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Consumer Cellular Adds First 4G LTE Smartphones

Portland, Ore. — MVNO Consumer Cellular, which targets the 50-plus age group with no-contract postpaid service, launched its first two 4G LTE smartphones as part of a wave of new phones planned for the year.

The company, which resells AT&T service, plans to activate LTE in the phones in the second half. LTE service prices will be the same as 3G HSPA prices, the company said.

The launch also steps up the company’s smartphone price points to $300 for the LG 930 smartphone, which launched alongside the $150 Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate. Both feature Android 4.0.4 OS.

Previously, 3G HSPA smartphones from Consumer Cellular were priced up to $150, with a refurbished 3G iPhone 3GS selling for $175.

The LG930 features 4.5-inch HD display with a 1,280 by 720 resolution, dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front camera, 1080p video storage, 4GB of internal memory, 32GB MicroSD card slot, battery delivering up to seven hours of talk time, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi and GPS.

The $150 Samsung Exhilarate features a 4-inch display, dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 5-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front cameras, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, 4GB internal storage, 32GB MicroSD slot and up to seven hours of talk time.

Installment-payment plans for smartphones are in the works for later this year.

Consumer Cellular offers five different data plans ranging from 10MB/month to 1GB/month). Customers can pair the device with a plan and make changes at any time without penalty, the company said.

Consumer Cellular sells its service direct to consumers, through more than 800 Sears stores, and through 265 RadioShack franchise stores, having expanded beyond direct selling in 2010 with the launch of sales through the RadioShack franchise locations. The MVNO is also looking to expand to an additional retailer by the end of the year.