By Levi Castle
Ames247 Staff Writer
Ames has just been propelled into the 21st century even further, due to the recent support for Verizon Wireless’s 4G LTE.
4G is a significant step above 3G. In fact, Verizon claims the speeds they recently introduced to Ames are 10 times faster than the 3G most of the city is used to. As cell stations and various cell towers in Story and other counties get the necessary upgrades to support 4G, those who have the supported phones (like most Android smartphones) will see that they now have the upgraded service, provided they own a 4G plan with the company.
Karen Smith, spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless, said high-speed fiber wiring was used to make sure each station and tower was upgraded to give the company’s 4G LTE service to all of Ames.
“We’ve expanded from Des Moines’s upgrade last year. Ames, Nevada and Slater have all been receiving our new 4G LTE service,” Smith said.
Covering 75 percent of the US population, Verizon has been hard at work replacing 3G with 4G LTE. The company’s goal is to have 100 percent of America covered with their new service by sometime in 2013.
Wireless speed isn’t the only thing that has evolved for the company and others like it that keep upgrading their services. Back when 4G was first offered, only very limited, high-end, expensive phones and devices were supporting it. Now, Verizon alone offers nearly 20 different smartphones with 4G capability. Jetpacks, or portable hotspots, are also a very popular cellular device in this new era of speeds. For those that want a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot wherever they go, the jetpack will provide 4G speeds to any Wi-Fi-capable device (for a monthly fee). With the new service in Ames, it can be expected that the city’s Verizon store will be seeing a rise in 4G smartphones.
Verizon’s change from 3G to the much faster 4G has much to do with the company’s acquisition of the 700MHz spectrum network. As the aforementioned fiber cables used to be just copper, their replacement—in collaboration with the new network—is what makes this a “completely different service,” Smith said.