Verizon is still the best combo in terms of reliability and speed. Of course that doesn’t come cheap. Recently Verizon announced tests on its proposed 5G networks followed by an approval by the FCC to use higher frequencies to test those speeds on. Now Verizon is offering 50% greater peak speeds “at no extra cost” on its LTE network in 461 cities across the US including “highways, interstates, country roads and rural America”. These include New York, Portland, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston. The new service is being called “LTE Advanced“.
Verizon says that it will combine multiple channels to deliver greater speeds to its customers just like using multiple channels to deliver water to a reservoir results in a quicker filling rate. It’s called carrier aggregation. Previously, phones used to lock on to the best available channel to connect to the internet. Right now it says that normal single channel speeds max out at 5-12 Mbps but dual channel speeds can get you up to 225 Mbps and combining a third channel can get you up to 300 Mbps. That beats out average home broadband speed in the US by a large margin, not to mention what you use on your phone.
Of course those perfect estimates are not exactly what you’ll get in real life, but even if they taper off at half their theoretical value, you’ll get a whopping 112-150 Mbps connection. That’s still blazing fast. There is no criteria that Verizon mentions for these LTE Advanced speeds to kick in. It does say however, that they will be at your service when you need them most, in times of high data use. “That’s when you get the big peak boost of Verizon LTE Advanced.”
Verizon has been rolling out LTE Advanced to its customers over the past year but is only now making a big deal about it. Verizon’s communications director Kelly Crummey said, “Often our competitors talk about what they may do or what they hope to do…We talk about what we’ve actually done and the benefits our customers are actually receiving.”
That’s not to say that other carriers haven’t already done the same. Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T have either already rolled out to over a 100 markets or are doing so. Sprint’s technology is called Sprint LTE Plus and has been tested jointly with Samsung to yield results of up to 230 Mbps. It’s currently available in 500 cell sites in Chicago. Sprint sent out the details in a press release that seemed timed to coincide with Verizon’s big announcement.
You can find if your city has been bestowed with these speeds here. And here are is a list of 39 compatible devices on Verizon’s LTE network including The Galaxy S6 and S7 models and iPhones and Moto Droids.