Ina Fried

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Verizon Stays Quiet on Recent Outage as It Previews Bay Area App Center

Verizon Wireless on Thursday offered reporters a hard-hat tour of its still-under-construction San Francisco app development center, which the company hopes will bring it closer to cutting-edge software programmers, many of whom are in the Bay Area.

But while the company was happy to show its future sandbox for developers, Verizon had less to say about what was behind a recent daylong outage that crippled its network nationwide last month.

Verizon reiterated that it had identified the cause of the outage and was working to make sure it doesn’t happen again. However, company officials refused to discuss the cause of the outage.

The company was slightly more talkative on other topics. Executive Director Brian Higgins said that, with a move away from unlimited data pricing, the company knows it needs to offer better tools than the alerts it currently sends to customers when they approach certain limits.

“We recognize there is a need there,” Higgins said. “We get that. There’s activity ongoing.”

Higgins didn’t offer details, but noted that consumers need a dashboard that shows their usage and also helps them understand what is using up those bits.

Verizon also noted that it had doubled its 3G network capacity last year in anticipation of the iPhone and planned to beef up its capacity by a similar amount this year.

It’s not just the iPhone, said West region Network VP Walter Jones. “We are seeing explosive growth on the Android platform as well.” Jones said the company does track traffic by each device type, but declined to offer specifics.

As for the 14,000-square-foot center for developers, it has three separate labs for third-parties to come in and test their apps and also sports an executive briefing center. Higgins said the hope is that Verizon can use the center to identify fast-growing applications earlier and work with the developers to optimize the programs for Verizon’s network.

At this point, the San Francisco facility still features concrete and bare metal wall outlines in a high-rise overlooking the Bay Bridge, but the center is due to open this summer. The facility, which will employ 25 people full-time, is in addition to a 4G LTE center Verizon has in Waltham, Mass.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google