Verizon's LTE Just Got Three Times Faster in a Bunch of Big Cities

Last year, Verizon bought $3.6 billion worth of spectrum, and now it's finally making use of it: its LTE coverage just got three times faster in some big cities.

While the Big Red began the roll-out last month in New York, it's now quietly switched on its new Band 4 frequencies in cities including Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Indeed, those cities should see a potential tripling of LTE speed, with 80Mbps for now and 100-150 Mbps theoretically possible.

More widely, most markets west of the Mississippi will see similar speed jumps over time, thanks to the addition of 40MHz of spectrum (double what Verizon was using before). Sadly, some cities —including San Francisco and LA—will see only 30MHz, translating to a speed bump of just 150 percent. But hey, take what you can get.

Finally, a note of caution: Verizon warns that the speed bumps may be unpredictable for a little while, explaining to GigaOM that "you could see 80 Mbps today and 20 Mbps tomorrow and then 10 Mbps the next day." And regardless, you'll need an iPhone 5s or 5c, Samsung Galaxy S 4, or one of the Motorola Droid models to make use of it for now. We're getting there—just slowly. [GigaOM]