Verizon’s LTE-A Upgrade Is ‘Blindingly’ Fast

Verizon’s map shows its total LTE network in red with LTE-A cities in white.

– Offers 50% Faster Mobile Speed for the Same Rate

– 39 Compatible Devices So Far & More Coming

Verizon, a ringleader in 5G, is not waiting on 5G to speed up its cellular network.

This week Verizon made a major upgrade to its 4G network by launching LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) to more than 288 million people in 461 cities from coast-to-coast. The upgrade allows 50% faster downloads, for the same monthly fee, to its subscribers that have LTE-A compatible devices. Verizon said its LTE-A network covers over 90% of the US population. The LTE-A network includes all major US cities and many less densely populated areas such as highways, interstates, country roads and rural America.

Tami Erwin, head of operations for Verizon’s wireless unit, said, “Our customers just received a major network enhancement for no additional cost. Verizon LTE Advanced works like a turbocharger on an engine. Speed boosts kick in when you need it most, with big data use. That’s when you get the big peak boost of Verizon LTE Advanced.”

Verizon says its 4G network tops out at 30 Mbps and its LTE-A network tops out at over 100 Mbps. Wireless broadband, like cablecos’ wireline broadband is a shared by users on the same cell tower so net speed medium is dependent on nearness t the cell and the number of other simultaneous users plus what they are doing – such as watching videos.

LTE-A compatible devices include the newest iPhone, the Galaxy S7 and Note 7 and the Moto Droid. It said there are a total of 39 smartphones and tablets that currently support LTE-A – but a software upgrade to the device may be needed. New devices from Apple, Samsung, LG and other manufacturers will be LTE Advanced-capable. A list of devices is here.

Nicki Palmer, Verizon’s chief wireless network engineer, explained how LTE-A works: “Verizon LTE Advanced means your data session moves more quickly over the best network. Imagine a road with multiple lanes in which, once you pick a lane, that’s the lane you drive in. That describes our award-winning 4G LTE network. Continuing the metaphor, Verizon LTE Advanced allows cars to change lanes efficiently and flawlessly, balancing the flow of traffic and getting drivers to their destinations more efficiently. That means blindingly fast data transmissions when you need it most.”

Verizon’s “need for speed” on its cellular network, combined with selling off some of its wireline footprint, makes one wonder whether Verizon is contemplating offering a “fixed wireless” network that supports stationary devices such as smart TV sets.

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Feature image courtesy Verizon.

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