They say bigger is better, but it appears that being the largest LTE network might finally be taking its toll on Verizon. The success of a rapidly growing customer base has put pressure on them to deliver high speeds in the most markets. However, the overabundance of LTE users might result in hurting the quality of service. Even worse, some users with 4G LTE could be dropped down to 3G coverage.
The move to 4G LTE has been popular as users are constantly looking for faster and more reliable service. Nevertheless, the result of increasing network markets is that data consumption is growing too. Mobile data traffic has risen 10% between only the second and third quarters of 2013 and rose 80 percent between the second quarters of 2012 and 2013. In comparison to 3G, 4G users consume more than double the amount of data. Verizon has 64% of users on the 4G network as well. This is larger traffic than Verizon was admittedly prepared for.
Verizon has also struggled to keep up with growth in data because of the increase in video streaming. Netflix and YouTube together make up half of peak Internet traffic in North America.
This could cause some concern for Verizon as some users might be temporarily downgraded to 3G. This is a huge downgrade for customers who expect peak performance. Most notably, the markets affected will be major cities where the data traffic is most concentrated. There is no telling how many customers might leave the carrier if they are denied 4G LTE access.
“If you’re running water with five people you’re eventually going to slow down the hot water and it’s going to run cold. 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,” said Fran Shammo.
Verizon is taking strides to quickly solve the capacity problem by investing $500 million into the 4G LTE network. Their focus has been in small cell technology and turning on more spectrum. Verizon is hoping that these issues will no longer be a concern by the end of the year.
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