If you’ve been frustrated with Verizon lately, chances are you’ll be seeing faster data speeds within the next few days.
Verizon announced on Monday that it’s now deploying its XLTE service in select markets across the country.
Verizon claims that XLTE will deliver faster peak data speeds and will at least double the 4G LTE bandwidth for users covered by the service.
The carrier says XLTE is available in more than half of its 4G LTE markets throughout the U.S.
In other words, XLTE is a faster version of Verizon’s current LTE network with a higher bandwidth capacity.
The network upgrade has been in the works for Verizon over the past two years. In 2012, Verizon purchased $US3.9 billion worth of spectrum, or radio waves that carry wireless signals, from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks among other providers.
Verizon began upgrading its LTE towers with new equipment to take advantage of these new radio waves, called Advanced Wireless Spectrum, in the middle of 2013. Now, Verizon has branded the usage of that spectrum as XLTE.
This shouldn’t be confused with LTE Advanced, however. XLTE is the same 4G LTE network Verizon has always used, but at a higher capacity — meaning network speeds are likely to be faster in large cities.
LTE Advanced, by comparison, is the next-generation standard for wireless networks.
Not all devices on Verizon’s network will be compatible with the improved network. Verizon published a list of devices and cities that will be the first to take advantage of its XLTE network, which can be viewed here and here. Unsurprisingly, the carrier’s most popular phones such as the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, HTC One, and Moto x will support XLTE.
However, if you’re using an older iPhone model, such as the previous generation iPhone 5 or iPhone 4s, you won’t be able to use Verizon’s faster network.
Verizon says those in eligible cities with supported devices can begin using XLTE today. The announcement comes as other carriers are also making significant improvements to their data networks. Last year, for example, Sprint unveiled Spark — a high-speed version of its network that the carrier claims can boost peak data speeds up to 60 megabits per second.
Here’s Verizon’s ad for XLTE, which leaked over the weekend before becoming official today.
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