Verizon says it’s nearly fixed LTE issues in New York

Verizon 4G LTE coverage 20130520

The nation’s top wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless, last month admitted its strained network in major cities such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago was underperforming, with many users experiencing their 4G data throughput dropping to slower 3G speeds.

Verizon yesterday blamed the sub-par network quality on “capacity constraints” and argued these data throughput hiccups are now a thing of the past as the carrier has successfully fixed its network in New York City…

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said during an investor conference yesterday that his company has been “fortifying” its wireless network in New York City, adding Verizon is “now back to where we want to be”.

These coverage problems were but “a short-term blip,” he argued (via CNET).

The company identified 49 cell sites in the New York area that have been overwhelmed with the traffic. So far, Verizon has addressed 42 of those problematic sites and begun deploying additional spectrum, which will ease the capacity constraint and likely yield higher speeds.

New York, according to McAdam, is “its own beast” of a market.

Asked to comment on AT&T’s new and more affordable Mobile Share Value plans that – in a vein similar to T-Mobile’s Un-carrier move – separate the hardware cost from wireless plans, McAdam re-iterrated his company is not interested in scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

“To the extend that we’ll react, we’ll react,” he said cryptically.

The CEO confirmed that Verizon has been testing the upcoming Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service which promises to take advantage of the high-speed fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology to make possible crisp voice calls via voice-over-data.

Verizon’s VoLTE is expected to launch in 2014, with additional services such as HD voice and enhanced video conferencing being planned as well. Although Verizon is interested in the upcoming spectrum auctions, the company has enough capacity to serve the needs of its customers through 2017 and even 2018, he said.

Reuters recently said T-Mobile USA was mulling the possibility of buying $3 billion worth of additional spectrum from Verizon to bolster up its own network.

It would seem that rival AT&T is now catching up to Verizon in terms of LTE coverage, with 461 AT&T LTE markets as of November 2013 versus Verizon’s 500 markets as of the summer of 2013.

Verizon also wants to purchase Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in the joint venture that is Verizon Wireless, for $130 billion, for which the big red carrier has recently received an approval from the United States Federal Communications Commission.