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CES 2011: Verizon To Add 10 4G Devices In First Half

1/06/2011 08:59:01 PM Eastern
Las Vegas - Verizon Wireless will roll out 10 more 4G LTE devices in the first half to join the USB modems it launched in December when it turned on its 700MHz network in eight markets with a population of 100 million people.

The 10 new devices, some of which will be available as early as March, consist of four Android smartphones, two Android tablets, two mobile hot spots, a notebook computer, and a netbook, Verizon executives announced at a CES press conference. All will offer 3G and 4G service.

 Pricing and detailed specs weren't released, nor were service prices, but the devices will consist of the LG Revolution smartphone, HTC Thunderbolt, a Samsung smartphone and the previously announced Motorola Droid Bionic.

 The tablets will be an LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab and the previously announced Motorola Xoom.

The 4G hot spots will be the Novatel MiFi and a Samsung hot spot, both with ability to simultaneously connect up to five Wi-Fi devices to the 3G and 4G networks.

 Verizon will also offer a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion notebook and a Compaq netbook.

Verizon promised that a wide range of 4G smartphones will feature a new LTE-specific Skype Mobile with Video app that will enable Skype-to-Skype video calling only over 4G networks. The app will always be on so users can easily be reached.

Some of the devices will support simultaneous voice and data, added chief marketing officer Marni Walden.

Top executives from some of the device makers turned out in support of their products, including Jong-Seok Park, CEO of LG Mobile Communications, HTC CEO Peter Chou, and JK Shin, president of Samsung Mobile Communications.

The companies revealed some but not many specs of their devices.

 The LG Revolution smartphone features Android 2.2 OS and 4.3-inch touchscreen. The HTC Thunderbolt smartphone will feature 4.3-inch screen, 4G hot spot to connect up to eight Wi-Fi device to the LTE network, Android 2.2, 1GHz processor, DLNA, 720p video capture and kickstand.

 The Samsung 4G phone, which is unnamed, features Android 2.2, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display for improved viewing in sunlight, HD video recording, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and access to Samsung's Media Hub movie- and TV-show download service. Samsung's 4G Galaxy Tab will feature 1.2GHz Samsung processor, Android 2.2, front- and rear-facing cameras for video chats, 1.2GHz processor, and LTE-specific applications.

Previously, Motorola revealed many specs for its Droid Bionic smartphone and Xoom tablet.

The LTE network is so fast, and latency so low, that Electronics Arts VP Travis Boatman said his company will offer a Rock Band Mobile multiplayer game in which different people using different LTE phones will be able to form a band and play together online. One player will play bass, another drums, and a third will play guitar while a fourth sings.

So far, said Verizon Wireless chief technology officer Tony Melone, the LTE network is delivering the average 5Mbps to 12Mbps downloads expected, though right now with few users, average performance is hitting the high end of that range or exceeding it. When the network is fully loaded, however, it will deliver 5MBps to 12MBps on average as promised, he said.

 The company said it would expand the network to more than 175 markets by the end of 2011, double the current footprint in 18 months to reach 200 million people, and in 36 months have the "nation covered," including rural areas in partnership with rural carriers, Melone said.

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