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.