I spoke over the phone Wednesday with Mike Murphy, Verizon Wireless’ Regional Spokesperson for New England about the 4G LTE service.
What is the 4G LTE rollout process like? Is it simply getting coverage to the places that don’t have it or is there a little more to it?
Areas change all the time, so it is much more than that. Whenever there’s a new highly-populated building built — a stadium or a shopping center, for instance — we want coverage there to better serve our customers. Recently we made the Storrs-Mansfield area a priority because of UConn. Because students are often using the newest technologies, like taking notes on their tablets, wireless coverage becomes essential.
We also constantly ensure the quality of the network. The region has a team of five people that drive around testing the network. Using sophisticated testing equipment in specially equipped company vehicles, the team tests network performance and call quality.
People often think of 4G and instantly think of mobile phones and tablets, but what else is possible with the LTE network?
One of the cool things is that many 4G LTE-enabled mobile devices can also serve as hotspots, so when you need to use your laptop, for example, somewhere that doesn’t have Internet connection, you can use your phone’s 4G capabilities. And there are times when the 4G LTE network is even faster than available WiFi. We have also launched Verizon HomeFusion for customers with limited broadband at their homes. HomeFusion receives 4G LTE service from an outdoor antennae, allowing up to 20 devices to access the network inside the home.
What are Verizon’s goals for 4G LTE expansion?
Verizon spent around $300 million dollars in 2011 on New England’s network (and more than $3 billion since the company was founded) and we’re going to continue to improve the region. We intend on having 4G LTE available everywhere that currently has 3G available by the end of 2013.
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