Verizon today announced a new marketing push for "LTE Advanced" technology that brings 50 percent faster peak wireless data speeds to 461 cities across the United States. The company marks LTE Advanced as the latest improvement on current 4G LTE technology, which it first introduced in 2010. Besides a collection of major cities, Verizon LTE Advanced will cover "loads of less-served places including highways, interstates, country roads and rural America."
LTE Advanced is not a new technology, with Verizon and other carriers working over the past couple of years to gradually roll it out through "carrier aggregation" upgrades that allow multiple bandwidth channels to be combined for faster speeds. Today's announcement from Verizon does, however, signal a major milestone in reaching coverage for 90 percent of the U.S. population.
The LTE Advanced upgrades come to Verizon's customers at no additional cost, with speed boosts and coverage kicking in "when you need it most," from day-to-day smartphone use to vacation trips. Verizon LTE Advanced will work on one of 39 devices already on the carrier's network, including the iPhone, Moto Droid, and Galaxy S6 and S7.
“Verizon LTE Advanced means your data session moves more quickly over the best network,” said Nicki Palmer, Verizon’s chief wireless network engineer. “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 LTE Advanced deployment currently uses a combination of two- and three-carrier aggregation, with two-channel carrier aggregation resulting in download speeds of up to 225 Mbps under ideal conditions, compared to "typical" speeds of 5-12 Mbps.
Whenever new smartphones from Apple, Samsung, and other companies are released, they will support Verizon's new LTE Advanced service out of the box, and pre-existing smartphones on Verizon plans will automatically upgrade with "no extra plan costs, no settings to change, and no indicators to check." Verizon calls LTE Advanced "the next-generation of wireless technology" and hopes to continue expanding the technology's reach, and upgrading its abilities to offer three-channel carrier aggregation with theoretical speeds exceeding 300 Mbps.