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Verizon Boosts 4G LTE Network Capacity, Expands to 40MHz in Major Cities

Verizon customers in major cities across the U.S. should see a big time increase in 4G LTE performance this week. According to GigaOm, Big Red has quietly doubled, and even tripled 4G LTE capacity across its network, available in commercial corridors of cities such as San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, and the list goes on. We’re talking “every major city east of the Mississippi and in several western markets.”

Expanding its network to 40MHz in many areas (by utilizing its semi-recently acquired AWS spectrum, and doubling its normal 20MHz), the amount of spectrum available for customers to access the high speed  network has greatly increased, which means more people can access the network with faster speeds (capable of hitting 80Mbps). This will hopefully end the bogged down feeling that many Verizon customers complain about (read: slow speeds). Verizon states that it has “already completed the upgrade on thousands of cell sites, and by year end it will have 5,000 AWS sites online with an additional 5,000 sites in various stages of completion.”

This is a major network upgrade that Verizon mostly snuck out without anyone noticing. They have been testing this rollout for a few months apparently, and are still waiting to publicize this improvement to the masses. Big Red will surely want to take back its “America’s most reliable” motto from AT&T, so we could be in for an interesting marketing campaign.

Verizon customers in major cities, have you noticed any difference yet?

Via: GigaOm
Cheers Rithvik!
  • doczenith1

    I think Lansing, MI must have been one of the test cities as these results (not mine) were from back in October. I ran a test last month with my Moto X and hit 50Mbps near that same tower.

  • lee lee

    speedtest recorded 73mb/sec down and 38mb/sec up in the Atlanta area on my S4. Very nice indeed.

  • Angry!!!!

    I live in NY and the only differenceI have is for the past month or so I can’t make calls without getting disconnected or all choppy AND text msgs only work half the time!! My service had been WORSE for a month or so!!!!!

  • Carlos Miranda

    Here in Chicago I ran speed tests on both my iPhone 5s and Droid Ultra. Got about 65-73 Mbps down and about 20 up. Pretty beastly.

  • Does the Moto X support the new bands?

  • mackjao

    note 2 does not have AWS … so you wouldn’t be getting a speed bump anyways

  • Bryce

    I wonder if they turned it on in the Eureka, California market? I highly doubt it but I just did a speed test using the speedtest.net app on my iPhone 5S and got 47.29 mbps download and 12.20 mbps upload. So its either Verizon has really good 4G LTE coverage and speed to start with here or they are actually turning on AWS 4G LTE in rural areas now. I just hope they turn AWS LTE on in the Santa Rosa – Petaluma California market soon. I travel there a lot and the coverage is good but the speeds I would be lucky to hit 10 mbps down and even in some parts of Petaluma I would be lucky to hit 3 mbps down. Now don’t get me wrong 10 mbps is nothing to complain about, but its also nothing to get excited about. As for the haters complaining about Verizon and how they are so happy they left Verizon. Let me tell you, I’m not a huge fan of Verizon either. I don’t like their high prices or not having unlimited data. But, I honestly do believe their network coverage and speed makes up for that. Where I live, T-Mobile is the worst when it comes to data because they still have 2G up here. Sprint has 3G but its so slow it should be considered 2G. AT&T has hspa+ up here but with mediocre coverage at best. Verizon has 4G LTE up here with the best voice and data coverage you can get. Lets face it T-Mobile is only good if you live in a major city, and even if you travel 10 miles outside a major city, your going back to 2G. For Sprint, they cover major cities and even some rural areas, but most of it is just 3G, which is painfully slow. My family and I has had AT&T before and they screwed us over so much it wasn’t even funny. So I think I speak for most people who live in rural areas or is on the outskirts of major cities, Verizon is really our only option if we want a decent network, and at least for me will be my (and many others) only option until other carriers can match Verizon’s speed and coverage.

  • master94

    In NYC 4G was down for a lot of people for the last few days but now it’s blazing. I wonder if it’s related to this.

  • Bradley Michael

    Has AWS been activated on the moto x yet?

  • stayflyer

    so nothing for san diego the 2nd biggest city in cali?

  • TimTheK

    ““every major city east of the Mississippi and in several western markets.”

