NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Verizon said Tuesday that its first 4G smartphone, the HTC ThunderBolt, will be available in stores and online starting March 17 for $249.99 with a two-year contract.
It was a long awaited announcement, as the ThunderBolt will be the first phone to take advantage of Verizon's 4G LTE network -- which offers download speeds of 5 to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5Mbps.
The ThunderBolt runs on Google's Android 2.2 and is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm (QCOM, Fortune 500). It features two cameras, a kickstand for media viewing, 8GB of onboard memory and a pre-installed 32GB microSD card.
The phone can be used as a mobile hotspot to share Internet connectivity with up to eight Wi-Fi devices. Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) will include hotspot service for free through May 15. After that date, the service can be activated for $20 for 2GB of data per month.
Calling plans start at $39.99 per month, and unlimited 4G data plans cost $29.99 per month.
The ThunderBolt supports Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) mobile services including Gmail and YouTube, and it features 4G-optimized apps including EA's (ERTS, Fortune 500) Rock Band, Gameloft's Let's Golf, Tunewiki, and Bitbop.
Earlier this month, a comScore report showed the Android operating system became No. 1 in terms of market share in January, beating out Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry for the first time. Android passed Apple's iOS in November, according to comScore.
Meanwhile, it's unclear how successful the Verizon iPhone has been as of yet. It went on sale last month, but Verizon has stayed mum on sales figures. A Verizon spokesman has said the company won't release those figures until its corporate earnings report.
Investors need someone they can bring home to mother instead of bad boys (or girls) that may make their heart beat faster. Boring beats bold in this market. Here are 10 dependable stocks we love. Southwest (ticker symbol: LUV) is one. More
Cheap oil and slow global growth may not be the only culprits of the global market turmoil. There's growing concern that central banks are spooking the markets too. More
Women coders do better than men in a gender-blind study that examines GitHub requests. More
Why is Donald Trump missing from Bleacher Creatures' new line of presidential candidates plush dolls? More