Verizon Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis claims that the company's network has performed well despite the recent increase in data consumed by its customers. At a recent investor conference, the executive noted that the jump in data consumption took place after the carrier started offering unlimited data plans earlier this year. The spike in data traffic is observed primarily outside the peak hours of the day when the carrier's network has more than sufficient capacity to accommodate the needs of its customers. Ellis attributes this shift in data consumption patterns to the fact that the customers no longer worry about their monthly data allocation.
Verizon's CFO also repeated the claim that the firm uses only around 50 percent of the carrier's spectrum, and it has more than enough spectrum to boost the capacity of its network. The company still has unused spectrum in the AWS-3 band, which could be rolled out once devices that support the frequency start reaching the carrier's customers. Another option for the carrier is to convert the frequency currently used by its 2G and 3G networks to LTE. In fact, Verizon is doing this right now, with the company recently converting all of its PCS spectrum holdings in New York City from CDMA to LTE. The company is also planning to deploy LTE service on unlicensed spectrum starting next year. Furthermore, the carrier has partnered with telecommunications equipment suppliers like Ericsson and Qualcomm in order to test the Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) technology.
Small cells are also being deployed by Verizon to increase the capacity of its network in crowded areas and to service locations which the larger base stations cannot cover. In addition, Verizon employs cellular technologies like carrier aggregation, MIMO antennas, and data modulation to further enhance the data speeds experienced by its subscribers. Carrier aggregation combines multiple bands together to increase the total bandwidth available to the subscriber while MIMO antennas allow a base station to transmit and receive multiple data streams simultaneously. On the other hand, 64QAM data modulation increases the amount of data sent over a single transmission. Verizon claims that its use of small cells, carrier aggregation, and MIMO antennas boosted the capacity of its network by as much as 100 percent.