The Verizon Galaxy S 4 is unique in the Verizon lineup for one reason: it’s currently the only phone with hardware support for the AWS spectrum. It may be disabled, but it’s there. AWS stands for Advanced Wireless Services, is a type of spectrum that Verizon has been buying and selling. This is the spectrum that Verizon will use to expand their current LTE network.
Verizon’s 4G LTE network is currently based on the 5×5 C-block network, and it’s getting congested. And as more people join Verizon and buy LTE enabled devices, it’ll only get worse. Verizon plans to alleviate this by expanding their LTE network with this newly purchased AWS spectrum, which will be 20×20 and provide far more capacity for users. However, older LTE devices will not support this technology, but the Galaxy S 4 will.
The ability to connect to AWS networks is currently disabled, but Verizon could enable it through a software update when the time comes (a lot like T-Mobile did with their LTE-enabled Galaxy Note II). But the Galaxy S 4 is the first device to come with hardware support for this technology, so owners of the device can feel safe knowing they won’t be left behind when Verizon starts deploying their AWS network. We’re excited to see how the new network will perform, and we’re sure some of you heavy data users are too.