Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network Speed Stalls in Big Cities

By Paul Riegler on 16 November 2013
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Downtown Chicago

Downtown Chicago

If you’re a Verizon customer and you’ve noticed your LTE network isn’t as fast as it used to be, you are not alone – and you are not imagining things.  Verizon, which currently has the largest LTE network in the U.S. as well as the oldest, also has more LTE customers than any other mobile operator and users in large cities including New York, San Francisco, and Chicago are starting to see a significant deterioration in throughput.

In many parts of those cities, users are downgraded to 3G service, which is significantly slower, when there is simply no more capacity on Verizon’s LTE network.  “It has recently come to a point where I simply cannot use any data during working hours” wrote VZLTEcustomer on Verizon Wireless’ own discussion forum last week.  “They sent testing vans to my area [midtown Manhattan] and confirmed that there were indeed capacity problems here.”

Earlier this week, the mobile operator’s chief financial officer acknowledged that the number of users is putting “pressure” on the Verizon network.

“I would say that the amount of consumption of video took us a little by surprise,” Fran Shame said to investors and reporters at a meeting. Roughly one third of Verizon Wireless customers are using around 64% of the data on Verizon’s network, but in some of the carrier’s major cities, “it’s well north of that” and “that obviously has put a lot of pressure on our network,” he said.  “We did not anticipate that amount of growth in the network.”

“Customers who are paying Verizon for LTE service are coming to us and complaining that they are getting 3G instead,” a manager at a New York-area Apple retail store told Frequent Business Traveler on Friday.

For its part, Verizon says it will resolve the problems by the end of 2013. Verizon Wireless first launched its 4G LTE network on December 5, 2010, in 39 metropolitan areas across the U.S

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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