Verizon Wireless is said to be preparing for a re-brand and launch of their AWS network into a handful of markets where the AWS spectrum already exists, which is set to start towards the end of the month on May 19th. At least that's the way it seems with the event their holding on that day to announce the change. The re-brand will see the AWS spectrum transforming into what they'll be referring to as their XLTE network, which is a fitting name for something that they're trying to strengthen. It makes it sound like Verizon will be deploying an extra large LTE network.
Verizon's plan was to start putting out some of their AWS spectrum by mid year in 2014, and then have the majority of the XLTE deployed over the next year and a half to two years. The plan to strengthen current LTE networks with the AWS spectrum seeks to improve the network performance in major cities and areas where those networks are seeing increased pressure, which is due to a growth in usage on the current LTE networks in those locations. According to a source at Droid Life, two phones will be the first to begin receiving XLTE support through an OTA update although this is not 100% at the moment. The Galaxy S5 along with the HTC One M8 will be the first devices to get access to that network after the update is said to enable its compatibility.
While the XLTE network rollout should help to improve some of the network access for those cities that are congested with tons of subscribers, that won't be the only improvement that users on the network see when accessing XLTE. XLTE is essentially Verizon's evolution of the current LTE network they have running now, and should improve the network data speeds as well, allowing users that are accessing XLTE to get up to 80 Mbps download speeds. It'll be a while before most of the current LTE sees a transition to XLTE, but Verizon is focused on getting the enhancements rolled out as fast as they can. The plan for Verizon was to have AWS deployed in up to 50 markets by the middle of this year.