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Thread: Does Verizon have a serious congestion issue?

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    Does Verizon have a serious congestion issue?

    I first want to say, I am not here to bash Verizon or any carrier for that matter nor am I a regular on HoFo. But I want to discuss an issue that after reading online and talking with friends and family seems to be happening in more places more frequently. I have Verizon service here in Pittsburgh and they have a pretty decent grid here with a few issues. I do not know everything about what goes on behind the scenes at the network level but I do know that having allot of spectrum is an important tool to fight network congestion. Yes Densification has helped allot especially here in a high market share, no aws3, and a weak PCS holdings market like Pittsburgh

    However, I question why with the 100's of small cells in Pittsburgh why not one of them has LAA especially in a semi spectrum starved market with lots of Verizon users like ours. And yes for most of the day to day items this network holds up well; but take Wallnut Street in the Shadyside neighborhood for example, that has 3 small cells on it. Works fine day to day but anytime large crowds come in or busy Friday and Saturday nights at the bars, the network tanks to sub 1mb speeds. LAA I know would keep the speeds up especially the outdoor foot traffic. Guess who keeps speeds up and does not have a single small cell in sight but instead has a Macro in the area? You guessed it the death star AT&T.

    From what I have been seeing my self, reading online, and hearing from friends and family all over the country is that congestion on Verizon is really becoming a normal occurrence where big crowds gather and there Advanced or Planned event Network ("small cells with LAA, MatSing Balls, DAS High Capacity Antenna's ect) does not exist. I am sure many of you saw congestion this weekend in areas such as a lake or a weekend getaway destination that is only served by a macro site. And I am not saying Verizon is alone and I know it depends on a ton of a factors such as marketshare and backhaul. At&t and the others all have this problem in areas all around the country. However, from what I have personally experienced and what I have seen from others is that the last carrier and sometimes the only carrier to keep up with large crowds on a macro network and sometimes big cities is AT&T.

    I have read on here and fellow HoFo members that work for Verizon say there is a plan. But what is the plan to address the congestion issues outside the big cities or outside the dense small cell grids? Is Verizon's plan really to just use millimeter wave and put small cells everywhere? At some point, I would think that it becomes too expensive to do that everywhere. Early test in Chicago show amazing speeds but it seems there are coverage challenges. It's clear they need more midband spectrum for the macro network. I am getting worried that C Band auction and CBRS might not come soon enough. Other than spectrum, Verizon has amazing coverage, a large fiber presence and a really good engineering team. I just worry about their ability to deal with congestion in the near term. Anyone have any thoughts or has anyone else been experiencing this same issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradpgh47 View Post
    I first want to say, I am not here to bash Verizon or any carrier for that matter nor am I a regular on HoFo. But I want to discuss an issue that after reading online and talking with friends and family seems to be happening in more places more frequently. I have Verizon service here in Pittsburgh and they have a pretty decent grid here with a few issues. I do not know everything about what goes on behind the scenes at the network level but I do know that having allot of spectrum is an important tool to fight network congestion. Yes Densification has helped allot especially here in a high market share, no aws3, and a weak PCS holdings market like Pittsburgh

    However, I question why with the 100's of small cells in Pittsburgh why not one of them has LAA especially in a semi spectrum starved market with lots of Verizon users like ours. And yes for most of the day to day items this network holds up well; but take Wallnut Street in the Shadyside neighborhood for example, that has 3 small cells on it. Works fine day to day but anytime large crowds come in or busy Friday and Saturday nights at the bars, the network tanks to sub 1mb speeds. LAA I know would keep the speeds up especially the outdoor foot traffic. Guess who keeps speeds up and does not have a single small cell in sight but instead has a Macro in the area? You guessed it the death star AT&T.

    From what I have been seeing my self, reading online, and hearing from friends and family all over the country is that congestion on Verizon is really becoming a normal occurrence where big crowds gather and there Advanced or Planned event Network ("small cells with LAA, MatSing Balls, DAS High Capacity Antenna's ect) does not exist. I am sure many of you saw congestion this weekend in areas such as a lake or a weekend getaway destination that is only served by a macro site. And I am not saying Verizon is alone and I know it depends on a ton of a factors such as marketshare and backhaul. At&t and the others all have this problem in areas all around the country. However, from what I have personally experienced and what I have seen from others is that the last carrier and sometimes the only carrier to keep up with large crowds on a macro network and sometimes big cities is AT&T.