    Oh, I didn’t realize that DC, Boston, Atlanta and Chicago were the only major cities on the East side. Don’t tell Philadelphia, Charlotte and Jacksonville…or any of the others that are larger than DC, Boston and Atlanta.

    Who is this quote from anyway? Its not from Verizon or GigaOM….

  • mcdonsco

    Is Portland Or a “major city”…Hmm, probably not 🙁

  • Mark Donnelson

    AWS is alive and well in several parts of the OKC metro. Seeing 50+mbps in areas that had dropped down to 1-2 until recently. VZW has had contractors crawling all over their sites installing AWS-capable antennas and RRUs.

  • Mark P

    Between this and upgrading from a gnex to a moto x (coming in a few days) I’m hoping this will mean I can get data service in my neighborhood. The past year I’ve gotten virtually NO data in my neighborhood. I’ve called verizon and they’ve told me my area isn’t covered. Oh, by the way, I live in Brooklyn, NY… One of the densest areas in the US and presumably a pretty easy one to cover. Oye. Fingers crossed….

  • RoadsterHD1

    NICE. I use to get 7Mbps at work and it went down to 1.2Mbps and now ITS BACK UP AND BETTER AT 42.06 Mbps. In fact in the real good areas like my house I can get speeds up to 5.56MBps!!!! down. The latest update to my Droid MAXX made a huge difference. I could not be happier with this phone.

  • Raleigh checking in with a pathetic 5.5 down / 4 up on Note3

  • Kasper

    I’ve noticed for the past few months Louisville, KY having our 4g issue go down randomly in the middle of the night. in the past this was an indicator that some maintaince was being down. having said that our speeds have improved at home and speeds have always been great at my work. consistanly getting 30 mbps

  • Zee Masai

    Detroit MI got a little boost. I was able to hit 80mbps in some parts of the city today. I usually get 20mbps average at home now it’s up to 2-30mbps. Downtown is 30 now.

  • Michael McGuigan

    Now I can hit my data cap faster!

  • Jeremy Wray

    Yay i got 5.19 down and 1.51 up…….

    fail 🙁

  • ĴⒶ₡Ҝ

    I was just in the Financial District of SF yesterday. Moto X couldn’t even load a webpage on 4g LTE. You have to toggle to 3g to do anything. Looking forward to the speed boost.

    • Jason Kahn

      That’s what it feel like in Manhattan most of the time, sometimes 3G is actually faster and more reliable. I had a brief period where for a couple days the VZW networked like it did two years ago, but sadly it did not last.

    • Nick P.

      What are you using to toggle to 3G on the Moto X?

  • Chris VanAnden

    I have VZW and in the NYC area…haven’t noticed a difference personally. But, I do have a Moto X.

  • Tyler Casilio

    I should turn off WiFi for once, shouldn’t I

    • ToddAwesome

      my first thought as well.

  • Jason Kahn

    I thought I was crazy, but about two weeks ago I noticed that I was able to stream, Netflix and Youtube again over LTE. This is in Midtown Manhattan. I ran a speed test and I got 10mbps down and 5 up, every test before that I was getting if I was lucky 1mbps down 1mbps up. So nothing fantastic like somerural areas, but it’s atleast usable now

  • Dorian Brooks

    I know Houston, TX ISN’T east of the Mississippi, but I’ve actually lost 4G for the most part for the last 10 days. Been showing nothing but a 3G connection on my DNA. [le sigh]

    • Diablo81588

      It’s your phone. Try reseating your Sim card.

  • jhlinka

    From chicago burbs:
    DL: 19.6 Mbps
    UL: 4.3 Mbps
    Definitely faster than I’ve experienced the last few months w/ the Droid Maxx

  • Cael

    Yay I wish I could test this but Verizon shut me off cause I was a day late and use like 30+ GB a month…

  • ddh819

    based on how long its taking me to download the speedtest.net app, i’d say no improvement in philly yet, but i’m on a non-aws phone.

  • jonathon johnston

    Nashville may have been boosted. I normally get 2-5Mbps max while at work but right now I am getting 11 down and 17 up. I have never seen these speeds during business hours in the past two years.

