We have all noticed a new cell tower looming over Leicester, and have been waiting with anticipation for better cell service on the lake. Better service is in fact coming, but not as soon as we would like. Verizon, like all the carriers, is facing the challenge of providing much more data than in the past. We have come to expect our phones or tablets or cars to
navigate, play movies, or consume unlimited data. This taxes the existing network, especially in high-use areas like cities. As a result, the entire cellular system, all the carriers -- ATT, Verizon, Sprint, etc. -- are in the process of building a new network called LTE, which stands for LongTerm Evolution. LTE is already in use in some areas, but for data only. Data is everything your device uses except voice. Some of you with late model phones probably see the LTE symbol pop up some of the time.
This tells you that you’re in range of an LTE tower. “Our” new tower is exclusively LTE. It makes no sense to build a tower that will quickly become obsolete. When it comes online (if it isn’t already), it will only be for data. Voice comes later. The voice part of cellular on the LTE network is called voice over LTE, or voLTE. This is the next step, but our phones will have to be compatible. This means you’ll have to buy one to use the new tower. You’ll start to see them advertised soon. According to Wikipedia, they’re “commonly marketed as 4G LTE” devices. The tower looming over Leicester is Verizon, but it is more than likely that other carriers like ATT will eventually rent space and use it too. This explanation is a combination of technical fact and my extrapolation of what was explained to me.