If you’re reading this using a Nokia Lumia 928 on Verizon you can start counting your lucky stars. It looks like the device in your hand has more under the hood than we’ve been led to believe. Later this year Verizon is upgrading their LTE network to support faster speeds. The only thing standing between your Lumia 928 and that network is time and a software update.
Right now Verizon’s LTE network operates on the 700 Mhz band. It’s been fine, but they’re planning on upgrading to AWS (Advanced Wireless Services). AWS operates in the 1710-1755 and 2110-2155 MHz spectrum range. You’ll be using the 1700 range for uploads and the 2100 range for downloads. This should help Verizon’s network in a variety of locations and situations. Go back to your high school physics and you’ll remember that the higher frequencies mean shorter wavelengths. That means AWS will work better in cities and other densely populated locations first. So expect to see the network upgrade deployed accordingly.
Another benefit to Verizon moving to the AWS band is that they’ll be using the 4G band that T-Mobile uses and most major Canadian network operators. While AT&T has a few AWS licenses and most devices it offers support AWS. That means we might soon be living in a world where your unlocked smartphone can work between carriers without much (if any) effort on your part. Our European brothers have been enjoying a system like that for a long time, but we may be finally getting there.
So that’s kind of a big deal when Nokia sends a letter to the FCC asking permission to upgrade FCC:ID QMNRM-860 in the field with a software upgrade. That software upgrade will enable LTE band 4 (UL 1710-1755 Mhz, DL 2110-2155 MHz). In English: Your Nokia Lumia 928 is ready and will be taking advantage of Verizon’s next LTE network. That puts the Lumia 928 as one of the first devices on Verizon to support the network. The other being the Galaxy S4. Obviously it still needs to get approved by the FCC, but it's unlikely they'll say no.
We’ll be looking for that software upgrade over the coming months and let you know when your device is ready.
Thanks for the tip Vlad A!