    • waleed300

      we definitely have Jonathon, I’m from Nashville too.. Hey fellow Nashvillian! haha. My coverage sucks at school at the TSU downtown campus, I’m either roaming, or have not service at all. Recently I was able to hit 25 Mbps download speeds and like 6-8 Mbps up. It could also help that I enabled the band 4 LTE on my phone myself (rooted note 3)

  • Justin

    So, I wonder if the Nexus 5 will now work in these AWS markets. I’ve seen the vid on youtube by Keyan X back on 11/4 “When A Nexus 5 Meets A Verizon Wireless Sim”, I wonder if somebody in an AWS market has tried again.

    • GJV

      I thought that VZW also had to unblock the ESNs for the Nexus 5 in order for them to work.

    • Lonetree

      Verizon doesn’t have to allow devices on AWS spectrum. That’s just a requirement of the 700 mhz block.

  • gujupmp88

    getting about 60 down and 20 up in Danbury, CT for the past month or 2 on my Droid Maxx. the new spectrum/faster speed is really good considering most places i get like 10-20 down.

  • Chris Hughes

    Verizon 4G LTE! Now with functioning 4G LTE!

  • Alex Goings

    If Verizon keeps this up and Google and Verizon actually end up teaming up for something next fall I may have to go back to them after leaving for the Nexus 5… So far my AT&T coverage and speed has not been nearly as good as it was on Verizon.

  • Stevedub40

    Great, everyone can now burn up their 2GB of data even faster!

  • rww

    I don’t know how anyone in LA can use Verizon. I live in Michigan and usually get 10-12Mpbs (unlike the 35Mbps we got when 4G first came out, but I digress). I visit LA every month and IF I can actually get a strong 4G signal, it’s pathetically slow. Yesterday I tested it at 3Mbps up/down with 4 bars of 4G. I actually saw 1X on my LG G2 for the first time ever later that day!! 1X! If you live in the Long Beach / Torrance area of LA, you don’t want VZW.

    • I see 1x daily unfortunately, even though I’m in an LTE coverage area (not even extended LTE)

  • jeff manning

    New Orleans is a major city. Hurry up

  • Quint

    I wish I could tell. Went to Atlanta and my mom’s apartment is a 3G island; I was getting a strong LTE signal 6 months ago. I guess, Verizon tuned the 700 down and/or replaced it with AWS.

  • Scotty Tilney

    Flying in Santa Clara

    • Abgar Musayelyan

      Absolutely no change in tujunga or Glendale. Consider yourself lucky.

  • I get 1x on Bedford ave in Williamsburg, BK…and no signal in buildings. Hopefully this changes things.

    • Adrynalyne

      It won’t.

    • pizzaparties

      I don’t have any problems on Bedford and my S3 is pretty bad at picking up a good signal. I basically consider 3 bars to be full bars in NYC.

      • Go into that mini mall thing or walk up south 6th street towards the water. Same results on my Razr Maxx and my Droid Maxx.

        A few blocks over it’s fine, it’s just a dead patch right there.

  • JeremyRoenickDanceParty

    Mayhaps II’m seeing the difference in DC? Pulling down 10+ Mbps on my Droid Maxx when I usually don’t break 6 mbps.

  • SteveJobss

    It’s happening…… Chicago downtown.

    • jlr98ranger

      This is my test results in cardwell mo southeast mo and in rector arkansas vzw is super fast around here

  • Abgar Musayelyan

    LA needs this so badly. And no I have not noticed an improvement.

  • AndrewScottRox

    I hate that I love their network.

  • Bobby

    I don’t want to complain about my 2.08 Mbs up or my 3.40 Mbs down but I do want to complain about what I pay Verizon Wireless each month for those speed.

  • Tony Perez

    No improvement in Fort Worth at Hwy287, However, at I-35w, I got 41.82 and 38.83 on the download and 12.33 and 13.30 on the upload (respectively) using SpeedTest by OOKLA. Impressive considering that at my house I’m lucky to get speeds in the 3’s and 1’s. I just need a cell tower a little closer.

    • Mike

      Getting 4.61 Down and 1.88 Up here just West of DFW. The center of the Metroplex probably isn’t a big enough market to worry with though.

  • Adrynalyne

    Is Tucson a major city?

    Don’t answer that….

