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Verizon activates 'XLTE' network in 260 cities to turbocharge 4G speeds

The rumors were true: Verizon's nationwide LTE network just got a speed boost, thanks to the launch of the aptly named XLTE capabilities.

That 'X' stands for 'extra-fast,' CTO Nicki Palmer tells The New York Times, but XLTE isn't really a new technology. Instead, Verizon's flipping the switch on the huge swath of AWS spectrum it's snapped up over the years to augment its existing LTE network, which has been starting to choke and sputter in larger cities as more and more people move to 4G-equipped devices.

Although 'XLTE' is basically a fancy marketing term, make no mistake: Verizon subscribers should see some very tangible real-world improvements. The company says it's doubled the available bandwidth in around 260 cities across the nation, or about half of its total LTE network—you can see the full list here—which should greatly improve service speeds on supported 4G devices. What's more, the speed of Verizon's existing LTE network should also theoretically improve as many users start taking advantage of the new AWS capabilities.

verizon 4g coverage

So will your phone play nicely with the new spectrum? Hit this Verizon Store link and enter your zip code to check out the list of XLTE-compatible gear. Many top phones and tablets should already work with XLTE, including:

…and a whole lot more—around 100 devices in total, according to the Times. My search revealed only 27 XLTE-compatible devices, but they were all the biggest releases of the past year.

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