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Network expands to 40MHz, double the largest available previously

Following up on the admission that its network isn't up to par in major cities, Verizon has just quietly flipped the switch on massive LTE network enhancements across the country. Just one month ago Verizon CFO Fran Shammo confirmed many people's suspicions that the carrier's network performance has dipped in recent months, but that money was being spent to have the issues resolved by the end of the year. It seemed like a lofty statement at the time, but Verizon has just made those improvements live today.

According to statements given to Gigaom, Verizon has just tripled its network capacity in some of the biggest markets in the U.S. — New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Washington, D.C. In other markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles, the network improvements are in the 150 percent range.

Verizon is accomplishing these amazing network improvements by tapping its holdings of AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum, which has bolstered its network to operating on a full 40MHz of spectrum, up from a maximum of 20MHz in any given market previously. The carrier claims 5,000 cell cites will be updated to support AWS by the end of the year, with another 5,000 in process of coming online thereafter.

The end result for customers is higher peak speeds, now up to 80mbps theoretically, as well as a higher number of connections in any given area. Whether or not you personally see the increased speeds will likely hinge on whether or not your phone supports LTE on the AWS frequencies, but even if your phone doesn't it should see mild increases simply because the towers will be less crowded on each frequency.

And given how poor Verizon's network has been performing in these markets before now, any improvement will be welcomed. While Verizon isn't making much noise about the opening up of new spectrum just yet, if you're a Verizon subscriber you should see the improvements right away.

Source: Gigaom

 

Reader comments

Verizon dramatically increases LTE network capacity in major cities

175 Comments

I read a few cities highlighted, and then a generic all Verizon customers should see a difference.

Nice try at your sarcasm though. It got you one clown to cosign.

Posted via my VZW Note 3's Android Central App

Idiots. The world can't live without its clown brigade.

Posted via Android Central App on my Note 3.

I wasn't being sarcastic. At all. I'm glad you can read but you obviously lack comprehension skills. Let me help. If you think that lessening congestion in Chicago will increase speed in Houston you lack some fundamental knowledge of how cell phones work.

Posted via Android Central App

Lol, I was with Verizon for 8 years: I never had a problem with their service or CS. I left because I wanted to try out a different carrier. Definitely, no ill will, though.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

I went for the cheaper price and the unlimited data, so I am with you. No real ill will, CS was always top notch, and the network was always great.

Yeah, to be honest, what attracted me to try T-Mobile was the 30 dollar plan. Since then, I've moved to the 70 dollar unlimited plan. But, more than likely, I'll give AT&T Go Phone a try, next.

I wanted to try out Sprint, but it seems like their MVNOs aren't authorized to activate Sprint or unlocked phones.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Don't go with sprint, unless you have LTE...coming from a sprint customer!

Nexus 5...enough said

Lol, I'll definitely check the coverage maps to see which areas have LTE and the Network Vision upgrades for 3G.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Even that won't cut it. Go ahead and try it but trust your own experience over those self serving coverage maps.

Posted via Android Central App

In my area, sensorly is more trustworthy than the "coverage maps". It really seems to work well.

No way would I trust a coverage map...

Atleast you get updates, verizon never let's updates through without first waiting months & loading tons of crap on it

Posted from My GNote 2 via AC App

GoPhone is really good, but they only give you 2GB data with the highest plan. You can buy extra GBs for $10/GB. I'm considering switching to AIO. I know they cap the speed at 8 Mbps, but you get AT&T coverage and 7 GB/month LTE.

Posted via Android Central App

Thanks! I actually completely forgot about AiO Wireless. I'll definitely look into their service. 8mbps is plenty speed for a smartphone, so, that's definitely not an issue.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

AT&T go phone here after about the same time with verizon. Speeds are great, but you won't get LTE. Verizon's LTE was great two and a half years ago, not so much now. Phone selection is MEH too with no Nexus. And their updating process is whack! Nice to see that they admit somewhat that they have sucked in these markets.

