Verizon device with support for AWS LTE approved by FCC

A Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) device with support for LTE in the 1700 MHz AWS band received approval from the FCC, perhaps presaging a larger wave of Verizon devices that can support the carrier's AWS spectrum licenses.

The device, an unannounced Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, received approval from the FCC with support for not only Verizon's normal 700 MHz Upper C Block spectrum (Band 13), but also 1700 MHz AWS spectrum (Band 4). Verizon added to its existing AWS spectrum holdings with the purchase last year of $3.9 billion worth of AWS spectrum licenses from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications. 

A Verizon spokeswoman declined to comment on the device or when Verizon will introduce LTE devices that support AWS spectrum.

Verizon has indicated it plans to use AWS spectrum to augment its existing LTE network, which runs on its 700 MHz spectrum. In November Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo indicated that Verizon expects to complete its initial LTE deployment by the middle of this year, six months earlier than originally anticipated.

In October, Verizon Wireless CTO Nicola Palmer gave some details on how Verizon would fold AWS into its LTE network. She said the carrier plans to add support for its AWS spectrum to its existing 700 MHz LTE cell sites by the middle or end of this year. "We've already started getting ready for that," she said. "Technical trials are underway."

The addition of AWS spectrum to Verizon's LTE network could improve both the speed of the network and its capacity.

Other carriers are also gravitating toward AWS spectrum for LTE. T-Mobile USA is refarming its spectrum holdings and will deploy LTE on its AWS spectrum this year. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) has also indicated it will use AWS for LTE to augment its 700 MHZ LTE network, though the carrier also intends to use 2.3 GHz WCS spectrum for LTE in the years ahead.

For more:
- see this Engadget article
- see this Howard Forums post

Related Articles:
Verizon's Shammo: We'll finish LTE buildout by mid-2013
Verizon CFO: Our 700 MHz spectrum sale is not a 'fire sale'
Verizon CTO: 35% of data traffic now goes over LTE
Verizon's Shammo: We have enough spectrum for 4-5 years
FCC approves Verizon's $3.9B AWS purchase, T-Mobile spectrum swap