    • entertainmentopia

      It’s not, travel up the 10 and you’ll hit one 🙂

      • Adrynalyne

        Or I could follow the wall of pollution!


        • entertainmentopia

          You could come up and watch the state’s only decent NCAA Football team go to the Rose Bowl tomorrow 🙂 I kid, I kid! 🙂

          • Adrynalyne

            LOL…could be fun :p Haven’t been to Phoenix in a couple years.

          • BroRob

            Fear the Fork!

          • Bryan

            Go Devils! I was at last week’s game and it was a pleasure watching us destroy Northern Nogales (U of A for those who don’t know what I am talking about)!
            I’ll be watching and cheering tomorrow! Big game!

  • Liderc

    My Nexus 5 on AT&T straight talk is twice as fast as my Galaxy Nexus was on Verizon’s LTE. Not sure if it was just the Gnex’s radio or what. Verizon can go f themselves and their prices. Gouged me for years.

    Plus when I went to the movies the other day, where my Galaxy Nexus could never get a signal, I had 3 bars of LTE on the Nexus 5. I have to imagine it’s more to do with the better radios or maybe AT&T has a tower like right beside the theater I don’t know about.

  • Guest

    so what phones on verizon are AWS compatible?

    • Paul

      S4, Note 3, iPhone 5s and 5c

      • Paul

        And newest Droid line

        • Adrynalyne

          Then the Moto X should be as well.

      • Walter Partlo

        Moto X?

  • pizzaparties

    No difference. I just got 1.05mbs on my S3 in NYC. :[ I’m shocked there isn’t a class action lawsuit on this.

    • zepfloyd

      The S3 is not AWS capable.

      • pizzaparties

        I’m well aware. Perhaps, I read it wrong, but I assumed that expanding the spectrum would allow the network to be less clogged and would at least increase my speeds to maybe something like 5mb/s or more normal 4G speeds than 1mb/s.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          Considering there are not that many phones that take advantage of AWS yet, it won’t help congestion until current phones that are connected either are updated to allow AWS (if possible, like for the Note 3), or people buy new phones that are able to use AWS and get off the current bandwidth.

    • Adrynalyne

      What would they sue for?

      • pizzaparties

        There hasn’t been 4G speeds in NYC in over a year. If I’m in a decent neighborhood the most I can get is about 3mb/s, but it’s usually about 1mb/s.


        • Adrynalyne

          That is not lawsuit-worthy. Verizon was very careful not to guarantee speeds. Instead, they used buzz words like “anticipated” speed.

          • pizzaparties

            I guess that’s true. When it first started getting slower, I mentioned it to my local verizon store, but they don’t even have service in the store so they just claimed that was the reason.

          • Adrynalyne

            Did Verizon’s EvDo network ever get congested like this? I thought it never did, and that was what made Verizon so attractive. Ironic that their LTE network suffers from it.

          • pizzaparties

            EvDo did not get congested. The 4G congestion happened shortly after the 4G iPhones came out.

          • zepfloyd

            Well don’t forget CDMA is running on both 850/1900. LTE was on 700 only and is now more than half the traffic throughput, so now that it’s 700/1700 I suppose that balances out better once devices catch on. There’s already rumors of them starting to carve out parts of currently used 3G PCS for LTE by early 2015 as CDMA becomes less and less of a share, much like AT&T is doing now in some markets, but more so because they don’t have 40Mhz lying around to use.

    • D.B.Evans

      I just ran Ookla, and received 0.50 Mbps over a 4G LTE connection (Seattle area). Verizon’s bandwidth near my office is a joke – on weekends it’s better, but during the work day it plummets. Granted, my phone is older and doesn’t support LTE over AWS, so wouldn’t benefit directly from the recent upgrade.

  • jlsushman

    I live in los angeles and it’s slower than ever.

  • laheelahee

    what about the Note 2 ???

    • jlsushman

      I’m pretty sure the note 2 has a LTE radio

      • Adrynalyne

        Not AWS capable I bet.

        • jlsushman

          Ack! I failed to realize “the truth”! All I was thinking about was the boost to the 20mhz spectrum.

