Thursday, March 17, 2011

HTC Thunderbolt First 4G LTE Verizon Phone

Looks like the first phone that will run on Verizon's new LTE network, the HTC Thunderbolt, comes out today. Much to my surprise and to the surprise of most writers about the story online this week, the phone will retain the same prices for data as their existing 3G phones/plans. It will still be $29.99 for unlimited data. That's very surprising because the Verizon execs have hinted at a tiered pricing plan similar to what ATT does, for the last 6 months or so.

They still left open the door to change to a tiered plan and the rumor now is that might occur sometime during the summer for new plans. My wife and I currently have the Verizon unlimted data plan for both of our Droid X phones. I have been averaging about 750MB per month with the wifey at around 600MB. I'd probably keep unlimited, even if they offered a cheaper capped rate of like $25 for 2GB similar to AT&T, just to have the flexibility to use more data in the future.

If the unlimited data plan for the ThunderBolt stays in place for a while, unlimited plans could also apply to three other LTE smartphones coming from Verizon: the LG Revolution, the Droid Bionic 4G and the Samsung 4G LTE.

That should definitely help keep the momentum going for Verizon and so far so good. I haven't seen any major slowdowns or issues since the iPhone was added to the network recently.

That means that all the commercials about Verizon customers not being able to talk on the phone and do other things at the same time is no longer valid. Interestingly, the HTC Thunderbolt will also allow people to talk and do other things even on the regular 3G network. Not quite sure how they managed to do that, but that's pretty cool also.

So it looks like pretty much all the carriers are equal in the services they offer going forward. Assuming the next generation iPhone 5 is 4G/LTE compatible, that will even the playing field even more. Now it's pretty much just a matter of what company offers the best coverage and best plan/pricing for your particular situation.

What's your plan for your next Smartphone upgrade? Plan to switch carriers or switch phones anytime soon? We look forward to what new and exciting options will be available when our next upgrade date happens in 18 months!


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