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Delayed 4G ThunderBolt Ready For Its Close-Up

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

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

advertised the device


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.