Verizon has reportedly begun the process of upgrading its old 3G networks to 4G LTE capabilities in PCS bands that is being used for EV-DO in 10 markets. This will enable the company to provide fast and reliable LTE services to consumers.
The process of switching the networks has begun in Manhattan, New York City. The move comes after the company wanted to repurpose EV-DO spectrum, after its usage declined among smartphone users. The company has switched off 3G frequencies in Manhattan for testing purposes while the entire transfer to 4G networks is expected to take more time. The report noted that Verizon has already 80 percent LTE users.
“Virtually all of our devices are 4G LTE. People tend to upgrade their phones fairly often,” said Mike Haberman, VP of network operations.
Haberman stated that 2G networks needed only 2.5 MHz to be online and plenty of spectrum can be reclaimed as the networks will be shut down eventually. He added that the complete Apple line up was running 4G networks. The company will provide support to EV-DO till December 31, 2019 and is developing carrier aggregation, an advanced LTE feature that combines LTE networks. Smart with this new feature support will be available by next year, while Samsung S5 already supports carrier aggregation in Korea.
AT&T launched carrier aggregation this year and is also partnering with Verizon for voice over wireless calls (VoLTE) via data networks. Verizon stated that VoLTE will bring in HD call features and new features. Haberman did not reveal the cities where the phasing process will be carried out after Manhattan and Cleveland. Customers will be able to experience faster download speeds as the network will utilize high-capacity XLTE network which was launched last year. In 2012, Metro PCS, now acquired by T-Mobile was the first carrier to offer VoLTE services in the US.
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