Verizon delivering 4G speed to Twin PortsVerizon Wireless will announce today that it’s bringing its 4G Long Term Evolution or LTE network to Duluth and Superior on Dec. 15.
By: Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune
Smart phone use is about to get a whole lot faster for some.
Verizon Wireless will announce today that it’s bringing its 4G Long Term Evolution or LTE network to Duluth and Superior on Dec. 15.
So if you have certain smart phones, tablets or modems, uploading and downloading will be much quicker.
“The 4G network is 10 times faster than our current 3G network,” said Karen Smith, a spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless who said the change is like going from analog to digital television.
But customers will need a 4G-capable device served by the Verizon Wireless network to experience the higher speeds.
“We have been selling the devices since last December,” Smith said. “So some customers already have one.”
Verizon’s 4G LTE network will work for about 15 devices, including smart phones made by Motorola, Samsung, Pantech and HTC, she said (it doesn’t work with the popular iPhone). Speeds on the network will reach 5 to 12 megabits per second on the downlink and 2 to 5 megabits per second on the uplink.
However, you’re out of luck if you are served by the AT&T network, which
doesn’t have 4G yet in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
So far, AT&T has launched 4G in nine markets: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Athens, Ga., said the company’s regional spokesman, Alex Carey. By the end of the year, a total of 15 or more markets will have it, he said, but AT&T has not yet announced what its next 4G markets will be.
Smith says Verizon has a significant lead in rolling out this next generation network.
Verizon first introduced its 4G network last December, including in the Twin Cities area, serving more than 110 million Americans. It currently reaches 165 markets or half the U.S. population. By Nov. 17, it will reach 178 markets, and on Dec. 15 it also will reach the Twin Ports, St. Cloud, Rochester, Austin and Albert Lea in Minnesota.
“This is a new network, built from the ground up,” Smith said. “We had to have cable run to every cell site.”
The Twin Ports coverage will likely extend a bit beyond the city limits of both Duluth and Superior. On Dec. 15 customers will be able to go to the Verizon website and call up a map of the coverage area.
Customers receiving the faster service will see a 4G icon instead of a 3G icon on their screens. When customers travel outside of Verizon’s 4G coverage area, the devices will automatically connect with Verizon’s 3G network.
Although Verizon is bringing 4G coverage first to the Twin Ports, Carey says AT&T has the best 3G available.
“That’s why AT&T dominates market share in the Duluth-Superior market,” he said.
He said AT&T has made several speed upgrades to its 3G wireless network over the past few years while other carriers have not.
“Competitors have chosen not to upgrade the speeds on their 3G networks, which means that their 4G LTE customers will experience steep and jarring drop-offs in speed as they fall back to 3G in certain areas,” Carey said.