    I have read on here and fellow HoFo members that work for Verizon say there is a plan. But what is the plan to address the congestion issues outside the big cities or outside the dense small cell grids? Is Verizon's plan really to just use millimeter wave and put small cells everywhere? At some point, I would think that it becomes too expensive to do that everywhere. Early test in Chicago show amazing speeds but it seems there are coverage challenges. It's clear they need more midband spectrum for the macro network. I am getting worried that C Band auction and CBRS might not come soon enough. Other than spectrum, Verizon has amazing coverage, a large fiber presence and a really good engineering team. I just worry about their ability to deal with congestion in the near term. Anyone have any thoughts or has anyone else been experiencing this same issue?
    Recently I've had big congestion problems with both T-Mobile(especially) and Verizon. Att seems to be the least congested overall but I know that varies according to location.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradpgh47 View Post
    I first want to say, I am not here to bash Verizon or any carrier for that matter nor am I a regular on HoFo. But I want to discuss an issue that after reading online and talking with friends and family seems to be happening in more places more frequently. I have Verizon service here in Pittsburgh and they have a pretty decent grid here with a few issues. I do not know everything about what goes on behind the scenes at the network level but I do know that having allot of spectrum is an important tool to fight network congestion. Yes Densification has helped allot especially here in a high market share, no aws3, and a weak PCS holdings market like Pittsburgh

    However, I question why with the 100's of small cells in Pittsburgh why not one of them has LAA especially in a semi spectrum starved market with lots of Verizon users like ours. And yes for most of the day to day items this network holds up well; but take Wallnut Street in the Shadyside neighborhood for example, that has 3 small cells on it. Works fine day to day but anytime large crowds come in or busy Friday and Saturday nights at the bars, the network tanks to sub 1mb speeds. LAA I know would keep the speeds up especially the outdoor foot traffic. Guess who keeps speeds up and does not have a single small cell in sight but instead has a Macro in the area? You guessed it the death star AT&T.

    From what I have been seeing my self, reading online, and hearing from friends and family all over the country is that congestion on Verizon is really becoming a normal occurrence where big crowds gather and there Advanced or Planned event Network ("small cells with LAA, MatSing Balls, DAS High Capacity Antenna's ect) does not exist. I am sure many of you saw congestion this weekend in areas such as a lake or a weekend getaway destination that is only served by a macro site. And I am not saying Verizon is alone and I know it depends on a ton of a factors such as marketshare and backhaul. At&t and the others all have this problem in areas all around the country. However, from what I have personally experienced and what I have seen from others is that the last carrier and sometimes the only carrier to keep up with large crowds on a macro network and sometimes big cities is AT&T.

    I have read on here and fellow HoFo members that work for Verizon say there is a plan. But what is the plan to address the congestion issues outside the big cities or outside the dense small cell grids? Is Verizon's plan really to just use millimeter wave and put small cells everywhere? At some point, I would think that it becomes too expensive to do that everywhere. Early test in Chicago show amazing speeds but it seems there are coverage challenges. It's clear they need more midband spectrum for the macro network. I am getting worried that C Band auction and CBRS might not come soon enough. Other than spectrum, Verizon has amazing coverage, a large fiber presence and a really good engineering team. I just worry about their ability to deal with congestion in the near term. Anyone have any thoughts or has anyone else been experiencing this same issue?
    Iíll start off by saying LAA isnít something that should be deployed just anywhere. It has 5GHz WiFi range, which goes roughly 400 ft maximum. This is only a viable solution in shopping centers, stadiums or malls.

    Secondly, Verizon takes in about half of the total subscriber base in the city of Pittsburgh. Itís totally normal for them to have the highest amount of congestion there. Kind of like my market, where AT&T is about half ó it can become congested rather easily. With that said, Verizon isnít incredibly spectrum starved in Pittsburgh. There is 107MHz for them to work with (my market has 88MHz, for comparison). And by no means, is every square inch of Chicago spectacular, either. Overall subscriber base plays a huge role in determining network performance.

