At CES, Verizon Wireless showed off ten new devices that will run on its high-speed LTE mobile network, including tablets, smartphones and mobile hotspots.
When the operator launched its first LTE networks in December, it only offered USB modems that customers could use with their laptops to access the Internet.
The new devices include Android phones from HTC, Motorola, Samsung and LG. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab will come with LTE, as will the Motorola Xoom, a tablet introduced on Wednesday that will run the Honeycomb version of Android. HP and Compaq also are making laptops that will come with built-in LTE connectivity.
LTE is a broadband mobile technology that can deliver download speeds of 5M bps (bits per second) to 12M bps. Verizon has upgraded its network to LTE in 38 markets so far, with another 140 planned this year.
Both Novatel and Samsung will offer mobile hotspots that use LTE for backhaul and let users share the connection over Wi-Fi with as many as five people. The Novatel MiFi will work on the 3G as well as the LTE network.
The LG Revolution and the Samsung 4G LTE smartphones will come with two cameras so the phones can be used for video chat. All Verizon LTE phones with the dual cameras will ship with a new version of Skype, introduced on Thursday, that will offer videoconferencing over LTE.
The new Skype is integrated into the phones, so status information for other Skype Mobile users appears in the contact list on the phone. “The app will always be on. You don’t need to make an appointment to call,” said Tony Bates, CEO of Skype.
All the products will come in the first half, with some arriving as early as March, Verizon said.
Verizon declined to discuss how services or the devices would be priced. However, Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless, said that future plans would follow a similar structure as current plans, so it’s unlikely that the operator will offer an unlimited option. Verizon currently offers two LTE plans that include set amounts of data usage.
Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy’s e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com