Verizon may be the last major US carrier to get the Galaxy S4, but it’s the first confirmed phone to take advantage of Verizon’s next network upgrade. On Tuesday the carrier confirmed that Samsung’s newest flagship will be able to run on Verizon’s Advance Wireless Service spectrum, which is said to make Internet speeds more than twice as fast.
The Galaxy S4’s hardware comes with components that allow it to run on this next-generation network, Mike Haberman, vice president of network support for Verizon, said to Bloomberg. Current Galaxy S4 owners using Verizon will be able to activate a connection to AWS through a software update. This AWS frequency will help increase the capacity of Verizon’s existing LTE network, potentially allowing supported devices to access faster data speeds and almost certainly alleviating network congestion problems.
Samsung’s newest smartphone is the only Verizon device capable of operating on this network, although the carrier may offer more AWS-ready handsets in the future. The service isn’t available yet but is slated to roll out soon across major markets such as New York City over the next few months.
Verizon isn’t the only carrier prepping its next-generation network. T -Mobile recently touted its own Advanced Wireless Services band capable of 20MHz network speeds, although Verizon remains the largest carrier in the United States.