LAS VEGAS--Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) took the wraps off of its consumer LTE devices, announcing 10 devices including smartphones, tablets and mobile hotspots. The company also detailed its LTE network expansion, and said it will add 140 LTE markets in 2011.
At a press conference here the carrier unveiled four LTE smartphones, two tablets, two mobile hotspots and two notebooks. All of the devices will be commercially available by mid-year, with some available as soon as March. Verizon failed to reveal its LTE smartphone data price plans--but did hint that initially they will be unlimited.
Verizon launched 39 LTE markets in December, covering 110 million POPs. The carrier currently offers two LTE modems, and charges $50 per month for 5 GB of LTE data and $80 for 10 GB of data. That device lineup will expand over the coming months to include smartphones from HTC, LG, Samsung and Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI). All of the smartphones--the HTC ThunderBolt, LG Revolution, Motorola Droid Bionic and an unnamed Samsung device--run Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. Verizon also announced a tablet from Motorola--the previously announced Xoom--and said Samsung's GalaxyTab will be LTE-enabled. Additionally, 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 said that despite the addition of new data-hungry LTE devices, Verizon expects to be able to deliver 5-12 Mbps average real-world downlink speeds, since those estimates for network performance are based on a fully-loaded network. Melone also said that over the course of 2011 Verizon's LTE devices will be able to roam on LTE networks overseas and will be backward compatible to overseas HSPA networks. Some of the phones will support simultaneous voice and data, Verizon CMO Marni Walden said, but she did not specify which ones will have that capability.
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