Verizon launches 2- and 3-channel carrier aggregation, increasing data speeds by 50%

A Verizon ad boasts LTE Advanced is being deployed in 450 U.S. cities.

Verizon launched two- and three-channel carrier aggregation today, claiming to bring 50 percent faster peak data speeds to its customers in 461 cities. And the nation’s largest carrier plans to back the launch with an aggressive marketing campaign.

Carrier aggregation uses software to combine multiple channels to increase data speeds. Verizon said it uses 700 MHz, AWS and PCS spectrum, combining two or three of the channels to deliver data over the most efficient route to devices.

Verizon’s rivals are all in various stages of rolling out carrier aggregation as well. AT&T first launched two-channel carrier aggregation in some markets in early 2014, for instance; Sprint said earlier this year that it achieved speeds of more than 300 Mbps using three-channel carrier aggregation on the Samsung Galaxy S7. Indeed, Sprint demonstrated its carrier aggregation technology at Chicago's Soldier Field Monday.

Verizon said its two-channel carrier aggregation generates peak download speeds of up to 225 Mbps, and three-channel carrier aggregation has produced speeds in excess of 300 Mbps.

Verizon said it will back the launch with “a broad mass and social media campaign,” including TV commercials slated to air tonight across all major networks. A new ad will air tonight during prime time on ABC, CBS, NBC, CWN and FOX.

Along with Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology and relay nodes, carrier aggregation is a key component of LTE Advanced. Indeed, Verizon is marketing its carrier aggregation as LTE Advanced, although the operator didn’t announce any news regarding MIMO or relay nodes.  

The Global Mobile Suppliers Association recently reported that 28 percent of LTE network operators worldwide have launched LTE Advanced networks.

Thirty-nine devices already on Verizon’s network support the offering, the carrier said, including the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7, Moto Droids and Apple iPhones. Users with capable devices can access carrier aggregation "without effort or additional costs," Verizon said.

“Verizon LTE Advanced works like a turbocharger on an engine,” said Tami Erwin, head of operations for Verizon’s wireless unit, in a press release. “Speed boosts kick in when you need it most, with big data use. That’s when you get the big peak boost of Verizon LTE Advanced.”

For more:
- see this Verizon press release

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