Verizon Wireless customers in 461 cities just got a boost.
Thanks to today’s nationwide rollout of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) carrier aggregation technology, subscribers using one of 39 compatible phones will enjoy 50 percent faster peak data speeds.
The LTE lift comes from combining two and eventually three bandwidth channels — in Verizon’s case, 700 MHz, AWS and PCS spectrum — into one larger channel to send data packets over the most efficient route to completion.
Compared to Verizon’s typical download speeds of 5-12 Mbps, the company’s two-channel carrier aggregation has shown peak download speeds of up to 225 Mbps, while Verizon engineers now deploying three-channel carrier aggregation have experienced speeds greater than 300 Mbps.
There is no extra charge for the new capabilities, nor any required change in settings — only an up-to-date LTE Advanced-capable phone or tablet, which includes Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S7 smartphones, Moto Droids and Apple iPhones.
“Our customers just received a major network enhancement for no additional cost,” said Tami Erwin, head of operations for Verizon’s wireless unit. “Verizon LTE Advanced works like a turbocharger on an engine. Speed boosts kick in when you need it most, with big data use.”
Sprint, with its 10-month-old LTE Plus program, was an early adherent of the LTE-Advanced standard, and employs two-channel carrier aggregation using spectrum in the 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz bands to deliver peak speeds of more than 100 Mbps in 237 markets.
Earlier today, Sprint achieved peak download speeds of more than 230 Mbps in a demonstration of three-channel carrier aggregation at Chicago’s Soldier Field using Samsung Galaxy wireless devices.
Faster data speeds and greater network capacity is needed to support 4K video and immersive virtual reality systems, explained Sprint technology COO Günther Ottendorfer.
Verizon is supporting its own LTE-Advanced rollout with a broad mass media and social network campaign, including a new TV spot that premieres tonight after 8:30 p.m. ET across ABC, CBS, CWN, Fox and NBC. (Sneak peek below.)