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Verizon Wireless Overloaded?


Wenvalley

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We did a trip around the US back in 2012. Used my Droid Bionic phone as a hotspot and we were pretty impressed with the 4G wireless speeds. Seemed to be pretty fast regardless of the time of day or location. If you could get a fair 4G connection, you could usually expect fairly fast upload and download speeds.

 

We're doing another trip around the US now, and we just spent a month in California, and we're in Apache Junction now. I've been testing the Verizon Wireless speed several times a week and I've noted that their system is much slower and more congested that in 2012.

 

There is almost always a major speed drop from 7 to 10 in the mornings, and a major hit from 5-9 in the afternoons. Download speeds of less than a gig a minute are common, and upload speed of .1 gig are also not unusual. The same location will be super fast at 2 in the morning.

 

So, any input on what Verizon is going to do to speed up their 4G? No doubt the hundreds of thousands of wireless devices that have come online in that last few years are overtaxing their system.

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It is going to totally depend on the towers you are on. In general I do find things slower than at the very fastest, on average. It has come down a little. But I still generally get in the 2-3 mbps average....that varies on the tower. I've seen as fast as 80 mbps. But that is exceptional, and even in that area I average around 42 mbps now.

 

Towers are still being converted to 4G, and the 4G towers are being converted to AWS. The 80 noted above is AWS.

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Verizon will probably not do anything.

You are using a cell phone tower for your internet.

So the limitations are from all or any of the folllowing.

How many verizon cell phones on a single tower.

How many people are doing YouTube, Skype, Facetime, Facebook, Instagram etc.

How many people are doing video streaming for news or TV shows.

How many people are streaming movies. In fact you may be a cause of the problem. Downloading a Gig of data can be limiting to other users.

You have found the issue with towers vs landline for internet.

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You're in the middle of Snowbird Heaven - - and on the edge of where there are a lot of towers. I notice the slow down in the mornings & afternoons - I just wait until 9:00 pm to download any program updates as the speed dramatically increases when all of those who get up at 6:00 am go to bed. If you were in Mesa you would find a little faster speeds. And if you have looked around there are lots of towers, but they aren't very tall and you can have the closest one blocked by construction, etc. BTW - April first the speeds will skyrocket as all the snowbirds leave.

 

Barb

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Verizon is very aggressively rolling out on AWS bands (which they called XLTE) which is their enhanced LTE network. They are also starting to convert their old 3G network to XLTE too to increase speed and capacity. Check your smartphone's technical specifications to see if it supports LTE Bands 13 on 700MHz & 4 on 1700MHz frequencies - those would be XLTE. If they don't then you're only able to utilize the 'old' LTE network which is indeed more saturated and slower.

 

Here's our 2014 roundup report of each of the carriers and where they are in their network deployment:

2014 Cellular Year in Review and 2015 Roadmap: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint

 

And yes indeed, when you travel in areas that have seasonal swells of population, the towers get overloaded as they generally aren't designed for the peak populations but the annual average.

 

- Cherie

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I know Cherie won't/can't do it, but let me point out that if people want to stay abreast of cellular and mobile data activity then the VERY BEST way to do it - in my educated opinion - is to subscribe to the Technomadia paid site....it is not much money and they do keep you abreast of what is going on, why, and how it relates to you. AND they make specific recommendations. It is worth the money. (Note: I get nothing from this....it is just a very good service)

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Wow..... Best I've seen is 4.77 Mbps (yes that is bits, not bytes) since I went to Verizon from Mellinicom..... Guess I need to get somewhere where there is a fricken starbucks so I can use my 30 GB in something less than 45 days....... NOT.... :rolleyes:

 

Dave

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