4G LTE FAQs

Verizon 4G LTE Frequently Asked Questions

Learn everything you need to know about 4G LTE technology from Verizon Wireless.

What is 4G?
What is Long Term Evolution (LTE)?
Why did Verizon choose LTE?
Can I switch seamlessly between 4G LTE and 3G networks with my 4G device?
What are the benefits of Verizon 4G LTE technology?
What are the anticipated speeds of Verizon 4G LTE?
How secure is Verizon 4G LTE?
Where will I be able to use Verizon 4G LTE?

 

What is 4G?

4G refers to the fourth generation of wireless standards. The first generation was analog, the second was digital and the third and current generation, or 3G, is multimedia broadband.

The 4G technology standards allow you to take advantage of more bandwidth and better throughput (higher rate of successful delivery across the network), and enable traditionally wired applications on wireless devices, such as:

  • Data-intensive business applications
  • Real-time video
  • Streaming media from mobile devices
  • Video messaging
  • Video telephony
  • Real-time video conferencing and collaboration


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What is Long Term Evolution (LTE)?

Currently, there are several systems for delivering 4G capabilities, including Long Term Evolution (LTE), WiMAX and HSPA+. LTE is our technology choice for our 4G wireless network. Technically speaking, it uses an all-IP, flat, fiber-based backhaul that enhances reliability and on-demand scalability.

That simply means LTE will help Verizon Wireless continue to meet demand for a higher-bandwidth, low-latency service that’s exponentially more powerful than 3G—a service that delivers true mobility. And eventually, LTE will deliver superior global mobility, since the majority of carriers around the world have chosen it as their long-term direction as well.

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Why did Verizon choose LTE?

We chose LTE because of the global roaming potential made possible by the adoption of LTE by other carriers around the globe, as well as its unparalleled performance capabilities. WiMAX, for example, is an evolution of fixed technology modified for the mobile broadband environment, whereas LTE evolved directly from mobile broadband.

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Can I switch seamlessly between 4G LTE and 3G networks with my 4G device?

Yes. Your 4G LTE devices are backward-compatible, so you’ll be able to switch between 4G LTE and 3G networks with no problem. 3G devices are not compatible with 4G networks, but will still receive reliable 3G coverage in 4G LTE areas.

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What are the benefits of Verizon 4G LTE technology?

Verizon 4G LTE brings with it numerous benefits that will provide a powerful mobile broadband experience that’s way beyond current 3G performance. Plus, because it’s a global standard, 4G LTE enables users to use just one device for domestic and global communications. And enhanced security means data is protected better than ever.

Other benefits include:

  • Faster download and upload rates
  • Significantly lower latency (time delay) for fast, real-time connections
  • A consistent wireless environment where we build our 4G LTE network
  • A network designed to handle demanding data loads
  • Service compatibility across disparate networks, including global wireline, wireless, fiber and private networks
  • A reliable, consistent data connection between our 4G and 3G networks, so you can access the data-intensive applications, services and information your organization needs for enhanced business performance
  • The world’s first single, removable subscriber identity that lets you share credentials between both CDMA and GSM devices


Another benefit of LTE technology is that it creates possibilities for all kinds of innovative devices and applications. We expect LTE to usher in a whole new era of connected devices and applications that, by the very nature of them being connected, will open up new opportunities to improve your business. Recently we’ve fostered programs and initiatives designed to take advantage of LTE’s capabilities and bring new, innovative products to market, including:

  • New connectivity options for greater productivity
  • New devices and applications specifically designed for 4G LTE
  • A platform to build and deploy the products and services of today and tomorrow


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What are the anticipated speeds of Verizon 4G LTE?

Data speeds will increase significantly compared to 3G—up to 10 times faster than our existing 3G network.

  • Average network-to-device speeds, or downloads, will range from 5 to 12 Mbps.
  • Average device-to-network speeds, or uploads, will range from 2 to 5 Mbps.
  • An average network-to-device (one-way) latency below 50 ms is expected, delivering mobile broadband responsiveness equivalent to wireline connections.

This increased network performance enables access to data-intensive applications, such as high-resolution multimedia and video collaboration, made available in a wireless mobile environment.

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How secure is Verizon 4G LTE?


4G LTE is more secure than 3G or public Wi-Fi networks. It enhances security on multiple levels with:

  • Secure storage—The LTE SIM card stores the user’s credentials and secure data needed to access network services, including data and applications.
  • Mutual authentication—In an LTE network, the network authenticates the user identity and the user equipment authenticates the network credentials. Mutual authentication is necessary to protect against attacks, including those from rogue base stations.
  • Root key length—Longer bit keys, such as 128 bits used by LTE, double the key’s strength and require a greater effort to break through the security algorithm.
  • Integrity protection—Integrity protection verifies that the signaling has not been modified over the radio-access interface and that the origin of signaling data is accurate.
  • Airlink encryption—In the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, three built-in encryption options are used between the network and the user equipment before communications take place. Other networks don’t even have built-in network protection.


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Where will I be able to use Verizon 4G LTE?

Currently, Verizon 4G LTE is available to over 90% of the U.S. population. Our aggressive growth plan forecasts a move into more rural areas to achieve nationwide coverage sometime in 2013.

Check out our 4G LTE coverage map.


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© 2013 Verizon Wireless. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.