    Iíd say Verizon is in an alright position in Pittsburgh as a whole. They will use other spectrum for 5G aside from mmWave, it just hasnít been determined exactly what it will be. My assumption is CBRS and 850MHz, but we will have to wait and see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradpgh47 View Post
    I first want to say, I am not here to bash Verizon or any carrier for that matter nor am I a regular on HoFo. But I want to discuss an issue that after reading online and talking with friends and family seems to be happening in more places more frequently. I have Verizon service here in Pittsburgh and they have a pretty decent grid here with a few issues. I do not know everything about what goes on behind the scenes at the network level but I do know that having allot of spectrum is an important tool to fight network congestion. Yes Densification has helped allot especially here in a high market share, no aws3, and a weak PCS holdings market like Pittsburgh

    However, I question why with the 100's of small cells in Pittsburgh why not one of them has LAA especially in a semi spectrum starved market with lots of Verizon users like ours. And yes for most of the day to day items this network holds up well; but take Wallnut Street in the Shadyside neighborhood for example, that has 3 small cells on it. Works fine day to day but anytime large crowds come in or busy Friday and Saturday nights at the bars, the network tanks to sub 1mb speeds. LAA I know would keep the speeds up especially the outdoor foot traffic. Guess who keeps speeds up and does not have a single small cell in sight but instead has a Macro in the area? You guessed it the death star AT&T.

    From what I have been seeing my self, reading online, and hearing from friends and family all over the country is that congestion on Verizon is really becoming a normal occurrence where big crowds gather and there Advanced or Planned event Network ("small cells with LAA, MatSing Balls, DAS High Capacity Antenna's ect) does not exist. I am sure many of you saw congestion this weekend in areas such as a lake or a weekend getaway destination that is only served by a macro site. And I am not saying Verizon is alone and I know it depends on a ton of a factors such as marketshare and backhaul. At&t and the others all have this problem in areas all around the country. However, from what I have personally experienced and what I have seen from others is that the last carrier and sometimes the only carrier to keep up with large crowds on a macro network and sometimes big cities is AT&T.

    I have read on here and fellow HoFo members that work for Verizon say there is a plan. But what is the plan to address the congestion issues outside the big cities or outside the dense small cell grids? Is Verizon's plan really to just use millimeter wave and put small cells everywhere? At some point, I would think that it becomes too expensive to do that everywhere. Early test in Chicago show amazing speeds but it seems there are coverage challenges. It's clear they need more midband spectrum for the macro network. I am getting worried that C Band auction and CBRS might not come soon enough. Other than spectrum, Verizon has amazing coverage, a large fiber presence and a really good engineering team. I just worry about their ability to deal with congestion in the near term. Anyone have any thoughts or has anyone else been experiencing this same issue?
    Iím also in the Pittsburgh market and noticed the same thing. I recently switched to AT&T from Verizon (not by choice I had a call forwarding issue no one could fix). With Verizon in the city it was abnormal to see anything other than 3-4 bars in the city with small cells everywhere but it was easy do still bog down at big gatherings. With AT&T Iím almost always showing 2-3 bars with less areas of congestion. It seems like in the Pittsburgh market anyways Verizon leans on lots of small cells with fewer macros where att doesnít have many small cells and lots of macro sites. Someone mentioned their may be a 5g small cell that just popped up near Schinley park but no one knows whose it is.

    IMO Verizon really needs spectrum in our market or needs to push LAA. With AT&T getting the FirstNet contract every site they touch to add Band 14 they have been adding other bands/backhaul to it. I still prefer Verizon because of the better rural coverage but AT&T has really made huge strides in our market and I can imagine itís only gonna get better.

    I would imagine that with the introduction of Xfinity mobile and all the MVNOís that use Verizon they have to have a huge market share of subscribers and they only have so much spectrum to work with however they have been very aggressive with re-farming spectrum and you see bands 2 and 5 pop up more often on Verizon. With LAA, CBRS, or 5G Verizon would destroy the competition in the city cause of the density. Once you leave the city speed does drop off quite a bit with Verizon where AT&T stays really fast but you definitely loose some of the rural coverage advantage that Verizon holds.

