Verizon boosts 4G service in 1,100 US cities to a possible 1Gbps

17 July 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Verizon has expanded its most advanced version of LTE to 1,100 markets, potentially delivering almost 1Gbps to customers.

The company says it has rolled out 4G LTE Advanced technologies to 2,000 markets, and that 1,100 of them have the technological features that can deliver 953Mbps.

“Our customers experience the largest LTE coverage in the country, unrivalled service reliability and the most consistently fast speeds in the industry,” said Nicki Palmer, Verizon’s chief network engineering officer and head of wireless networks. “We’ve done this through customer-focused planning, disciplined engineering, and consistent, strategic investment, continuing to deploy LTE Advanced technologies.”

The bells and whistles that Verizon has added to standard LTE to give such high speeds are carrier aggregation – a way of linking several radio channels together to boost bandwidth – plus 4×4 MIMO (massive input, massive output), which uses several receive and transmit antennas in different locations, and a high-speed modulation technique called 256 QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation).

Verizon uses carrier aggregation alone in 900 markets, and carrier aggregation plus the other two techniques in another 1,100. It demonstrated the high speed capability of using all three in Boca Raton, Florida, last year in a trial with Ericsson and Qualcomm.

That trial delivered 953Mbps. “We deploy the latest capabilities reliably and in real-world environments, not just in a lab,” said Palmer at the time. “By continuing to deploy the latest technologies on our 4G LTE Advanced network, we pave the way for better and faster performance for the things our customers do now, and provide the groundwork for our future advancements.”

Now, the company says, in combination, these three technologies drastically impact the capacity available for customers to use the Verizon network and the speed at which their data sessions are completed.