Verizon’s(s vz) new doublewide LTE network has been going live around the country for the last seven months, but except for one interview granted to Gigaom, Verizon has been very quiet about the particulars. But that’s set to change. Verizon has given the new network a name, XLTE, and is apparently set to begin a new marketing campaign touting its faster speeds and greater capacities.
A video that looks to be a commercial for Verizon’s new XLTE network popped up on Vimeo today but was soon deleted, and then reappeared on YouTube(s goog). This comes after reports sprang up this week that Verizon would launch a new campaign highlighting its new network. Interestingly, the commercial doesn’t focus on speed but rather “space”. It claims Verizon will have more capacity on its networks, ensuring more customers get a faster and more consistent 4G connection.
That’s likely because Verizon’s new LTE network — built in the Advanced Wireless Service spectrum it bought from the cable operators in 2012 — will perform differently in different parts of the country. In some places like New York City and Chicago it’s turned on 40 MHz of new capacity in the new network, making it twice as fast as its current LTE systems. In other markets like San Francisco, it was only able to cobble together 30 MHz of new capacity. In some places it was only 20 MHz, putting the new network on par with its old one.
To be clear XLTE is just a marketing term, and a rather silly one at that. Verizon is using the same LTE network and device technologies as everyone else (though only newer Verizon smartphones can connect to the new frequency band). But for now Verizon has an advantage over its competitors. It’s tapping its sizable spectrum holdings to launch a much more powerful network than its competitors.
In places like New York we’re seeing reports of 80 Mbps connections, but more importantly it’s using this network to pile capacity onto its current LTE service, which for the last year has been slowing down due to over-congestion. But it probably won’t be long before its competitors catch up.
T-Mobile has its own LTE monster in the works, which will surpass XLTE network in many cities regardless of what Verizon calls it. AT&T(s t) is in the midst of upgrading its network speeds and capacity using a new LTE-Advanced technique called carrier aggregation.
And Sprint(s s) … well, if Sprint can ever deliver the supercharged network it’s been promising for so long, it could put every other carrier in the country to shame. But given Sprint’s track record I wouldn’t hold your breath.