I will agree that, maybe until recently, Verizon's network wasn't really equipped to provide fast LTE speeds to the amount of customers they have.

But, are you sure about Go Phone customers not receiving LTE? I'm certain, that I read on here or another site, that Go Phone customers are essentially treated the same as post-paid customers, minus the subsidies, of course.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Have you looked at Ting. They have nexus 5 support, and you can get a Sim from them faster since you already have a nexus 5

Posted via Android Central App

I've heard of Ting, but never thought to check out their service, which I will do so, now. Thanks!

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

I'm considering leaving Verizon but it's not because of the cost or CS or anything like that. I'd just like better options when it comes to the phone I buy.

I hate verizon & im stuck on it until my contact ends, they have gouged me for the last time

Not offering unlimited data is bullshit

Posted from My GNote 2 via AC App

Verizon sucks monkey balls period poor data plans and putrid update abilities on handsets.

Couldn't be anymore overrated and drastically overpriced as well as over saturated LTE network.

Posted from my Galaxy Note 3 on Tmobile via Android Central App

I agree. The data plans render a smartphone useless!

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

For like the first time I agree with you Richard there network is not at all what it cracked up to be. Sadly I'm stuck with a Lumia 928 (barf, love the phone hate windows phone) for 2 more years. I only get 8mbps in Ventura County, which compared to other networks, sucks.

Posted via Android Central App

You don't like Windows Phone? I'm actually seriously considering picking up a Lumia 1520, as a companion device to my Nexus 5.

I was going to get a Q10, but I can't seem to find a good deal anywhere.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Its just the apps are there but they never get updated and generally suck. I love the other parts though. Wish I had waited for the 1520, the camera is amazing even on my 928. What I'm afraid is Nokia not sticking up for windows phone after the buyout and Microsoft just stop caring. Nokia is more the reason wp is what it is (a viable option) then Microsoft is. But my phone is truly great. I wish windows phone fixed its major problems, though.

Posted via Android Central App

Sell on swappa and buy something else. Also check craigslist. Verizon phones are easier to check esn on over gsm.

Posted via Android Central App

Ahhhh hahahaha this guy says verizon sucks coming from a tmobile user is like a Kia owner saying my Audi S5 is garbage. Clearly this guy doesn't travel much because if he did he's realize you have no coverage with tmobile compared to the best network Verizon! Lol god I love ignorant people!

And you're probably paying twice what he is. If TMo has good coverage in your area why change? Their LTE speeds blow Verizon's away in most major cities and for a lot lower price point. How's that for ignorant?

Posted via Android Central App

Clearly, you need to read his comment again. He didn't say anything about price. But he did say something about traveling a lot. Second to the last sentence.
And as you and he basically stated, *if* you have coverage with T-Mobile, it's usually pretty good. But go about 20 miles outside of most major metropolitan cities, and coverage drops to 2G/EDGE (or even non-existant) according to T-Mobile's own coverage maps.

It's awesome that Verizon is improving their service. Hopefully, it makes a positive difference to everyone.

I'm sure, I'll end up using Verizon again, in the future.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Get rid of your nexus 5 first...it's too bad that they are missing out on such an awesome phone!

Nexus 5...enough said

Thanks, for calling me an idiot, lol.

But, if I moved to an area that only Verizon provided service to, then I'm not an idiot for choosing what's available to me. Being in the military, I'm sure, that scenario is going to happen.

Or, maybe, Verizon changes their plans in the future?

I do agree that their plans are expensive, now, especially for new customers.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Yes. And in some areas that's true, but as time passes carriers will be on equal playing fields (att and vzw almost are) And sorry for calling you an idiot. The reason I have vzw is because all my friends have vzw, but I might switch to tmo or maybe a at&t mvno

Posted via Android Central App

Oh, ok. It's all good, brother. You should definitely give another carrier a try, especially if it'll save you some money and is on-par or better than the service you get with Verizon.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

The only way it's bad to switch back to Verizon is of you get good coverage with T-Mobile. I just switched to T-Mobile and I love it because where I use my phone over 90% of the time I get great T-MOBILE coverage. But today I drove a little out of that area and I wished I had Verizon. Only service other than att that worked out there. If they still had unlimited and I could use my work discount I would pick Verizon over anyone due to coverage and consistency.

