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Tuesday March 22, 2011 12:24 pm

Verizon 4G LTE network to reach 59 more cities by end of 2011

Verizon 4gVerizon Wireless on Tuesday announced an additional 59 markets that will have access to its 4G LTE network by year's end, including Tuscon, Sacramento, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Portland.

Verizon launched its LTE network in December with 39 markets, and unveiled 49 more at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, so Tuesday's announcement will bring the total number of cities with LTE access to 147 by the end of the year.

"Aggressively expanding this powerful network beyond major metro areas reflects the reality that the 4G LTE ecosystem is growing quickly," David Small, chief technical officer for Verizon, said in a statement. "Our commitment to reach deep into medium-sized cities and smaller communities by the end of 2011 means the power of 4G LTE can be harnessed and provide advanced services to law enforcement, healthcare workers, educators, and other professionals, as well as to individual consumers, sooner than many thought possible."

Those smaller communities include Decatur, Ala., Fort Smith, Ark., Lafayette, Ind., and more. Other larger cities on the list include Albuquerque, Omaha, Spokane, Tulsa, Albany, and Santa Fe.

The first smartphone for Verizon's 4G LTE network, the HTC Thunderbolt, made its debut on March 17 (see our HTC Thunderbolt unboxing.) The device runs Android 2.2 and includes a 4.3-inch WVGA display, HD video recording, and wireless DLNA capability. It runs a 1-GHz Snapdragon processor and includes HTC Sense 2.0. There's an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat.

It's available now for $249.99 and a two-year Verizon contract.

The HTC Thunderbolt was one of 10 4G LTE devices that Verizon unveiled at CES this year. Other phones in the works include the LG Revolution, the Motorola Droid Bionic, and an unnamed smartphone from Samsung.

Last month, Verizon said it completed its first successful test of voice over LTE. The carrier's 4G network currently only supports data. Verizon has said that at least until late 2012, LTE phones will make all of their voice calls on Verizon's 3G network, jumping up to LTE where it's available for data.

This article, written by Chloe Albanesius, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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