Verizon Wireless confirmed that it has more than 500,000 subscribers using its 4G LTE network. The HTC Thunderbolt, which launched as Verizon’s first 4G LTE phone, is responsible for 260,000 of those subscriptions. The wireless carrier said that it added about 500,000 4G LTE customers this quarter in addition to the 65,000 early adopters who signed on in Q4. Big Red will continue to build out its 4G LTE device portfolio in the coming months. In addition to the HTC Thunderbolt and Samsung DROID Charge – announced on Thursday – it has plans to launch 4G support for the XOOM, an LTE version of the Samsung GALAXY Tab, and the Motorola DROID Bionic later this summer. It also currently offers three 4G LTE USB modems and two 4G LTE hotspot devices. More →
Best Buy Connect — Best Buy’s mobile broadband arm — on Monday announced that customers can now sign up for 4G service. The 4G data service, which was launched through a wholesale agreement with Clearwire, is an option for customers purchasing one of Best Buy’s 23 supported laptop models from Asus, Samsung, Dell, HP, Sony and Toshiba, and Best Buy Connect provides all the service and support. Unlimited access to the 4G WiMAX network will set you back $45 each month with a two-year contract or on a month-to-month basis. If you sign up for a two-year contract, however, Best Buy Connect will waive the $35 activation fee, and Best Buy will knock $150 off the price of “select hardware devices.” Best Buy says that users can sign up for the 4G service nationwide, however access to the 4G WiMAX network is only available in the 70 U.S. markets where Clearwire offers it. Just last week Best Buy announced a new agreement to sell LightSquared’s 4G LTE service under its Best Buy Connect brand, although it’s unclear when that network will be offered. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
WIND Telecom SpA announced on Thursday that the shareholders of Russian mobile operator VimpelCom have voted to approve the acquisition of WIND Telecom for $6 billion. VimpelCom said regulators approved the acquisition as well. The deal covers all of WIND Telecom’s assets, which includes Orascom Telecom, a major WIND Mobile shareholder, and VimpelCom will add nine new markets including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Italy and Canada to the eleven it already covers. When finalized, the purchase will make VimpelCom the world’s fifth largest mobile Teleco with more than 173 million subscribers. “This is great news for us. Our partner, Orascom, will be even larger and stronger as a financial partner. This gives us more leverage and increased scale with telecom network equipment manufacturers and more importantly, for devices including handsets and tablets,” said Anthony Lacavera, WIND Mobile’s chairman, adding that the purchase will give WIND more access to long distance roaming services. Lacavera said he would provide more information as new details on the acquisition emerge.
PC World has published a report that compares the 4G data speeds of both smartphones and laptop modems. As we’ve said in the past, we realize that you’re an AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon Wireless customer because that particular carrier provides the services you want, need, and/or like in your area at a price you can afford. Nonetheless, hit the jump to see who was declared the winner! More →