Wicked fast: Verizon's Galaxy S4 will jump on quicker LTE spectrum

Software update coming later this year to enable higher speeds

Samsung Galaxy S4

Sure, you can buy a Samsung Galaxy S4 from any major U.S. carrier, but how many of them can promise you'll have an even faster data connection in just a few short months? If you answered Verizon, give yourself a pat on the back.

Bloomberg reported this week that the first Verizon handset to take advantage of its forthcoming network upgrade also happens to be its latest arrival, the Galaxy S4.

Although the Advance Wireless Service (AWS) upgrade won't arrive for a few months, the S4 Verizon began shipping last week and has been built to take advantage of the additional spectrum, which will be activated through a software update.

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Once applied, the update will allow the Galaxy S4 to more than double existing 4G LTE speeds wherever AWS spectrum is available.

Speeding into the future

According to Verizon Vice President of Network Support Mike Haberman, LTE traffic is expected to grow by six to seven times over the next three years - volume which the carrier is preparing for today.

The required network upgrade is already underway, utilizing AWS-compatible spectrum acquired in a deal last year with Comcast and other cable providers.

AWS will first arrive in major cities like New York in the next few months, by which time the existing Samsung Galaxy S4 will be joined by handsets from other manufacturers.

Now available from Verizon Wireless for $199.99 with a two-year agreement, the Galaxy S4 has shipped more than 10 million units since its introduction in late April.

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