    Maybe Verizon will get lucky and T-Mobile May have to shed some of their spectrum as a condition of the merger. After all Verizon has plenty of 5G spectrum that Iím sure they could afford to trade of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BentleyBeard View Post
    Iíll start off by saying LAA isnít something that should be deployed just anywhere. It has 5GHz WiFi range, which goes roughly 400 ft maximum. This is only a viable solution in shopping centers, stadiums or malls.

    Secondly, Verizon takes in about half of the total subscriber base in the city of Pittsburgh. Itís totally normal for them to have the highest amount of congestion there. Kind of like my market, where AT&T is about half ó it can become congested rather easily. With that said, Verizon isnít incredibly spectrum starved in Pittsburgh. There is 107MHz for them to work with (my market has 88MHz, for comparison). And by no means, is every square inch of Chicago spectacular, either. Overall subscriber base plays a huge role in determining network performance.

    Iíd say Verizon is in an alright position in Pittsburgh as a whole. They will use other spectrum for 5G aside from mmWave, it just hasnít been determined exactly what it will be. My assumption is CBRS and 850MHz, but we will have to wait and see.
    Great points. Verizon definitely has the lions share of the market here. They do really well with what they have but they are on the edge of that bubble bursting with congestion. Take a pens game for example, I donít think I have ever gotten above 2Mbps on a speed test in the arena (which ironically has the Verizon logo plastered all over it).

    Also Iím no engineer by any means but it seems like AT&T and Verizon have two different goals. AT&T seem to be more focused on raw speed that peaks into the 200ís but they ignore unload speeds and lack coverage where Verizon aims to get all users 30Mbps (not saying they donít also peak into the 200ís at times) with good upload speeds and dense coverage and a more consistent/reliable performance. However lately it does seem like AT&T (since they started the FirstNet rollout) is finally starting to look at addressing coverage/density.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeInPa View Post
    Great points. Verizon definitely has the lions share of the market here. They do really well with what they have but they are on the edge of that bubble bursting with congestion. Take a pens game for example, I donít think I have ever gotten above 2Mbps on a speed test in the arena (which ironically has the Verizon logo plastered all over it).

    Also Iím no engineer by any means but it seems like AT&T and Verizon have two different goals. AT&T seem to be more focused on raw speed that peaks into the 200ís but they ignore unload speeds and lack coverage where Verizon aims to get all users 30Mbps (not saying they donít also peak into the 200ís at times) with good upload speeds and dense coverage and a more consistent/reliable performance. However lately it does seem like AT&T (since they started the FirstNet rollout) is finally starting to look at addressing coverage/density.
    The objective of FirstNet is to provide the most reliable service possible to Americaís first responders. Which, subsequently, traditional AT&T customers can also access Ė on the commercial core network. Filling in gaps, and optimizing the network to prevent or lower data task failures is the ultimate goal.

    The ďtwo different goalsĒ narrative is most certainly the case, but can vary greatly depending on which market one is located in. For instance, in New York, Verizon consistently ranks higher than others. Whereas, in Texas, for example, AT&T reigns supreme.

    It also doesnít hurt that Verizon is the ILEC in the Greater Pittsburgh area. This ensures Verizon has access to their own fiber network, which can be used to its full potential, rather than paying another provider for backhaul services.

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    Does Verizon have a serious congestion issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeInPa View Post
    Also Iím no engineer by any means but it seems like AT&T and Verizon have two different goals. AT&T seem to be more focused on raw speed that peaks into the 200ís but they ignore unload speeds and lack coverage where Verizon aims to get all users 30Mbps (not saying they donít also peak into the 200ís at times) with good upload speeds and dense coverage and a more consistent/reliable performance. However lately it does seem like AT&T (since they started the FirstNet rollout) is finally starting to look at addressing coverage/density.
    You hit the nail on the head here. Those are my sentiments exactly when comparing the two networks.


    Iíll start off by saying that Verizon is still doing very good in the Chicago market as a whole but what Iím noticing is peak hour congestion creeping up and up, as well as busy areas such as shopping centers and malls being just about unusable. At first being deprioritized was barely noticeable but itís becoming more noticeable now as network load keeps increasing.

