Verizon has turned on its 700MHz AWS spectrum LTE service, branding its new 4G offering XLTE and promising at least double the bandwidth in high-traffic areas, as well as faster data speeds. The new AWS support requires devices that support the band – the iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S5, and HTC One M8 all do – though Verizon argues that all customers should see some improvement in their service.
That, Verizon suggests, is because those with AWS-compatible phones will move over onto the new spectrum, leaving the existing bandwidth for those yet to upgrade.
However, just about every new device on Verizon’s shelves is XLTE-compatible, the carrier points out, so it’s only legacy customers who will encounter AWS compatibility issues. Only around 35-percent of existing devices out there are AWS-ready.
What XLTE isn’t is “5G”, the next-gen connectivity carriers are already whispering about. That’s still some way off in the US, though UK carriers are looking to a tentative 2022 launch.
XLTE service should kick in automatically on compatible phones and tablets, when Verizon subscribers are in a supported area. The launch list of those areas is below.