Posted via Android Central App

Agreed. I do get great service with T-Mobile. No complaints here in Milwaukee. But, when I drive cross country to my next duty station, I may pick up a Verizon Moto G to use as a second phone (on prepaid, even if temporarily), so that I have two networks at my disposal.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

So does the lg g2 support aws?

Posted via Android Central App via bad azz VZW LG G2 ROOTED!

I don't think so. I just tried a Google Search: it appears that only the international GSM model supports the AWS bands. I could be wrong, though.

I'll do another search; I'm actually curious, myself, now.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Ok, it seems that the G2 does support it, but it's disabled by default, until Verizon issues an update "unlocking" it.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Verizon is very strong here in St. Louis.

I've done some tests with similar phones on different networks and it is interesting to see how each one invests in their networks in different areas.

Some you get very similar performance, and in others it is a huge gap.

www.STLTechTalk.com

This is what a Verizon rep told me a few weeks ago as well. Having said that, I suspect that even without the bands enabled, the G2 will benefit from the reduced congestion on its existing bands. I hope so, as some areas around here get congested at times as it is.

Now if only sprint would do this since it's only a matter of flipping a switch loll.

Posted via Android Central App

I wondered if someone would say that.. Joking or otherwise.

----------------------------------------------------
So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

No difference here near Los Angeles. Still dodgy 4G connection and majority 3G.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't pay for 3G, part of the reason I left Verizon. I pay for LTE, not crappie EVDO!

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

I'm getting the same service as usual on the west side. I'm really hoping this helps with the network congestion around Santa Monica but I haven't seen a difference yet.

"According to phonescoop, the following phones support LTE 750 (band 13) & 1700 (band 4):
LG G2
Motorola Droid Maxx/Mini/Ultra
Moto X
Samsung Galaxy S4, Note 3"

That excerpt was taken from a thread on Verizon's community forum.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Lol, it's an AWS-capable phone, and a good one, once you play around with it.

EDIT: I didn't realize, from your reply above, that you already have a 928, lol.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

um. Verizon didn't "build" anything. they already owned the spectrum, they just turned it on with software.

Much different than putting up towers or upgrading towers all over the place.

It's amazing what Verizon charges for one month, I can get 3 months with my current carrier and unlimited data. I used 20GB's last month, ain't doing that on Verizon. Enjoy that "magical" extra capacity that was turned on by flipping a few switches lol gotta love Verizons media campaigns, ain't my money being spent on fancy maps.

Huh?
I've gotten over 20+ GBs in multiple billing cycles on Verizon with no problems.

Posted via Android Central App

Their 20GB plan is $150 a month + $40, before taxes, unless you're talking about a grandfathered plan which nobody else can walk into a store and purchase, today.

So yes, the carrier is pretty expensive when you consider the purchase of what they're actually selling. For some people it's worth it, for other's it's not.

I've never noticed the network being bad. At all. I live near DC, and I visited NYC for a week, with an iPhone 5 and an HTC One. Both using LTE the whole time to find all the locations I wanted to go. I never once had a problem with either phone or the LTE. It wasn't slow at all.

I've had all 4 big carriers. My experience with Verizon has certainly been better than with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

This is welcome news, however I'm not sure I'll notice, because I never found it to be bad to begin with.

You'll notice it: your pron and torrents will download in milliseconds, now, lol. Jk, jk

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Is that why my torrents dl fast tonight? Dl f&f6 3gb in under 4 mins I was shocked, then did new thor a little over 2gb abs it was under 5 mins to dl. In currently in Chicago.

