Verizon finally has something to show for the billions it spent on unused bandwidth

Verizon has spent a lot of time wheelin' and dealin' over the past two years in order to acquire large swaths of unused bandwidth around the country. And now the fruits of that labor may finally be making their way to customers in the largest metro areas.

Verizon has built a powerful and vast new LTE network that encompasses dozens of large urban markets. The company has spent over billions to acquire unused AWS bandwidth, which has to triple its capacity in cities like New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.

Customers in most areas east of the Mississippi will have access to 40 MHz of LTE spectrum, compared to 20Mhz network have had access to up until now. In addition, the company's patchwork approach of purchases and swaps has boosted network capacity in western locales like San Francisco and Los Angeles by a non-shabby 150%.

The speeds new network have already been spotted in the NYC metro area over the past month where download speeds of 80 Mbps have been recorded. The new swaths of spectrum could theoretically support 100-150 Mbps speeds, though those speeds are unlikely, particularly as more devices gain access.

As of now, only the latest top-shelf devices have access to the new beefy network, including the Galaxy S4, iPhones 5s and 5c, and the latest Verizon-exclusive Droids.

For now, Verizon is not advertising the new speeds, and is concentrating on consistently being able to deliver the advertised 5–12Mbs baseline. A spokeswoman told GigaOm "you could see 80 Mbps today and 20 Mbps tomorrow and then 10 Mbps the next day." And if the speeds happen to surpass expectations, then all the better.

This year marked the first time when the majority of American adults were smartphone users . As these users enter the marketplace and begin to suck up the bandwidth, the real war between the major carriers will be over capacity.

While Verizon has prioritized breadth of coverage over speeds in regards to its LTE network, the new bandwidth upgrade will certainly give the other carriers a run for their coverage money. If true reliability and coverage is important to you as a consumer, then all the fancy rejiggering of contracts and fees won't make a difference .

This story, "Verizon finally has something to show for the billions it spent on unused bandwidth" was originally published by TechHive.

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