Verizon announces new LTE devices, promises big rollout in 2011

As promised, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) introduced a handful of LTE devices, including four smartphones, two tablets, two mobile hotspots and two notebooks. In addition, the operator said it would add 140 LTE markets in 2011.

During a press event at the Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon said all of the new devices will become commercially available by mid-year, with some, presumably not smartphones, available as soon as March. Verizon also declined to reveal its plans for LTE smartphone data price plans--but did hint that initially they will be unlimited. 

Verizon currently offers LTE service in 38 markets, covering 100 POPs, offering two LTE modems. Android-based smartphones will be coming from HTC, LG, Samsung and Motorola Mobility. Verizon also announced the Xoom tablet from Motorola and said Samsung's GalaxyTab will be LTE-enabled. In addition, the carrier announced hotspots from Samsung and Novatel and notebooks from Hewlett-Packard and Compaq. Verizon did not provide pricing for any of the devices.

Verizon Communications CTO Tony Melone praised the networks performance to date, saying the operator has kept its promises in terms of speed, latency and technology performance at the edge of the cell. Average download speeds continue to be 5 to 12 Mbps, he said.

"In 36 months, we'll have the nation covered with LTE," Melone said. "We'll have 200 million POPs in 140 markets added in 2011." 

Melone also said that during the course of 2011, Verizon's LTE devices will be able to roam on LTE networks overseas and will be backward compatible with overseas HSPA networks. Some of the phones will support simultaneous voice and data, Verizon Chief Marketing Officer Marni Walden said, but she did not specify which ones will have that capability.

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
Motorola unveils Xoom, Android 'Honeycomb' tablet
AT&T accelerates LTE deployment, will launch 20 4G devices this year
Report: Verizon unveiling dozens of LTE partners at CES
Verizon partnering with Motorola on LTE smartphone
Verizon's Seidenberg: LTE smartphone pricing is still undecided
Verizon planning big LTE splash at CES
Verizon promises Android LTE devices at CES