Posted via Android Central App via bad azz VZW LG G2 ROOTED!

Good for you! I'm in Milwaukee, and their service is great here, too. T-Mobile's service (probably all 5 carriers) is great here, as well.

Trust me, once upon a time, I was downloading torrents using their service. My LTE speeds put my friend's Wi-Fi to shame.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

OK, Andrew, I'm waiting for the "Verizon theoretical 80 mb/s is just that, theoretical" article...

Posted via Android Central App

Fastest I ever got on Verizon was 8 down, 2 up... On Tmob though, it's 47 down and 11 up.

Posted via Android Central App

So far, my fastest speeds were 19.42 down and 5.60 up, with 4 bars of LTE and a ping of 78 milliseconds. I can't/won't complain.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

well there's nobody clogging up T-Mobile network comparatively to Verizons huge amount of users

Posted via Android Central App

Fastest I've gotten on Tmo is 37 down, 20 up. Just recently speeds have improved a lot, both in Waterbury and in New Haven, Ct.

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

I've tested data in plano tx where tmobile is updating the frequencies configuration and i'm getting 100 down 30 up sometimes

Gonna have to see a screenshot to believe 100mbps down!

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

I think my best was 50 down 25 up from VZW. However, I get at least 10 down 4 up or better all over the rural BFE Midwest (work travel) that's why I'll stick with them.

-Suntan

Oh that's right, this is Verizon not Sprint. Everything they say is gospel, can't bash on them!! Sorry.

Posted via Android Central App

Tmob has good rural coverage in Colorado, that's for sure. I live in the BFE portion of Colorado and have fantastic Tmob coverage. Verizon, not so much, and Sprint got even worse!

On Verizon the rural areas already offer better speeds. These major metro areas have major issues to get through.

Posted via Android Central App

Agreed. Most of the time I can get faster speeds driving along cornfields than I can driving through midtown.

-Suntan

Sweet to hear, looking forward it in PHX. Kids LTE on T-Mobile can sometimes have higher speeds in the Valley. Wife and I still have our Unlimited data plan, so not leaving VZW anytime soon.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't care if there is only one person in a rural area,if we are paying for LTE we should be getting lte speeds,not 3G

Posted via Android Central App

You don't care, but they do.Isn't worth their money to give you LTE and couldn't care less if you were happy with the speeds

Posted via Android Central App

Then,why not have different plan rates then if they not going to give folks who live in rural areas lte?

Posted via Android Central App

Do you think that when Verizon switches to voice over LTE and ditches CDMA that GSM unlocked phones with AWS radio could be used on Verizon?

It's possible, considering that LTE is a GSM-based technology. But, I don't want to speak too soon, lol.

It would probably be a hassle to use them, just like it was for people to activate the LTE Nexus 7.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Yeah. Most of Verizon's modern phones are unlocked anyways. But Verizon always tries to be as closed as possible which is annoying.

Posted via Android Central App

@drokssilva

Agreed. It would be nice, if Verizon changed their stance on unlocked devices.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Yeah. Really it would save them money since the subsides at rebuilt into the plan.

Posted via Android Central App

Not really.

THe contract is money in the bank. Giving you a way to get in and out and back into their service only sucks resources and money and takes away that bank.

I got 69 down and 18 up on AT&T LTE last week driving through Atlanta, GA. I just uploaded a pic to my Twitter handle @Brzfld.

I never had a problem with LTE here in PHX but last week was in San Diego and it was SLOWWWW. Now if VZW could get the updates for Kit Kat on my Droid MAXX as fast I would be a happy camper.

I'm lucky where I am, I pinch wifi from OOL across the street and have sick LTE here by the airport in Newark, NJ. I fall asleep watching HBO to go and I've been off the unlimited teet for over 2 years.
I've had sprint, Nextel, and AT&T over the years, all of which blew in the NYC area. I did notice a drastic drop in service over this past summer in Verizon. It's been better lately as far as dropped calls go. I've never had a problem with speed.

