Verizon has just announced that they’ve started rolling out XLTE, which is what they’ll brand their latest network improvements that should deliver double the data bandwidth for those with compatible LTE devices. XLTE uses AWS spectrum to deliver faster and more reliable throughput — it’s what HSPA+ was to 3G, basically.
You will need an AWS-capable device, though Verizon professes “nearly all” their devices are. The confirmed devices are the newest DROID devices, Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 and Note 3, and the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. We imagine most new devices launching from now on should also be compatible. We’ll have to probe Big Red for a full list.
In the meantime, you’re probably wondering where you’ll be able to take advantage. The list is huge to start, so be sure to check it out within this PDF document to see if your city made the initial cut.
That said, even if you don’t have an AWS device you should still be able to reap the benefits of these improvements. Since folks with AWS devices in AWS markets will automatically hop onto the AWS spectrum when available, that’ll free up Verizon’s standard 700MHz spectrum and could improve bandwidth.
XLTE Ready devices automatically access both 700 MHz spectrum and the AWS spectrum in XLTE cities. Customers with 4G LTE devices operating solely on the 700 MHz spectrum in XLTE markets also benefit from the extra capacity created by XLTE Ready device traffic moving to the AWS spectrum.
All of it sounds very promising, and should help toward keeping Verizon’s network in the very tip-top shape that they’re known for.