  • Masta Marc

    Question: For Verizon 4G LTE phones.. Sometimes I’ll have all bars, but my internet just won’t work. They’ve sent a replacement SIM Card- problem still happens. If i turn 4G LTE off, 3G works fine. . I am in Charlotte,nc in the middle of uptown so there’s building everywhere… Even though I have signal, could 4G LTE be blocked or is my phone crapping on me?

    • Adrynalyne

      What phone?

      • Masta Marc

        its happening on my iphone 5S that i use for work. but i’ve not tried to use my droid phone here.

        • Adrynalyne

          I’ve heard of this happening before, but not with an iPhone.

          Are you always in the same area when it happens, which would indicate you are connected to the same tower?

          • Masta Marc

            Yep. For isntance i’ll be on instagram looking at a video. it’ll just stop playing… so then i open the browser no websites will load. but i’ll have all my bars. turning off/on doesnt help. but switching to 3G works.

          • Adrynalyne

            Sounds like a tower issue.

    • Andrew Lichtenhan

      Charlotte as well. I have not noticed too much, but I am streaming Netflix of Archer pretty nicely at the moment. I have not tried any Youtube streaming on the go in HD yet on the Old GNex, but its not super terrible.

  • gpzbc

    “…and the list goes on. We’re talking every major city east of the Mississippi and in several western markets.”

    Would you mind pointing us toward the list? Thank you!

  • Hiran

    I would like Verizon to include airports, but Verizon is keeping up the Perfect and Reliable work and expansion.

  • Full list of cities and supported devices please!

    • Godzilla

      GS4, note 3, Chicago , LA, NEW York etc etc

  • Stephen

    I’m getting 45mbps in Central jersey

    • wickets

      Wow…….thats amazing. Im CNJ too, but hover 3g quite a bit unfortunately

      • Stephen

        South Plainfield here. Might be a little more North than Central, but I consider it Central. Verizon had suddenly got very fast near my house though.

        • wickets

          im coming to move in 🙂 just ran fcc app: 190.98kbps (dn) 448*b*ps!!!! (up)

    • Masta Marc

      how are you testing the speed?

      • Stephen

        Speedtest app

  • Too bad all the haters on here already dumped Verizon (judging from the comments).

    • Godzilla

      I hate verizon, but i love their network. So I am still here

      • +100

        • Godzilla

          I see your 100 and raise you 1 million

      • rfranken

        yeah ditto here. i live in the middle of nowhere and verizon is the only respectable coverage. there just is no other option. att is here…but its a joke. everyone on it gauges their outs out in frustration. and other carriers would never come out to such a low populated area.

    • fauxshizzl

      Saving money is bad now?

      • Godzilla

        no, but those of us who go hunting and go camping in certain parts of montana where only verizon penetrates ……..well……..you know

        • @disqus_LXvnCFfYdT:disqus Exactly. I live in the deep Midwest and travel to places like Sioux Falls. I need the best coverage I can get.

          • Godzilla

            Yup. There is also the problem of building penetration on some of T Mobile’s spectrum. I have friends who go to work and lose signal inside buildings. It seems to be a random problem but the same random problem does not happen on verizon.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            It is all about how deep the penetration is.

          • feedhead

            Hey now … live in Sioux Falls … Nexus 5 on Straight Talk w/ AT&T sim works great here.
            Haven’t missed Veri$$$on since leaving for Nexus 4 last year.

          • @feedhead:disqus My bad, fam. FWIW I had a great time there, Big Bucks is a really fun bar 🙂

        • moelsen8


          • Ian


  • j

    YAY MY GNEX FLIES NOW!! Oh wait, no I just dropped back to 3G of course.

    • TimTheK

      The Gnex doesn’t support Band 4 anyway…. so don’t worry about dropping the connection.

  • delrayser

    From the linked GigaOM article: “Not every device will connect to the network just yet, though Verizon began seeding the market with new AWS-capable phones back in the second quarter. Devices that can take advantage of this NEW NETWORK today — the iPhone(a aapl) 5s and 5c, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Motorola Droid Maxx, Mini and Ultra, and several LTE modems — all have the necessary radios and software. Verizon will also be sending out over-the-air software updates to enable the AWS radios in the Galaxy Note 3 and other Android devices shortly.”

    • No mention of the Moto X?

