Yesterday, Verizon Wireless announced they have expanded their LTE network to include six additional cities. XLTE is a higher performing LTE network that offers at least twice the bandwidth of Verizon’s standard LTE network and greater capacity, using a greater number of frequencies including the relatively newly purchased AWS spectrum. There are over forty devices that Verizon sell that support the higher performance, higher capacity XLTE network: it’s known as Band 4 LTE. Verizon have now rolled XLTE out to more than four in five of every existing LTE markets and now numbering more than four hundred.
When it comes to the frequencies and spectrum that Verizon’s XLTE network covers, the original LTE network operates at the 700 MHz band and offers good distance and building penetration. Verizon’s LTE network typically offered a total of 10 MHz of spectrum in each direction (for a total of 20 MHz) but as LTE devices became more and more popular, so these lanes became relatively congested. This is most obvious in cities as there are many more people trying to use the wireless network at the same time. Verizon have bought spectrum at the 1,700 MHz point, which has a shorter range and does not penetrate into buildings so well, but pairs well with the low down 700 MHz frequency. Verizon have been able to roll out an additional 40 MHz of spectrum, consisting of 20 MHz in each direction, which on paper trebles the bandwidth available. However, because the higher frequency spectrum has a higher data throughput, the theoretical performance improvement is greater than this under optimal conditions. Of course, conditions are rarely optimal and this is perhaps why Verizon state that the performance increase is at least double that of standard LTE. Many other carriers combine spectrum across different frequencies and often rebrand “4G LTE” with a new name; Sprint called its high speed LTE technology “Spark,” which combines different LTE network technologies across three spectrums. T-Mobile US also combine different parts of the spectrum but have not invented a new name for it.
Verizon’s blog details the new markets, which are Carlsbad-Artesia, NM, Coos Bay-North Bend, OR, Corbin, KY, Selma, AL and Stevens Point-Marshfield, WI. These markets have a definite vacation summery feel about them! From sending photographs of the Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Park to loved ones through posting pictures of blue ribbon winners at the Mississippi State Fair coming up in October, or looking up questions at the Stevens Point largest trivia contest, it appears Verizon has you covered.