Verizon plans to expand its 4G LTE service to 59 more cities by the end of 2011, including Tallahassee, Little Rock, Charleston, Honolulu, and Milwaukee. The mobile broadband network launched last December in 39 markets and Verizon announced 49 more during January's Consumer Electronics Show. In all, the carrier should have at least 147 US cities covered by LTE this year (complete list here).
The list is largely comprised of major cities, but there are a handful of smaller areas such as Decatur, Alabama, and Fort Smith, Arkansas. Verizon says those markets represent its "commitment to reach deep into medium-sized cities and smaller communities by the end of 2011." The carrier vowed to fill its 3G footprint with LTE by 2013, covering 200 million people. We assume this deployment is still on track.
This announcement follows roughly one week after Verizon unveiled its first 4G LTE smartphone, the HTC Thunderbolt. The device runs Android 2.2 Froyo and features a 4.3-inch WVGA display, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, HD video recording, an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel front camera, and wireless DLNA support. Pricing starts at $249.99 with a two-year service contract.