Modem 'hand-off' from 3G to LTE can take two minutes, Verizon says

Telcom says fix under way for LTE connection problem, which also crops up when simply reconnecting to the 4G wireless network

Verizon Wireless said on Friday that laptop users with USB modems on its new high-speed LTE (Long Term Evolution) network may experience up to a two minute delay when switching over from a 3G coverage zone.

"Hand-offs can take up to a couple minutes, but that was expected and a fix is in the works," Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson told Computerworld by e-mail.

He also said Verizon is working on drivers for USB modems designed for the LTE network so that they work with Mac OS-based computers. "Mac is not yet supported, and we've been working on drivers for Mac OS for weeks, and expect to update relatively soon," Nelson said.

Otherwise, Nelson reported that there have been no problems on the LTE network, which launched in 38 cities on Dec. 5 . He said the network has been handling data "as expected," which was advertised at offering 5 Mbit/sec. to 12 Mbit/sec. of download speeds.

Some Boston-area testers have reported downloads of 20 Mbit/sec. and uploads of 5 Mbit/sec. on uncrowded networks, and generally Verizon's advertised speeds are being reported by other early testers in various cities as well. (LTE is about 10 times faster than the 3G EVDO network, Verizon has said.)

One tester wrote in Business Insider that when moving into an existing 3G network zone (over Verizon's EVDO network) with a new USB modem plugged into a laptop the network speed dropped .

Also, to get back on LTE once already having been in an LTE zone, that tester said it was necessary to unplug the modem and plug it back in again. However, Nelson said that was not necessary, although he did say it could take up to two minutes to reconnect to LTE.

The "hand-off" problem from EVDO to LTE had been foretold by Verizon CTO Tony Melone on Dec. 1. He said there would be a brief delay.

Verizon sells two models of modems for LTE connections to laptops, one from LG and one from Pantech, each for $100 after rebate and a two-year contract.

Nelson said Verizon was working with a modem maker on the hand-off problem, but didn't say which maker. Business Insider said the hand-off problem occurred with an LG model. "We're working with the modem maker for quick update, but no ETA yet," Nelson said.

The spokesman wouldn't say how many modems or data service plans have been sold so far, but said Verizon has been pleased with reviews of network speeds.

It is still early to tell how well customers will like Verizon's pricing plans for LTE data service , with $50 a month for 5GB of data and $80 for 10GB. Some analysts have predicted average users might exceed the 10GB, incurring an overage charge of $10 per 1GB.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags wireless networkingtelecommunicationMobile and WirelessNetworkingwirelessmobileVerizon Wireless

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?