According to Verizon Wireless, 4G LTE data traffic volume will increase 6 to 7 times over the next three years. And to stay ahead of that demand the carrier will begin to deploy its AWS spectrum during the second half of the year, some of which it has acquired from cable companies. But that won't be enough. Like other carriers, Verizon will tap into next-gen LTE Advanced technologies.
"Let me be clear. We will lead with LTE Advanced, just as we have led with the deployment of 4G LTE networks," said Nicola Palmer, Verizon president and chief network officer. "LTE Advanced isn't 5G. LTE Advanced is a series of features that can be deployed on an LTE network. And we will deploy the ones that make sense for us and our customers."
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Carrier aggregation is one of those features that Palmer says Verizon is excited about. Verizon will be able to take its 700 MHz spectrum and its AWS spectrum and make them look like one to devices. This results in wider bandwidth and faster speeds for customers.
Heterogeneous networks is another LTE Advanced feature. "When you deploy the first small cell in your network you can say you have a het net," Palmer said. Small cells are a more compact version of a traditional cell site, which can be placed on or inside buildings, on utility polls or other spaces larger towers can't go.
While T-Mobile has announced that it will deploy LTE Advanced features later this year, Verizon has yet to provide a timetable. However, given that the carrier currently offers LTE coverage in 500 markets to T-Mobile's 7, Verizon doesn't exactly sound worried about falling behind.
"There can be a little bit of hype about this, said Palmer, "but you can trust that for LTE Advanced we will be choosing the right features for our customers and deploying them aggressively to stay ahead of their needs."