Verizon has started testing its LTE network over spectrum that was previously used for 3G conversation. This means that the carrier has started preparation for a permanent switch from 3G to LTE networks.
The first sign in this respect was noticed by a Howard Forums user. He observed that the 3G signal that was present in the area of New York had simply vanished, only to be replaced weeks later by an LTE signal.
Verizon spokeswoman Debra Lewis confirmed that the testing of LTE reached on the PCS band has begun, but she declined to get into details of when the commercial LTE rollout would begin.
While this change will be more than welcomed by Smartphone users, we should not expect it anytime soon. Such a big change requires some time until it becomes permanent. Moreover, around 80% of Verizon’s mobile data currently comes over LTE, but there also more than 40 million devices on the network that lack an LTE capability to make use of it.
This means that the 3G and 2G will have to remain available for a while now; at least until the transition from 3G devices to LTE devices will be completed. Even so, this level will be definitely reduced.
In order to change these numbers, Verizon plans to begin shipping only LTE capable devices in 2015, which offers them a period of a little over a year to expand their existing and ever growing LTE network. However, LTE has already replaced the 3G network, and the current LTE tests the carrier is performing, it seems like Verizon is taking this issue very serious.
In the case of 2G, the network might be around for a while, longer than the 3G since 2G is still the primary voice network of the company. Eventually, Verizon will transfer the service’s voice traffic over to Verizon’s voice-over-LTE feature. Did you notice something changed with your 3G connectivity?