Verizon Wireless will tomorrow launch its first 4G smartphone compatible with its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Users of the Android-based HTC Thunderbolt handset – priced at USD249.99 with a two-year contract – are promised data download speeds of between 5Mbps and 12Mbps and upload speeds of 2Mbps-5Mbps in LTE mobile broadband coverage areas. Customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk voice plan, beginning at USD39.99 per month, and a 4G LTE data package; an ‘unlimited’ monthly LTE data package costs USD29.99. A Mobile Hotspot application allows users to connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices via the ThunderBolt. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Verizon launched its commercial LTE network for USB modem users in December 2010 with coverage of 110 million people in 38 cities, and aims to cover 93% of the US population by the end of 2013.
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