In what seems to be a rare admission of weakness, Verizon‘s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo confesses that its 4G LTE network is experiencing no small amount of usage pushing it beyond its capacity. This could cause LTE networks to go down to 3G in big cities like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, where data usage is exceptionally higher.
This is indeed a different tune from what Verizon has previously been singing, one that boasts of having the most reliable network in the country. From a technical standpoint, such a situation is only normal and to be expected, as LTE-enabled devices continue to proliferate and users continue to increase their data usage, increasing network traffic exponentially beyond what the network was initially capable of.
Verizon was, however, quick to turn this slight mea culpa into a marketing opportunity. The reason for such a strain on the company’s network is because Verizon was an early adopter of LTE and has the country’s largest LTE network, with more LTE users than any other network. According to one tally, its LTE customers make up more than 60 percent of network traffic, even if it only represents a third of its customers.
The good news for Verizon subscribers is that the company is not only aware of the situation but is, of course, taking steps to resolve it. From pumping in as much as $500 million in capital expenditures to investing in better technology, Verizon is expecting to rebound by the end of the year, and even get ahead of the game in 2014.