Here we go again. Reports from Virgin Mobile customers all over the United States indicate that both data and SMS (text) services are non-responsive. Virgin is aware of the problem, and while they’re working on it, they don’t have any solutions or timeframes just yet. It looks like every Virgin Mobile phone in the country is affected, which might mean it’s either a small problem that caused the whole system to crash or a big, hulking disaster that will take quite a while to fix.
Verizon will be glad to hear that someone else is having outage issues, even if it is a regional MVNO carrier. Their highly-touted 4G LTE network has gone down four times in the last five months, sometimes taking 3G data with it. That’s a hard hit for a carrier with an admittedly great reputation for cell coverage. Virgin Mobile’s outage isn’t all that big of a deal at the moment (a few hours without data isn’t going to kill anyone) but their teen-centric marketing may bite them: when’s the last time you saw a high school student go a whole hour without sending a text message?
Some speculate that the servers Virgin dedicates to its data processing are down in their entirety. That would certainly make sense: web and SMS are both data services at heart, and their voice services are handled by the parent company. Virgin hasn’t elaborated on the technical aspects of the outage, so customers can only wait (and look for the nearest WiFi hotspot). Keep calm and carry on.