It has been three years since Verizon launched its 4G network. The road has been long and not without its fair share of bumps and detours. But now, Verizon is ready to reveal, though without much fanfare, that its 4G LTE network is running in full steam in a select number of major US cities, letting its customers enjoy as much as three times the usual 4G capacity.
Last October, there was a report of sightings of Verizon’s fabled LTE monster throughout New York City, following similar reports in Chicago and Los Angeles. The tests showed download speeds reaching 80 Mbps, which is just above the peak LTE speed of its one if its major rivals AT&T. Now that impressive speed is finding its way into the people of New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. This could very well be Big Red’s ticket back to the top.
Verizon has made this possible by tapping into the Advanced Wireless Services airwaves that it had acquired last year. The additional frequencies has put a full 40 MHz spectrum at its disposal, twice the 20 MHz that it had when it started rolling out its LTE service. In places such as San Francisco and Los Angeles where the carrier can’t get access to a full 40 MHz, it gets by on 30 MHz, thereby allowing Verizon customers there to at least enjoy a 150 percent increase in speed. And this increase cannot come at a better time. Last month, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo publicly admitted that its LTE network is experiencing no small amount of strain in these cities. This new capacity could comfortably provide for Verizon’s needs, at least for the next few years.
At the moment, not all devices are capable of hopping onto this new network. So far, only the iPhone 5s and 5s, the Samsung Galaxy S 4, the Motorola Droid Maxx, Mini, and Ultra are supported, along with some other LTE routers. Support for Advanced Wireless Services or AWS will soon be added to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as well as other Android smartphones and tablets.