      • delrayser

        I was just thinking the same thing. Who knows what “other Android devices” refers to, but I can’t find anything that tells me whether the Moto X hardware is capable of band 4, even with an update.

        • Google always screws you on hardware on some level. With the GNex it was a crappy camera and radio chipsets, with the N4 it was the lack of LTE, the N5 had a bad camera again … the list goes on and on.

          • Scott Webber

            Supposedly the software update has really improved the n5 camera (as it did the moto x). If that’s as good as it looks, then the n5 looks like it might be a perfect device.

          • James Friedman

            LG G2 FTW!

        • zepfloyd


          All Digital, LTE(band 4 & 13), CDMA 1x, EDVO rev A, Global

          Probably going to need an update to turn it on.

      • icedrop

        From PCmag.com : “Verizon’s Moto X supports the carrier’s CDMA
        network, the AT&T HSPA+ network (oddly enough), foreign HSPA+
        networks on the 900 and 2100MHz (but not 1800MHz) bands at speeds up to
        HSPA+ 42, and Verizon’s LTE network on 700MHz and AWS. That last bit
        will help the Moto X get LTE coverage in crowded cities like New York
        where Verizon’s 700Mhz network is completely saturated, and not all
        phones support it.”
        LOOKIN GOOD!

    • woot
    • wickets

      thanks for the info……really surprised note 3 isnt ready

    • TC Infantino

      Another reason I am very happy that I got the Droid Maxx. I will be able to take advantage of this once it comes to my area.

  • TheRobotCow

    Is this a part of their AWS rollout?

    • Yes.

    • Zach B.

      “by utilizing its semi-recently acquired AWS spectrum”

      Yes… I believe so…

      • TheRobotCow

        i should’ve finished reading it haha
        fail on my part

        • Zach B.

          Lol. We’re all guilty of skimming 🙂

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Meh. Once you get off Verizon (providing you’re on a carrier with actual coverage)…. You don’t really miss it. At&t prepaid gets the job done for half the price.

    • Zach Armstrong

      Plus you get the ability to bring unlocked devices Instead of stuck with Verizon’s lineup

    • Chris Hannan

      Unless you still have unlimited data and take advantage of it of course.

      But if I did lose unlimited data, I’d most likely switch to Straight Talk and use AT&T’s network.

    • BSweetness

      “providing you’re on a carrier with actual coverage”

      That’s the key. For a lot of people who don’t live right around a major metropolitan area (and even some who do, but who are on the outskirts), Verizon is the only carrier with any sort of reliable coverage. In many places, they’re the only carrier with any coverage at all. I’d love to give T-Mobile or AT&T prepaid a shot, but I’d have absolutely no signal half the time. Until other carriers build up their network outside of larger metro areas to match what Verizon has (which no one seems to be in a hurry to do), many folks are stuck.

  • Mike Cox

    can we get a full list of citys?

    • Zach B.

      Somewhere I read NYC, Chicago, ATL, Boston, DC, and Seattle have 3x coverage, and San Fran and LA have double or so.

      Looking for source

    • No, but there’s a list of cities in the original article.

      • No there’s not.

        • Geoff Johnson FTA:

          n the commercial corridors of major cities like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Washington, D.C.. Verizon has tripled its LTE capacity by tapping new airwaves, while in downtown San Francisco and Los Angeles it’s boosted capacity by 150 percent.

          • That’s pretty much what was said in this article, they made it seem like there were several more that Verizon didn’t mention in the linked to article.

          • michael arazan

            Verizon said other cities will be coming soon. And we all know the time frame of “soon” for vzw.

          • VZW’s pretty quick with network upgrades, actually.

          • michael arazan

            His list is correct

      • mcdonsco

        He’s right, there’s not

  • JBartcaps

    I’m guessing there is no way to tell if you’re using the 20MHz or the 40MHz?

    • It’s AWS spectrum, so only AWS-capable phones can use it.

    • zepfloyd

      Depends what device, you can on the GS4 and Note 3, provided you’ve enabled the Hidden service menu. Of course keep in mind you won’t see 40Mhz, it’s really 20 upstream and 20 downstream for the 40, or 10 and 10 for the 20.

  • AndySamberg

    what about Portland, OR?