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Verizon Struggling with LTE Network in Big Cities
Verizon Struggling with LTE Network in Big Cities

By Seth Fitzgerald
November 13, 2013 1:32PM

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4G LTE coverage has been expanding at a faster rate than most analysts ever expected and the adoption rates have increased even faster. Considering that many customers have ended up with Verizon solely because of its 4G LTE service, the thousands of Verizon subscribers in big cities who are dealing with degraded speeds are surely annoyed.

While it may be good to hear that Verizon's LTE network is expanding and many of its customers are taking advantage of the faster connection, the carrier has admitted that its network is struggling in big cities. Massive numbers users in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have put "pressure" on the network resulting in a degradation of the connection quality.

This sort of issue is to be expected whenever too many people adopt a relatively new sort of technology but even Verizon has stated that it was surprised by how many people were interested in LTE. In areas where there are simply too many LTE subscribers, users are being pushed down to 3G data speeds, which is significantly slower than 4G LTE.

Too Many People

Verizon's network infrastructure will definitely have to undergo serious upgrades now that LTE is rapidly expanding throughout the U.S., but it seems as though the majority of these issues stem from astounding adoption rates.

Fran Shammo, Verizon's CRO spoke about the LTE issue while at a Wells Fargo conference. "I would say that the amount of consumption of video took us a little by surprise," said Shammo. "There are certain pockets where we're absolutely going to experience that downtick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints."

Considering that many of its customers have ended up with Verizon solely because of its otherwise reliable LTE service, the thousands of subscribers in big cities who are dealing with degraded speeds are surely annoyed.

As of right now, 64 percent of all Verizon data used comes through a LTE connection but in large cities, Shammo admitted that number is significantly higher.

In an attempt to leave attendees with some good news, Shammo did comment on Verizon's recent buyout of Vodafone. She let everyone know that the applicable paperwork has been filed and that the deal will be completed shortly.

Growth Of LTE

4G LTE coverage has been expanding at a faster rate than most analysts ever expected and the adoption rates have increased even faster. Earlier this week, a report from Ericsson showed that by 2019, two-thirds of the world's population will have access to LTE.

This increase goes hand-in-hand with the growth of smartphones, which are expected to take over the phone market by 2016 -- and by 2019, basic phones will be on the way out. As iPhones and Android smartphones become more popular, customers are looking to connect to the Internet with a faster LTE connection, instead of 3G.

Ericsson's report detailed how the growth in smartphones will push the majority of subscribers in the developed world away from 3G and toward LTE. However, in less advanced nations 3G will become more prevalent, as GSM and Edge connections fade away. Japan, South Korea, and North America are leading the world in the expansion of LTE.

Tell Us What You Think


Bob D'angelo:

Posted: 2013-11-14 @ 12:22pm PT
What Verizon has to do is hire folks with more 25 years experience in the wireless business.

Marty Dorfman:

Posted: 2013-11-14 @ 7:30am PT
I just traded my 64G iPhone 4S for the 64G iPhone 5S and am extremely disappointed with the LTE and other features that I will not mention here. The coverage map for the area I have the most issues with is all red, however, in my building of 600 employees, everyone has to go to a window or higher floors to get a signal. It's time for Verizon to step it up and maybe offer boosters in certain businesses.

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