Verizon is now the second carrier to add more spectrum to its network, temporarily, as it seeks to meet demand of its network during the Coronavirus crisis.
T-Mobile announced yesterday that it had licensed more 600MHz spectrum from a number of companies, for the next 60 days, to add more capacity to its network during this crisis.
The FCC has offered all carriers a spectrum boost during this time. T-Mobile grabbed more 600MHz, Verizon is getting more AWS-3 spectrum and AT&T has said it doesn't need any yet. AT&T has been monitoring its network and it appears to be operating pretty well under the increased load.
Why does Verizon need more spectrum?
With the majority of Americans working from home now, that means that there are going to be customers on its network and actually using its network now. This is all due to the Coronavirus Pandemic that is currently sweeping through Europe and North America. So Verizon adding more spectrum to its network, means more capacity, so those working from home throughout this Coronavirus crisis will be able to keep using their Verizon smartphone.
The increased capacity will also likely mean faster speeds, which is something that no one will complain about.
Now where Verizon is using more spectrum that it already has – AWS-3 – it means that your smartphone already supports this added spectrum. So as Verizon rolls it out over the next few days, you won't need to do anything to access this spectrum. Simply use your phone like normal and you'll automatically start using it. That is if you are in an area that has this new spectrum.
The only downside here, is that after 60 days, Verizon will have to release this spectrum, which belongs to Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless License. So this increased capacity won't last forever. But Verizon and the FCC are hoping that it will last throughout this outbreak. And hopefully after 60 days we'll be mostly back to normal in the US.
Verizon has also lifted data caps and has suspended any shut offs. So if you are not able to pay your bill right now, if you're out of work, no need to worry. As Verizon and other carriers will not be terminating your service for non-payment for the next few months. Right now, they have suspended it until the end of April. But as this Coronavirus pandemic progresses, that could move even further back.