SwiftKey'd from my Bohemoth Note2

I got 61Mbps down on a speed test. wish I knew how to post a screenshot on this thing...

Posted via Android Central App

Ok I just need for them to flip the switch for AWS support on my Note 3!

Posted via Android Central App

So the first day I had my Moto X, I got almost 40Mbits down. The next day I was back to the more normal 10-20Mbit range. I'm wondering if I happen to catch Verizon testing the AWS bands in my area.

Is the iPhone 5S, AWS? I thought I read somewhere, it was.

I have a Galaxy S4 and it's still slow 10Mb LTE here in Philly and lots of beibg downgraded to 3G lately.

Annoyed!

Is the iPhone 5S, AWS? I thought I read somewhere, it was.

I have a Galaxy S4 and it's still slow 10Mb LTE here in Philly and lots of beibg downgraded to 3G lately.

Annoyed!

Someone asked this question, over at the iMore forums. It appears that the iPhone 5S has the bands available out-of-the-box.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

You go to iFruit forums? Eww! Cooties!

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

yeah but you still need to dcon if you want to come back....

Crackberry and even windows isnt that bad, but iMore is the pits

I've never understood the bashing Verizon gets from people here. They might not be the absolutely fastest carrier but I travel for a living and when your pretty much anywhere be it the Big Apple or the middle of nowhere Wyoming and can stream high def Jetflicks with no buffering while the guy next to you at the truckstop is waving his AT&T phone out the window just trying to make a call you start to appreciate their network. I rarely ever see anything but 4g anywhere I'm traveling at this point and dropped calls are almost non existent. I guess haters are going to hate but you also apparently get what you pay for.

Posted via Android Central App

Anti-Samsung? I don't know where that comes from! I have the S4, had it since 4/29, no problems here.

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

Read any Samsung thread... The hate it.

----------------------------------------------------
So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

No hate here, they are just way too expensive. The hate comes from that and the logo, but that I don't get. Ever phone I have had, up until this one, had a logo on it.

Hell my bag phone had them...

----------------------------------------------------
So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

Good ol' trusty bagphone, lol. My dad had one in each of his cars. Those things were tanks.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

You don't need to worry about nation-wide coverage if one of the cheaper options gets reception in your mom's basement.

I agree with you. I pick my carrier based on getting the throughout I desire in the areas I travel. I'd much prefer be ability to stream Netflix or Skype video call with my family while stuck in a hotel on business travel than wait for a number on the "About Phone" menu screen to increase by 0.1.

Every operator has pluses and minuses. On this site you just tend to hear the whiners complain about not getting "teh updates" a lot more than you hear anyone else complain about being away from home and only getting .23 mbps download speeds.

-Suntan

As for the guys who think Verizon just flipped a switch....... ahh not. I do tower installs for Verizon, Sprint and AT&T. Sprint and Verizon have both been little busy bodies with the upgrades and new equipment for about the last 18 months. AT&T not so much. Tmo fell off the map years ago. You don't just flip a switch to turn on extra capacity at one of these sites. A typical week will have me bringing in the equipment for 5 sites. For AWS the extra stuff needed for one site included three to five additional racks at about $700k each and the same number of additional antenna. Don't install the antenna just deliver so I don't know the cost but they are expensive also. Tower monkeys climb. I like it on the ground, thank you very much. Yes. Some of us truckers have degrees and don't delivee groceries.

Posted via Android Central App

T-Mobile fell off the map years ago? They deoloyed LTE to just over 200m pops in 8 months.

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

No kidding, and I'm one of their converts. That dude has no idea what he's talking about, and it's obvious.

Why does Verizon hate Phoenix. We have the absolute crappiest service of any major city. Lucky if we get 4g at all and we never get anything outside the city proper. Not even 3g in most palces. We're the 6th largest city and we get the last attention.

