News by Andrew Kameka on Friday December 06, 2013.
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Verizon Wireless already has a reputation as one of the better cellular service providers; the company calls itself the nation's most reliable 4G network for a reason. Going forward, mobile data speeds and service may become more appealing because of network revamps in some markets.
Verizon has spent the past year upgrading its 4G LTE network to include new spectrum purchased from cable companies in 2012. The upgrades have allowed Verizon to increase network capacity in large markets, activate new bands of service, and increase download speeds. Chief Network Office Nicola Palmer told GigaOM that it has been able to double capacity in "every major city east of the Mississippi."
By increasing its network capacity, Verizon is able to deliver faster downloads - theoretical max speeds of 150 Mbps - and, more importantly, more reliable service. Most Verizon customers have limited data plans, so being excessively faster than the typical 12Mbps isn't that impressive. However, more people will be able to access fast speeds as a result, and connections for data will be more prevalent and consistent in many markets. As more subscribers get on Verizon's LTE network, increased capacity will be critical to withstanding demands and continuing to deliver good service.
Not all devices will see a difference in performance right away. Verizon still needs to upgrade more cell sites, so performance gains may not be noticeable in many areas of the country. Smartphones also need to have the right cellular radios and software to take advantage of the network enhancements related to AWS spectrum. According to GigaOM, these are devices that are currently compatible:
- Apple iPhone 5s
- Apple iPhone 5c
- Samsung Galaxy S4
- Motorola DROIID Maxx
- Motorola DROIID Ultra
- Motorola DROIID Mini
Software updates for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and other devices should arrive soon to improve connectivity options. Verizon's also in the process of preparing the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) rollout that will improve call quality for phones routed over its LTE traffic. Verizon aims to have HD voice calls ready by early 2014.source: GigaOM, via: Engadget
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.