A future software update will allow the Galaxy S4 to operate on Verizon's AWS LTE expansion network which is launching this summer in New York
When the Verizon version of the Galaxy S4 zipped through the FCC back in March, everyone noticed hardware support for the recently acquired AWS spectrum that will be used for Big Red's LTE expansion. Today, Bloomberg reports that this support is currently idle and will be enabled prior to the network going live this summer.
Verizon has been busy buying and selling AWS spectrum to bolster their current LTE network, which is slowly showing the effect of having so many phones and other devices running on it. The current 700MHz C-block is getting a bit, shall we say clogged, and because there's so little of it available there's not much chance of relief. As more and more customers sign up with an LTE-enabled smart phone or other device, Verizon needs more of the airwaves to serve them all. The amount of AWS spectrum available to Verizon means they could enable a very fast, nationwide network using it that can provide up to 400% (that'd be 20x20 compared to the existing 5x5 C-block network) of the capacity of their current LTE offerings.
Of course, to use this bigger and faster LTE network, you need hardware. That's where today's news comes into play. When Verizon is ready to flip the switch and light up the new AWS network in New York later this summer, a software update will make the Galaxy S4 ready to use it. We expect to see some incredible speed tests in the near future.