    It seems Verizon has been in a limbo of sorts for the last year as theyíve focused heavily on mmWave in urban cores. For the rest of it Iím really not sure, but dense suburban areas seem to be suffering the most right now and something needs to be done sooner than later. Iím guessing thereís big small cell plans in the works but they wanted to wait to do any major build outs until they can deploy 5G capable gear which is what theyíre doing in downtown Chicago right now. Theyíre adding dual band radios capable of NR for sub 6, as well as adding LAA and of course mmWave.

    Weíre probably gonna need to be patient for any of this to happen, and I assume things are gonna get worse before they get better. I have to keep reminding myself of this because Iím personally rather frustrated with the stagnation in the network lately.

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    It really depends on your location. In SW Portland, OR they have Band 66 which I have seen speeds on that band peak at 86mbps but when you go to Tualatin, OR their network is very very slow starting around 3PM. I did a speedtest today and was only hitting about 0.20 mbps but upload was about 15-20.
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    It depends is going to be the answer. I'm sure once they can convert that CDMA spectrum to LTE that will help. Also once 5G is more prevalent and more people have 5G phones that will help. But goes to show why people that expect Verizon to offer unlimited data with no depri or hotspot or video throttle are being naÔve. Can you imagine how much worse it would be of Verizon said 'Use as much as you want. 2 TB a month no problem"

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    Quote Originally Posted by BentleyBeard View Post
    The ďtwo different goalsĒ narrative is most certainly the case, but can vary greatly depending on which market one is located in. For instance, in New York, Verizon consistently ranks higher than others. Whereas, in Texas, for example, AT&T reigns supreme.

    I see that opinion about AT&T all the time regarding supremacy in Texas. But I can tell you from my own experience across North, East and Central Texas that Verizon is far stronger then AT&T is.. especially in rural areas. AT&T has plenty of coverage gaps in the same areas that Verizon works solidly.
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    Does Verizon have a serious congestion issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by SterlingJ85 View Post
    I see that opinion about AT&T all the time regarding supremacy in Texas. But I can tell you from my own experience across North, East and Central Texas that Verizon is far stronger then AT&T is.. especially in rural areas. AT&T has plenty of coverage gaps in the same areas that Verizon works solidly.
    That comes from Verizonís previous acquisitions. Old Alltel had a very large network in Texas from buying up Western Wireless, as well as buying up divested AT&T Wireless (Cingular merger) spectrum. Verizon did buy up a couple other networks since then in various parts of the state and they still have a rural LTE agreement with at least one carrier there, Cellular One (Alta Communications).

    AT&T has only bought three or four networks in Texas since rebranding, mostly in West Texas/Panhandle and basically augmented overlapping coverage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeInPa View Post
    Great points. Verizon definitely has the lions share of the market here. They do really well with what they have but they are on the edge of that bubble bursting with congestion. Take a pens game for example, I donít think I have ever gotten above 2Mbps on a speed test in the arena (which ironically has the Verizon logo plastered all over it).

    Also Iím no engineer by any means but it seems like AT&T and Verizon have two different goals. AT&T seem to be more focused on raw speed that peaks into the 200ís but they ignore unload speeds and lack coverage where Verizon aims to get all users 30Mbps (not saying they donít also peak into the 200ís at times) with good upload speeds and dense coverage and a more consistent/reliable performance. However lately it does seem like AT&T (since they started the FirstNet rollout) is finally starting to look at addressing coverage/density.
    I agree as well. I have both on the same iPhone these days and AT&T is far more impressive in the Philadelphia market and suburbs at this point. However, there is the occasional spot where Verizon voice and slow, but usable data (2-5 Mbps) are present and AT&T will have 4g. These areas are getting less and less though.

    But...........when you run speed tests in 99% on the area you will find Verizon in that 30-50 range while AT&T is jumping into the 100ís. Part of me wonders if Verizon is doing some sort of spectrum management even on the truly unlimited plans. Artificially inhibiting speeds. It is either that or their lack of spectrum is causing a crunch and there are just too many areas where you canít put up small cells to increase density. Particularly in the suburbs.

    Nothing necessarily wrong with Verizonís performance and I am happy to have both, but it is not what it once was for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haas_Dave View Post
    That comes from Verizonís previous acquisitions. Old Alltel had a very large network in Texas from buying up Western Wireless, as well as buying up divested AT&T Wireless (Cingular merger) spectrum. Verizon did buy up a couple other networks since then in various parts of the state and they still have a rural LTE agreement with at least one carrier there, Cellular One (Alta Communications).

