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Summary:

Now that Verizon Wireless has a speedy 4G network in 38 markets, what will consumers do with it? The company announced 10 new LTE devices — handsets, tablets, wireless hotspot devices, and notebooks — that will become available over the next six months.

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Novatel 4G LTE MiFi 4510L - VerizonNow that Verizon Wireless has a speedy 4G network in 38 markets covering a third of the U.S. population, what will consumers do with it? For now, just two USB data sticks are available for notebook computers to use Verizon’s LTE, but over the next six months, that will change: the carrier today announced 10 new LTE devices, showing a glimpse of what’s possible on fast mobile broadband.

We expected a few LTE smartphones, and they were shown off today by three of Verizon’s partners. The LG Revolution, HTC Thunderbolt and a Samsung Galaxy handset will all appear in the first half of 2011. Voice will still be carried over Verizon’s CDMA network, but data will be routed over LTE, or in the case of a coverage gap, Verizon’s 3G network. The LG and Samsung devices features a dual-core processor while the Thunderbolt relies on the current 1 GHz Snapdragon chip. All three boast screen sizes of 4 to 4.3 inches and a front-facing camera, while the Revolution can double as a wireless hotspot

Skype’s CEO, Tony Bates, joined Verizon on the CES stage to tout the front-facing cameras and, more importantly, support for high-quality video calling on the 4G network to other 4G handsets, laptops, desktops, tablets and even connected televisions. HTC has integrated Skype directly into the Thunderbolt’s Sense UI, to promote seamless access to Skype contacts, complete with presence indicators.

In addition to an LTE handset, Samsung will also offer 4G versions of its Galaxy Tab tablet and a wireless hotpot device that can share the 4G connection with up to five additional devices. Not only does the new Tab gain a faster network, but the CPU is quicker too, running at 1.2 GHz. Also in the Verizon LTE device lineup are the Motorola Droid Bionic 4G handset and Xoom Android tablet, both of which were announced earlier in the show. Rounding out the device list are netbooks with integrated 4G radios from the HP and Compaq brands, and a Novatel Wireless MiFi.

 

Once devices arrive, customers will see much faster speeds on the network while mobile, so what does that mean for the experience? Verizon offered one example with partner EA Mobile, who introduced Rock Band Mobile for Verizon LTE phones. While the game can be played solo, groups of four can form a band over the LTE network, allowing for real-time, multi-player support in a single game.

That’s just one example of what Verizon thinks the LTE network brings to consumers: the idea is that whatever customers want to do, they won’t be waiting on the network. For now though, many will have to wait because Verizon’s LTE network covers only 38 markets. By the end of this year, the carrier expects to add 140 additional markets and should complete its full LTE rollout to all coverage areas within 36 months.

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  1. Most consumers will not notice the faster speed, but it will be nice to have as long as it costs the same. mainstreethost

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  2. That hotspot device HAS to be made available with a plan that does not cap the user at 5GB, otherwise it will be a total fail.

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    1. It has a plan that’s not capped at 5G – the 10 GB one for $80. ;) I’m joking but I hear you. Unfortunately, Verizon made it sound that it wasn’t likely to change the current LTE plans.

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  3. Do we have any idea if any of these devices will be world-capable with sim cards and gsm/hspa?

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    1. No, these devices are slated to run on Verizon’s 700 MHz LTE network, not on other networks around the world. The SIM card is for LTE only, not GSM / HSPA.

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      1. That sucks! I was wondering the same thing, but hadn’t seen any info until your reply.

        Of course, I suppose VZW will still call it a Global phone since it will be able to work on the 40 countries that VZW operates in, which is their current tactic when you walk into a VZW store nowadays.

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  4. So, where are the Verizon Windows Phones? As a matter of fact, I haven’t noticed ANY new Windows Phones shown at CES. If anyone could have shown a Windows Phone or PalmOS device, it really would have stood out in that sea of Android tablets and phones.

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  5. [...] to the carrier to offer such a feature. This all follows last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, where the four newest Verizon phones, all running Android and supporting Verizon’s LTE netwo…. With the trend towards using a phone as a hotspot, sales of standalone products such as the [...]

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  6. [...] new smartphone I saw at the Consumer Electronics Show that will be compared to Apple’s iPhone had a few common denominators, with one being larger displays. Most had 4.3-inch screens, some with the standard Android resolution of 800×480, but a few [...]

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  7. [...] buy that. Have to have a whopping 4.3-inch screen? There’s a few of those available now and plenty more coming this year. These are just two examples and they’re important to point out because each hardware [...]

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  8. [...] if indeed the ThunderBolt will handle voice and data at the same time because my sources say that among the four new LTE handsets Verizon will launch in the first half of 2011, the ThunderBolt is the most likely one to launch first. That makes sense because aside from [...]

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  9. [...] To understand that, one needs to look at Verizon’s wireless data situation, because this past quarter was the first where the operator offered a new 4G network. Verizon’s LTE service only became available on Dec. 5, and with just two data devices that could use it, the new network had minimal impact on the quarter. That changes with the calendar as this quarter will be the first full three-month period that Verizon will see revenue opportunity from its LTE investment. But the impact will take time: Verizon announced 10 new LTE devices at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show, but they&#8217…. [...]

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  10. [...] tagline used by competitors. CNN reports that the VoLTE service will initially launch on the LG Revolution 4G handset, which was first introduced at last month’s Consumer Electronics …. Such a move will help Verizon fend off data-hungry consumers with new iPhone handsets but could [...]

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