowness of 1x.
What was this resolution you may ask? Not that they have found out what the problem is, oh no, that would be what I would want as a customer. Instead, they tell me to put my phone into CDMA only mode so that it will lock into 3G.
First off, this is no resolution. This is more a very pathetic move on Verizon's part in my opinion. If I wanted 3g, or 1x with an unlimited plan I would switch to Sprint for a much cheaper price. (This I would have already done if it were not for this pesky contract).
Second, this "resolution" did not even work. And non-support has no answer as to why it will not place me onto 3G even when attempting to 'force' it.
No matter what city I travel to that is listed as 4G serviceable, I am stuck on 1x. The few times I have seen 4G come up on the phone it will go out as quickly as it came in.
Example.. 4G shows up on notification bar, attempt to open browser, you can see the up arrow sending data, but never receives anything. Eventually 4G goes away, no data signal shows at all, then 1x comes up. When 1x is showing, pages are able to be viewed, however 1x makes me want to poke my eyeballs out.
Sorry for the rant, I am just beyond disbelief with this company at the moment. 1 or 2 day outage I can understand, but this is getting ridiculous. Especially considering receiving an answer from Verizon at this point seems like a miracle in itself.
Anyways, I hope you were able to follow along in this mess. And hopefully if you are in the same boat as me, you can feel some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Verizon is certainly bending me over as well at the moment.
This is the same thing when all the major carriers tried to switch to 3G at break neck speeds. How quickly it is forgotten. Before you say Sprint whatever carrier doesn't have problems...
AT&T and T-Mobile uses 3G and claim it is 4G. HSPA+ will never hit the 100mbps mark. This is why AT&T is rolling out LTE as it is close to true 4G(100mpbs). It can be upgraded to LTE Advanced(100mbps). T-Mobile is at a crossroads as they don't have enough funds to move to straight 4G.
Sprint Wimax is somewhat true 4G as it can be upgraded to Wimax+. Sprint isn't doing it on their own. They are using Clearwire which has already been established and piggybacking off their network. If you ever had Clear when they first started out... You probably wouldn't be happy if you really need 4G.
The problem isn't really the network. The fallback is with the authentication schemes being different is causing trouble with current 4G devices. There is various write ups saying why it is happening and not from Verizon, though Verizon has said after they fix the problem what the problem was.
At some point it will get better when Verizon can get everyone off the 3G network onto the 4G network and they use one scheme. This is the reason why they are pushing 4G devices very hard. That would alleviate 2/3 of the problem, and the rest will be network stability.
Welcome to new technology and being an early adopter.
Verizon support may not be able to do much more than the simple suggestions until the larger issues are resolved. I suspect the lower level support teams are not fully informed on the bigger problems anyways.