New spectrum along with carrier aggregation to improve Verizon's LTE offerings soon
Following its nearly $4 billion purchase of AWS spectrum last year, Verizon is ready to start putting it to work for its LTE network in major markets across the U.S. The spectrum, which is also used by T-Mobile for its own network, will give Verizon more real estate to roll out its network to capable handsets. While Verizon isn't disclosing which markets are receiving the upgrades at this time, users have already pegged New York City as one of the markets.
When Verizon does get around to using up its AWS holding in the largest markets, the carrier will be able to offer 20x20MHz LTE — essentially more lanes on a highway for cars to drive on. The number of devices actually capable of using LTE on AWS spectrum is limited, but Verizon says that those with the appropriate hardware will receive software updates to take advantage soon.
Building on this AWS deployment, Verizon also plans to take advantage of "carrier aggregation" technology, which will let it combine signals in the 700MHz and AWS frequencies together to boost speeds and capacity. Verizon says that it is actively working on both initiatives for deployment in 2014.