Verizon Wireless Works To Fix 4G Speed Bump

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News Posted: Mon, Dec 13 2010 4:46 PM

Just a week after Verizon Wireless launched its high-speed LTE (long-term evolution) network, the wireless carrier is already having problems. It's been reported that owners of the LTE modems have discovered a handoff lag any time the modems switch from an LTE connection to Verizon Wireless' more widespread 3G network. As a result of this lag, the modem holds on to its 3G connection for a while even after it has entered an LTE area.

On the upside, testers have found that Verizon Wireless' LTE network is living up to the hype and speed promises—reaching download speeds up to 20Mbps and upload speeds up to 5Mbps, provided the area is relatively uncrowded. The problems tend to arise when you move from an LTE coverage area to a 3G coverage area and back to an LTE coverage area. When the modems lose the LTE connection and switch over to 3G, they don't go back to LTE very quickly, even if an LTE connection is available.

Some users have resorted to unplugging the modem and plugging it back in to reconnect to the LTE network. Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon spokesman, claimed this isn't necessary, but he also said it may take the modems up to two minutes to get reacquainted with the LTE signal. Nelson also said a fix is in the works to resolve the issue.

The "hand-off" issue from third-generation EVDO to LTE was foretold by Verizon CTO Tony Melone on Dec. 1. He said there would be a brief delay.

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Drago replied on Mon, Dec 13 2010 6:02 PM

Why are people complaining about this? The current 3G modems do the same thing when you get out of a 3G area they switch to 2G/1xrtt and stay there till they get a reliable and stable 3G signal, then they switch. The other fathoming issue is that whenever you change from one to the other your IP changes as well. Im sure this is the same issue with the switch between 3G and LTE. TBH 2 min is quite a long time but it takes little power to keep tabs on the rssi of the LTE while connected via 3G than it would be to constantly switch between the two.

Watch Verizon fix the slow switching problem only to have people complain about their battery on their laptop being drained when using LTE due to the fast switching. Maintaining a connection does not require near the power as it does to handshake and get on a network.

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Dec 13 2010 10:28 PM

These things are very true Drago. To tell you the truth I find it all kind of funny really. We have 4G where I live from Verizon as well as Sprint Wimax. However for some reason my street not only does not have wimax, my house barely has any connection with Sprint period. However if you go 1/3rd of a mile in any direction you are back in 4G. So I was pretty mad when Sprint said I would have to pay another 100 bucks (I had the Epic Samsung phone I got on day one of it's release) to get a home unit to up my signal (we only use cell phones on Verizon now). I canceled my Sprint account during my 30 days and got my money back.

Personally I cannot wait until CES to see the new phones. I know LG has a truly bad A** dual core OLED screen monster coming. I was going to upgrade when I canceled Sprint and switched back to Verizon in late October. However; I knew CES was coming as well as Verizon tiered data. Most likely a lot of stirring the pot is going to happen in the first quarter of 2011. Either way on my smart phone my main downloads will happen only on my home wireless N network. Then my Smart phone just has to do through put, and or monitoring.

I had the Epic so I know how to use it although it did not really matter with Sprint as I had to pay the $10 upcharge for Wimax capable equipment, and was unlimited other than that. I saw how much data I used, and promise you I could keep it under a cap as long as I did not download over the network. As far as it goes other than downloading files the other uses don't pull that much data if you manage it.

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