Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Coverage Maps Now Tell Only Half the Story.

We recently retired our 3G map page due to a lack of interest.  I remember when wireless users wanted to find which carrier had the most 3G coverage.  Then 3G became the "bargain" spectrum for users of secondary or prepaid carriers.  Now, the 4G Maps have become the mainstream and we have actually prepared for 5G coverage maps.

However, the top 4 carriers have thrown us a curve.  In the effort to offer wireless users the most broadband possible, as soon as possible, most carriers now offer multi-band combinations to "broaden" the broadband by using more than one frequency band.  Known by names such as "Multiple Input Multiple Output" or "Carrier Aggregation,"  carriers use different pieces of their spectrum assignments to total a fat wireless pipe of Data.

Our concern is if this makes our 4G Maps less useful.  Data downloads now may vary considerably based on location when multi-band data is being used.  Since most of these combinations are found in urban areas we feel indications like the white dots on the Verizon Advanced LTE map may be the only accurate indication of where to find 4G+ coverage.  Therefore, on a national basis, it may be all we need and it also may be all we will see with forthcoming 5G coverage.  If this changes, we'll be on top of it.