TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Austin among cities where Verizon is rolling out higher-speed 'LTE Advanced' network

Posted August 29th, 2016

Verizon on Monday said it has launched faster internet speeds for customers in Austin and 460 other U.S. cities.  

The telecom giant says its new “LTE Advanced” will boost peak internet speeds by 50 percent, which will help users upload pics, download files or other programs faster.  

The faster speeds will be available to Verizon customers who own any products from a line of 39 phones or tablets, including iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones, the company said.  

“Our customers just received a major network enhancement for no additional cost,” Tami Erwin, head of operations for Verizon’s wireless unit, said in a statement. “Verizon LTE Advanced works like a turbocharger on an engine. Speed boosts kick in when you need it most, with big data use. That’s when you get the big peak boost of Verizon LTE Advanced.”  

The technology to boost speeds during peak demand can be compared to when a vehicle kicks into turbo when its engine reaches a high level of performance.  

LTE Advanced uses software that combines two or three bandwidth channels into one larger channel to speed mobile data over the network more quickly than before, Verizon said.  

Nicki Palmer, Verizon’s chief wireless network engineer, compared the carrier’s 4G LTE network and new advanced version to picking a lane when there are multiple lanes of traffic.  

“Once you pick a lane, that’s the lane you drive in,” Palmer said. But “Verizon LTE Advanced allows cars to change lanes efficiently and flawlessly, balancing the flow of traffic and getting drivers to their destinations more efficiently. That means blindingly fast data transmissions when you need it most.”  

The new network will impact an estimated 288 million users, Verizon said.  

Most of the more recent devices by major manufacturers will also see faster downloading and streaming, the company said. Verizon said as new devices from Apple, Samsung, LG and other manufacturers are introduced, those will see the LTE Advanced speeds as well.  

And while customers should see faster speeds, those same customers shouldn’t see any extra plan costs or new settings requirements tied to the effort.  

Technology website Engadget said time will tell if customers are indeed seeing the new speeds.  

“It’s going to take significant testing to verify the veracity of Verizon’s claims,” the site said.

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