How Verizon’s faster download speeds lapped the field

“Wireless carriers have been slowly rolling out a new technology for the past few years to increase maximum download speeds on their networks,” Aaron Pressman reports for Fortune.

“But on Monday, Verizon Communications surprised the industry by announcing it had added the faster approach in 461 markets covering almost the entire country,” Pressman reports. “That should allow many Verizon customers to spend less time waiting for a new music track or video to download onto their phones.”

“Known as carrier aggregation, or LTE-Advanced, the technology lets one phone receive data over several wireless channels simultaneously, instead of just one,” Pressman reports. “The amount of extra spectrum for each carrier that’s available for combining differs from market to market, even block to block in some cases. Verizon, for example, says its faster speeds will only kick in like a turbocharger on a car engine, when a customer is downloading a lot of data at once. Otherwise, customers ‘will continue to enjoy typical download speeds’ of 5 to 12 Megabits per second, or Mbps, Verizon says. And while the theoretical maximum speed of LTE-Advanced is 225 Mbps or more, even when carrier aggregation kicks in, customers’ maximum download speeds will increase generally by only 50% over regular LTE, Verizon says.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good for downloading a movie or TV show, if you have a big enough data plan to allow for “turbocharged” downloads.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Having both Verizon and ATT, ATT’s network is much faster than Verizons in the areas I travel to routinely. I don’t know what Verizon is doing with their LTE-A deployment, but I haven’t seen the improvement even in the markets where it’s deployed.

  2. So…in other words…Verizon’s adoption of LTE-A is not worth bothering to switch carriers over since it only will apply in limited situations that most customers avoid out of necessity (large downloads with capped plans). Good on ya for screwing up a perfectly good opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors Verizon.

  3. I’ve tested both AT&T and Verizon in the markets I travel and hands down, AT&T smokes Verizon. But, as the commercials say Verizon has better coverage because the length of their signal. I always equate it to bass vs treble to my friends. They seem to get that.

  4. I just tested my iPhone 6 on ATT. 76.82 Mbits/sec download and 12.41 Mbits/sec upload. Just south of San Francisco. It’s faster than my cable internet connection.

  5. For our family, coverage area in the state is more important than speed of download. We travel around a lot. Doesn’t matter how fast it can download if you have no service at all.

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