Verizon Wireless kicked off CES with a press event filled with 4G devices and LTE-enabled software. The nation’s number one wireless carrier confirmed that it will launching a total of ten LTE equipped devices in the first half of 2011 including four Android smartphones, two Android tablets, two mobile hotspots, and two notebooks. These LTE-enabled devices including the following:
- LG Revolution – 4.3-inch smartphone with Android 2.2/2.3
- HTC Thunderbolt- a “blazing fast” Android smartphone with a 4.3 inch super LCD display, mobile hotspot functionality, Sense UI and integrated Skype Video calling
- Samsung 4G smartphone – no codename was mentioned but the handset will include a 4.3 super AMOLED Plus display, 8-megapixel camera with HD recording and 1.3MP front camera for video calling
- Samsung 4G Galaxy Tab with 1.2 GHz Hummingbird processor and an 7-inch display
- Samsung Mobile hotspot that supports up to five devices at once
- HP Pavilion notebook
- Compaq netbook
- Novatel 3G/4G MiFi hotspot that supports up to five devices at once
Adding to this impressive lineup of eight new LTE devices are two additional offerings introduced yesterday by Motorola. Bringing the final count to ten, these last 4G devices include the DROID Bionic smartphone and the 10.1-inch XOOM tablet.
Besides hardware, Verizon is partnering with software companies like Skype and EA Mobile to enhance the 4G experience for its mobile customers. All 4G smartphones with dual cameras will include an LTE-optimized version of Skype Mobile that promises high-quality video calling. EA Mobile is also on board with LTE and will launch a multiplayer version of Rock Band Mobile that will run over Verizon’s LTE network.
Verizon also confirmed a few extra bonus information during the question and answer part of the press event. When asked about the ability of the 4G network to handle a heavy load, Verizon confirmed that it expects to deliver 5-12 Mbps even on a loaded network. Verizon would not comment on the pricing for these 4G smartphones or devices; the carrier only hinted that the current pricing structures may stay in place, at least initially.
The ability to tether was also brought up by a member of the audience, but Verizon only pointed out that this is an option available on some handsets with integrated mobile hotspot functionality. The carrier would not comment on the ability of any device to tether outside of a mobile hotspot. Verizon was also questioned about world capabilities of its LTE handsets and the ability of the handsets to support simultaneous voice and data. Good news on both ends as the wireless carrier confirming that select devices will support simultaneous voice and data; most will support GSM roaming.