Verizon will start rolling out today a rebranded XLTE service in areas where the company has added the AWS wireless spectrum. Customers living in these areas -- about half of Verizon’s network, according to the company -- will get double the bandwidth and higher peak speeds at no extra cost.
To make things clear, XLTE does not refer to LTE Advanced, the next-generation mobile communications technology that promises far faster speeds. Rather, it is the same LTE network technology but leveraging the AWS spectrum Big Red acquired a few years back to offset the load on its current network.
Verizon has published a list of over 200 cities and 100 devices that already support XLTE. Among those you will find New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta, and Dallas, while on the devices side many popular handsets are included right off the bat, among them iPhone 5S and 5C, Nokia Lumia Icon, Samsung’s Galaxy S4, S5 and Note 3, Motorola's Moto X and LG G2.
To take advantage of the improved connection customers won't require to change device settings or carrier plans, and devices will continue to show “4G LTE”. According to reports, most new handsets released within the last year should work, and those that currently don't could be pending an OTA update to gain XLTE support. But even if your device doesn't support it, users moving to the faster network would be freeing up bandwidth so the existing 4G LTE network should work faster as well.