    AT&T has only bought three or four networks in Texas since rebranding, mostly in West Texas/Panhandle and basically augmented overlapping coverage.
    Can definitely agree with all those statements. I lived in East Texas when it was still 360 Communications, and later Alltel. They were the strongest AMPS (B-Size) carrier even then for that area. I also remember when back in 2005 I could finally get native AT&T GSM then native HSPA.

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    Does Verizon have a serious congestion issue?

    Yes , Verizon seems to have the most consistent experience but the unexpected slowdowns due to congestion and spectrum are an issue. AT&T maintains higher speeds but lacks the coverage consistency.

    I think it has to do with the fact that Verizon just finished overhauling their entire network for VoLTE and AT&T is just starting their overhaul. Verizon is spectrum starved and AT&T falling behind in density.

    So itís like do you want to fallback to AT&T 4G all the time or be on congested Verizon?

    Very nice we are in PA and Verizon just added two towers locally.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bradpgh47 View Post
    I first want to say, I am not here to bash Verizon or any carrier for that matter nor am I a regular on HoFo. But I want to discuss an issue that after reading online and talking with friends and family seems to be happening in more places more frequently. I have Verizon service here in Pittsburgh and they have a pretty decent grid here with a few issues. I do not know everything about what goes on behind the scenes at the network level but I do know that having allot of spectrum is an important tool to fight network congestion. Yes Densification has helped allot especially here in a high market share, no aws3, and a weak PCS holdings market like Pittsburgh

    However, I question why with the 100's of small cells in Pittsburgh why not one of them has LAA especially in a semi spectrum starved market with lots of Verizon users like ours. And yes for most of the day to day items this network holds up well; but take Wallnut Street in the Shadyside neighborhood for example, that has 3 small cells on it. Works fine day to day but anytime large crowds come in or busy Friday and Saturday nights at the bars, the network tanks to sub 1mb speeds. LAA I know would keep the speeds up especially the outdoor foot traffic. Guess who keeps speeds up and does not have a single small cell in sight but instead has a Macro in the area? You guessed it the death star AT&T.

    From what I have been seeing my self, reading online, and hearing from friends and family all over the country is that congestion on Verizon is really becoming a normal occurrence where big crowds gather and there Advanced or Planned event Network ("small cells with LAA, MatSing Balls, DAS High Capacity Antenna's ect) does not exist. I am sure many of you saw congestion this weekend in areas such as a lake or a weekend getaway destination that is only served by a macro site. And I am not saying Verizon is alone and I know it depends on a ton of a factors such as marketshare and backhaul. At&t and the others all have this problem in areas all around the country. However, from what I have personally experienced and what I have seen from others is that the last carrier and sometimes the only carrier to keep up with large crowds on a macro network and sometimes big cities is AT&T.

    I have read on here and fellow HoFo members that work for Verizon say there is a plan. But what is the plan to address the congestion issues outside the big cities or outside the dense small cell grids? Is Verizon's plan really to just use millimeter wave and put small cells everywhere? At some point, I would think that it becomes too expensive to do that everywhere. Early test in Chicago show amazing speeds but it seems there are coverage challenges. It's clear they need more midband spectrum for the macro network. I am getting worried that C Band auction and CBRS might not come soon enough. Other than spectrum, Verizon has amazing coverage, a large fiber presence and a really good engineering team. I just worry about their ability to deal with congestion in the near term. Anyone have any thoughts or has anyone else been experiencing this same issue?
    Im in Chicago market and have notice congestion or network management to be heavy at times. Previously I was with AT&T for 10 years and only switched to Verizon for an emergency situation in which I happened to have a VZW sim card laying around. With Verizon I notice in the burbs... what I call hit or miss data service... its prob really network management kicking in, but its getting pretty annoying non the less. Sometimes I have to turn off LTE and use CDMA to get a more consistent connection. I think their network management software needs to be detuned to be less aggressive if possible. Don't feel bad it seems the network issues are popping up left and right on reddit.
    Verizon LTE

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