Verizon Wireless today announced XLTE, an enhanced version of its 4G LTE wireless data network that’ll increase the bandwidth available to customers who own Apple’s latest iPhone and iPad models. This network will go live in major metropolitan areas as well as other markets that have high data traffic.
Verizon is launching it new XLTE network in markets spanning 44 states where demand for the carrier’s LTE network is high. The expanded bandwidth will help relieve congestion during busy times such as rush hour or lunch time. Launch cities include New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and several other mid- to small-sized markets.
“The industry and tech world recognize this is a big deal, and we want consumers to know, too,” said Ken Dixon, chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless. “We continue to offer the very best network, bar none. Now, XLTE provides an even greater advantage to customers by doubling the 4G LTE bandwidth and providing faster peak speeds in cities coast to coast.”
XLTE is not a new wireless standard, but merely a label Verizon is using to describe the 1700MHz band of AWS spectrum the company is repurposing for its data traffic. Verizon owns 40MHz of AWS spectrum in many existing markets and can use this spectrum to supplement its exisitng 700 MHz LTE network. When traffic mounts on the carrier’s LTE network, handsets that support AWS can switch to the carrier’s XLTE network to shuttle its data back and forth.
AWS is a new frequency band for Verizon, so most older phones do not support this network. All future Verizon phones will support XLTE, but the only existing models that currently support XLTE are the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S5, the Moto X and the LG G2. Both Apple’s latest iPads — the iPad Air and the Retina iPad Mini — also support this network.
Are you a Verizon customer with a compatible device? What do you think of these changes?