Verizon managed to gobble up national licenses to a wide swath of the 700MHz Block C spectrum a few years back, and it is this slice of electromagnetism the carrier used to deploy its 4G LTE network. That's not Verizon's only plan of attack, though. It has also been putting together a second spectrum range running on AWS. Well, this space is almost ready, and the Galaxy S4 is going to be the first device to access it.


The new AWS bands are not going to be a separate network, walled off from 700MHz. Rather, this is a way for Verizon to augment its coverage and speeds in areas of high usage. This has nothing to do with LTE-Advanced, but it could do wonders to unclog Verizon's LTE pipes. The GS4 has the necessary hardware radios to connect with AWS (the same frequencies T-Mobile is using), but a software update will be required to enable the device's latent AWS capability. Older phones will not be able to make use of the AWS frequencies on Verizon.

Verizon expects the AWS rollout to begin in major markets over the next six months. Until then, GS4 owners will have to limp along with only moderately fast 4G connections. Let us all shed a tear.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Michael

    That first sentence... Man am I lost


      Today, Verizon's LTE network is entirely in the 700MHz range. Now they're expanding the network in the AWS frequencies.

  • frank

    thats cool. so is there going to be a red one?

    • Andrew

      or 32/64gb ones?

      • mgamerz

        Or one that gets updates?

    • Steve Freeman

      If so, it'll be released next year when it's out of date.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/psychomaniac189 psychomaniac189

    I just want the htc one on vzw.

    • George Millhouse

      no thanks. I like my phone to get updates

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  • Steve Freeman

    "Moderately fast"? I'm lucky if I get 6Mbps/down. I had faster internet than that at home 8 years ago.

    • George Millhouse

      uh huh

    • mgamerz


      • Steve Freeman

        And I live in a "first world" country, so bite me.

    • JG

      6Mbps at home 8 years ago.... Lucky.... I was rocking somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-56kbps... Ah, the benefits of living in middle-of-nowhere....

  • ddpacino

    So wait...... would a Nexus 4 work on Verizon bands where AWS are available??? Curious, but I wouldn't go there if it was anyway!

    • George Millhouse


      • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

        Why not? Genuinely curious.

        • Kevin

          Verizon will only be doing LTE on AWS. The Nexus 4 doesn't support LTE.

          • bjorn6

            It does support lte I believe in band 17 which is AT&T, it might support Aws, Google it.

  • Scott

    I wonder if Verizon is going to announce when AWS is deployed and in what markets.

  • Armus

    They get more bandwidth but keep limiting customer data rates and posting huge profits. Bloody pirates

  • Bake McBride

    Verizon's 4G LTE is plenty fast....just depends on the market you are in. I'm in the NJ suburbs and I consistently get anywhere between 20-30 mbps down and 5-10 up.

    At work in Newark, its 5-10 down and 2-4 up.

    All those cheapies at Verizon need to do is increase the MIMO capacity at their existing towers and we'd all be humming along much faster

    • Geoff Johnson

      The issue is the 700MHz spectrum covers too much area in places like NYC, where you have too many people connecting to the tower than it can ideally support. With this higher frequency AWS spectrum, coverage will be much less, but with the addition of more AWS-capable transceivers they can have more capacity. You can only have so many 700MHz transceivers in such a small area with all the overlap.

  • Michael Pahl

    Will Verizon's HTC One support AWS LTE?