U.S. Cellular reveals Android, LTE plans

Regional carrier U.S. Cellular will add two new Android handsets and the BlackBerry Bold this year. The provider also is conducting LTE trials.

The Samsung Galaxy S is coming to U.S. Cellular. Kent German/CNET

New smartphones and LTE technology are on their way to U.S. Cellular. During the carrier's quarterly earnings call Thursday, Executive Vice President of Operations Alan Ferber said the RIM BlackBerry Bold, the Android-powered HTC Desire, and a variant of the Samsung Galaxy S Andorid smartphone will land in the carrier's lineup by the end of the year.

Though U.S. Cellular has long offered BlackBerry handsets, the addition of the Desire and the Galaxy S mark an aggressive Android push by the regional carrier. It introduced its first Android handset, the entry-level Samsung Acclaim, only last month, but sold 30,000 Acclaim units the first three weeks.

U.S. Cellular dropped its first hint about the Desire and an Android expansion last April, but at the time offered few details. Both the Desire and Galaxy S, which will land at all four of U.S. Cellular's larger rivals this summer, are high-end line Andorid devices with the 2.1 "Eclair" versions of the operating system.

Ferber also predicted the launch of two unnamed LG smartphones, but did not reveal additional specifics. Currently, LG's smartphone presence in the United States remains very small with just one Android model, Verizon's Ally.

On the network side, Ferber also revealed that U.S. Cellular is working with multiple vendors on development trials for a 4G network. He did not, however, announce a timetable for when LTE would be available to customers.

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