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Galaxy S4 is the first smartphone to support Verizon's upcoming LTE expansion (update)

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Samsung Galaxy S4 WatchOn (765px)
Samsung Galaxy S4 WatchOn (765px)

The first smartphone to take advantage of Verizon's upcoming AWS spectrum is already out in the wild. Bloomberg reports that Samsung's Galaxy S4 will be able to support AWS on Verizon when it launches later this year. The phone will require a software update to activate support for the spectrum, which is being used to increase LTE coverage in different areas. Verizon announced that devices with AWS support would ship by July — likely before the network itself launches — and it's certainly met that deadline.

However, Verizon has taken its time in rolling out the new spectrum. While the company has continued to purchase licenses, it only recently announced that it intends to have some of the AWS spectrum up and running by the end of this year. According to Bloomberg, that launch will begin in major cities, including New York, where network congestion has become a problem as more consumers adopt LTE.

Update: Verizon tells us that the Lumia 928 and the BlackBerry Q10 will also support AWS when the spectrum launches later this year. Like the Galaxy S4, both devices will require a software update to make this happen. And while these will be the first smartphones running on the expanded network, the carrier currently has five other devices with support built in, including two mobile hotspots and two Samsung tablets.