Verizon Hit By Too Much LTE Demand, Pushing Some Customers Down To 3G

You know those Verizon ads where the company brags about its flippin’ awesome 4G and LTE coverage maps? Those may look pretty on an art museum wall, but the nation’s largest wireless provider admits that it may not currently have enough LTE bandwidth to go around in some markets, meaning some users are being thrown back in time to 2009, forced to use the Verizon 3G network.

“There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints,” admitted VZW’s Fran Shammo (not to be confused with Vince ShamWow) during an investor conference on Tuesday.

The issue seems to be that LTE users have become the company’s biggest data hogs, with 64% of VZW’s traffic being used by the 33ish% of its customers with LTE devices. So all that advertising and pushing of LTE devices to consumers worked, but the company can’t always make enough of its network available to meet all customers’ demands.

CNET reports that Shammo (not to be confused with Shamu) told investors that VZW is investing more money into the LTE network, along with investments in small cell technology and using more spectrum to build up network capacity.

“By the end of this year you are going to see all those issues dissipate,” Shammo said. “And then going into next year we will be ahead of the curve again.”

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  1. JoeBlow says:

    I don’t really think your amusement with Shammo’s name is really relevant here.

  2. xvdgry57 says:

    They need to offer a plan with unlimited data usage when network traffic is low but charged when congestion is a problem.
    Up on the notification bar next to the 4G connection icon include a little red/yellow/green traffic light icon.
    When it’s green: everything is free, go stream Netflix HD.
    When it’s yellow: 3G is free but you have the option of forcing full 4G speeds at a cost to your monthly “congestion allowance” or accepting free degraded bandwidth.
    When it’s red: 3G is still free but the world is coming to an end so the network is just going to be slow; deal with it.

    I have a grandfathered unlimited plan and if I had any inclination of when my downloading of podcasts or streaming was actually contributing to service degradation I’d opt to do it later especially if there was an economic motivation. I’ll just tie my download scheduler to Tasker which would force automatic scheduled updates to only occur in low congestion “Green” times or Wifi. Open wifi opportunities for road warriors are few, widely spaced, slow and expensive.

  3. fonmaj says:

    I’d just be happy if they hurried up and installed more towers where I live. I always have around 2 bars, and other places in town no service. I’m not that far from a large city.

  4. FusioptimaSX says:

    The strange thing is that although 4G LTE works great, when I’m on 3G is goes slower than 56K dial-up. Although overall it’s still better than Sprint (used to have it).