Basking Ridge, N.J. - The first 4G phone for the Verizon Wireless LTE network will go on sale March 17 through the carrier's stores and website and through third-party retailers after a delayed launch.
The HTC ThunderBolt 4G was originally targeted for mid-February availability, but the device took longer than expected to pass Verizon Wireless certification tests, an HTC executive said.
Verizon is pricing the phone at $249, but website
is pricing it at $199. Best Buy, the phone's exclusive national retailer, is also pricing it at $249, but only through March 19. On March 20, Best Buy's price goes to $299, which was the price listed in a Feb. 27 Sunday circular that
The prices include embedded 8GB of memory and preinstalled 32GB MicroSD card for a total of 40GB of memory.
The price requires a subscription to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and a 4G LTE data package. Nationwide Talk plans start at $39.99 per month, and the 4G data plan costs $29.99 for unlimited access. The phone's Mobile Hotspot will be active at no charge through May 15, after which the service can be activated for $20 for 2GB of data per month.
In areas covered by 4G LTE, consumers can expect download speeds of 5Mbps to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 2Mbps to 5Mbps, Verizon said.
On March 17, the phone will be available in all Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile stand-alone stores and online at
. Also on that day, Verizon will sell it through its Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at
. Online retailer WireFly will also offer it that day for shipment.
The Android 2.2-based ThunderBolt has a 4.3-inch 800 by 480 WVGA touchscreen, 1GHz processor, DLNA, 720p video capture, kickstand, 8GB embedded memory, MicroSD slot supporting 32GB cards, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, hot spot capability supporting up to eight Wi-Fi devices, 8-megapixel back cameras with 720p video capture, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for Skype video chats, FM tuner and assisted GPS.
The phone operates in 4G mode in Verizon's 700MHz LTE network and in 3G CDMA Rev. A mode in the carrier's 850/1900MHz network.