Verizon Branding AWS as XLTE

Verizon Wireless will soon start marketing its AWS spectrum as an “XLTE” network, according to the blog Droid-Life, beginning on May 19.

Verizon has been deploying AWS spectrum (1.7/2.1 GHz) to augment capacity on its LTE network since last fall, according to Fierce Wireless.

Currently Verizon’s LTE service uses 700 MHz spectrum. But the longer range of 700 MHz also means cell sites can’t be as dense. More people clog the 10×10 MHz pipes.

Verizon says 73 percent of all its data traffic now travels over its 700 MHz LTE network.

In 2012, Verizon bought a 10×10 MHz block of AWS covering 54 percent of the U.S. population from cable operators for $3.9 billion.

Currently, virtually all of Verizon’s new smartphones are AWS-capable with about a quarter of their current LTE smartphone users now AWS-ready.

No changes in device settings will be needed. Devices will continue to say “4G LTE.” Customers also will not need to upgrade their plans. XLTE should work with your current setup.

Nicola Palmer, Verizon Wireless’ chief network officer, has said that, in every major city east of the Mississippi and in several western markets, Verizon’s AWS spectrum would essentially allow the carrier to double the amount of spectrum it can use for LTE, from 20 MHz to 40 MHz.

AT&T’s AWS holdings come mostly from their purchase of Leap Wireless, and from an Aloha Partners spectrum purchase. But AT&T is still piecing national AWS service together, after loosing much of it in the ill-fated T-Mobile merger deal.

AT&T’s AWS national coverage is a distant 3rd, compared to Verizon and T-Mobile.

MetroPCS and T-Mobile USA merged in 2013, combining their AWS and PCS spectrum assets. AT&T paid T-Mobile $3B for the merger failure in 2012 and gave T-Mobile AWS spectrum in 128 Cellular Market Areas, including 12 of the top 20 markets.

Sprint has virtually no AWS spectrum, instead utilizing their 120 MHz of 2.6 GHz and their Sprint Spark strategy to unite their 800, 1.9GHz and 2.6 GHz holdings.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Verizon Activates AWS Band , AT&T Buys AWS Spectrum, Verizon Spectrum Deal Gets a Hearing,DOJ Sets Conditions for Verizon AWS, AT&T Buys 2.3 GHz from NextWave, AT&T Wants 2.3 GHz for LTE, AWS: It’s Done

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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