Verizon Wireless and HTC today announced availability of the long-awaited HTC ThunderBolt, a new LTE-capable smartphone. The ThunderBolt HTC, which will be exclusive to Verizon Wireless, will be available March 17 for $249.99 with a new two-year contract.
Powered by Android 2.2, the ThunderBolt is the first smartphone to run on Verizon’s new LTE network. The ThunderBolt features the latest version of the HTC Sense experience, a 4.3-inch touchscreen, 8-megapixel front-facing camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 8 GB of internal memory expandable up to 32 GB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a built-in kickstand for viewing media.
Additionally, the ThunderBolt will feature 4G LTE optimized apps such as EA’s Rock Band, Gameloft’s Let’s Golf, Tunewiki and Bitbop.
Customers who purchase the ThunderBolt are required to sign up for a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and LTE data package. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access and an unlimited LTE data plan is $29.99 monthly access.
The ThunderBolt also features mobile hot spot technology, which allows users to connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Mobile Hotspot will be included through May 15 for no additional charge. After May 15, customers may choose to activate Mobile Hotspot for $20 for 2 GB of data per month.
At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, Verizon said that its LTE network covered about a third of the country (38 markets) with plans to add 140 more markets, covering two-thirds of the United States population by the end of 2011.
Verizon says customers can expect download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in its LTE coverage areas.