Verizon Triples LTE Capacity in 4G War Against AT&T

Verizon 4G LTE Upgrade AWS

Verizon has been feeling the heat in New York City and other major markets where AT&T offers much faster 4G speeds. But it looks like Big Red just leapfrogged Ma Bell on the third anniversary of its initial LTE rollout. Verizon has tripled its capacity via the AWS spectrum the carrier acquired from the cable providers. Users could see peak speeds as high as 80 Mbps.

The emphasis, though, is not on throughput but on the ability to support multiple connections at once in congested areas. According to Gigaom, which interviewed Verizon’s chief network officer, the provider’s claimed speeds will not go above 5 to 12 Mbps, even though customers will likely see much faster data rates.

MORE: 10 Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

Thus far, Verizon has tripled its capacity in such cities as New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Washington D.C. Other markets, such as downtown San Francisco and Los Angeles, have received a 150-percent boost.

Not every smartphone will be able to take advantage of this 4G LTE upgrade. In fact, only 15 percent of Verizon’s devices are AWS capable, including the iPhone 5s and 5c, the Galaxy S4 and the Motorola Droid Maxx, Mini and Ultra. The Galaxy Note 3 will get an over-the-air update. Verizon says about one-fifth of its devices will be able to enjoy its increased capacity by the end of the year, which will also include mobile hotspots and tablets.

It’s not as if other carriers are standing still. Sprint, for example, recently launched its Spark service, enabling a number of tri-band phones to achieve download speeds up to 50 Mbps. In our testing around New York City, Sprint doubled the speeds of AT&T. Meanwhile, T-Mobile says it has doubled its capacity, and AT&T is looking to soup up its already strong network by mining its existing spectrum from its 2G and 3G networks.

In the coming days we’ll be testing Verizon’s upgraded network to see just how much improved it is, but overall we’re glad to see the carrier make strides to keep up with our insatiable data appetites.

via Gigaom

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer on
Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options