Don't feel bad...Verizon got me with their map. It shows perfect LTE coverage at my house, work, and all around me. At home I might have been able to connect and pull 8 down, at work it was 3G or 1X, and pretty much everywhere else it was 3G.

I researched Tmob, and their coverage map shows LTE ending about a mile from me, and "Good" LTE at work. A guy I work with has it and has LTE at work, so I switched. Their coverage map is wrong becuse I have SCREAMING FAST LTE at home, and the same speeds at work. I NEVER drop out of LTE around here from Cheyenne to Colorado Springs, so yes, I say their maps lie...Sometimes in a good way.

Yeah, the service is great, despite the limited nationwide coverage. Ever since I started using T-Mobile, a year ago, I've probably had one dropped call (that was my fault) in that time.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

I'm just now noticing I get 4G at my house now! For the last 2-3 years I've been struggling with 3G lol holy crap am I a happy camper!

Posted via Android Central App

Without a doubt man! Like night and day... This I don't mind paying for, lol. Good thing I still have unlimited data too. I feel like I can finally take advantage of it now.

Posted via Android Central App

I do still think about leaving though, because it is still too damn expensive, and I always wonder how things would be with Sprint or T-Mobile in Jersey. Anyone have any thoughts on that? This monthly bill really weighs me down with Verizon, but I'm sticking with it because they're consistent and I still have unlimited data.

Posted via Android Central App

When I was with Verizon, my plan (450 minutes, 2000 text and unlimited data) costs around 80 dollars a month, and that was with my military discount applied.

How much are you paying?

How often do you upgrade your phone? Sprint's new One-up plans are good. Unlimited everything and an upgrade every year, for 80 dollars a month. I'd check them out.

If they don't have good coverage in Jersey, then I would check T-Mobile next. The only downside to T-Mobile is that they don't subsidize phones anymore. So, the service could end up as expensive as Verizon initially (example: unlimited everything for 70, handset subsidy for 25/month).

AT&T is out of the question, as their plans and costs mirror Verizon's.

I hope this helps, brother!! Good luck!!

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

I switched from Verizon Wireless to Sprint and have not looked back. I am happy with speeds of LEE and see it getting better. Unlimited everything for a lot less money then VZW

Just ran the speed test on my phone. With a latency of 130 ms, my download was 21.9 mb/s and my upload was 10.76 mb/s. The last time I ran the test on September 4th of this year, I had a latency of 141 ms and my download was 16.2 mb/s and my upload was 9.3 mb/s.

I wish Verizon's coverage map showed towers and which ones are being serviced like Sprint does.

I like knowing where my signal comes from exactly and when its being upgraded.

Ive been seriously thinking about dropping vzw lately. Between their high prices, lack of phones that I want (N5) their sllloooooooooooowwwwww software upgrades and recently their lack of network speeds (maybe fixed now, don't really care it was functional just not great) Thinking about giving T-Mobile a shot as they are about the only carrier I've never had...

The only reason VZW is spending money is the recent loss of customers to other carriers. Otherwise, it would be content to offer its usual coverage and continue to line its shareholders' pockets.

As a consumer, it is good to see them grudgingly spend some of my cash...

I wonder what phones can use the new spectrum. since my note 3 has: HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL.

does this mean that a note 3 can now get faster speeds too?

Here we go again, Verizon is the best in cs and coverage hands down no other service comes close. I had tmobile when the first color sidekick came out, it suck then and it sucks now. I tried it two months ago and when I was at work I couldn't even get edge. I live in San Diego the 8th biggest city in America 2nd biggest in cali, the service should work better. You get what you pay for, and I pay $170 for 4 phones 2 of which have unlimited data and do about 50gb a month. They're number one every year in consumer reports for a reason. What good is it to have unlimited data if it works half the time from my experience.

Oh well, only 79.08 mbps below the "theoretical" speed. But it's Verizon, AC will give them a pass on that.

Posted via Android Central App