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Verizon Offers 4G Casio Smartphones

Zacks Equity Research

Verizon Wireless, unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) recently unveiled hardy 4G smartphones from CASIO. G'zOne Commando promises durability, which is powered with the 4G network technology. This smartphone has undergone military testing that certifies its functionality even in harsh conditions.

A similar move was noticed last week by AT&T, Inc. (T), which announced the launch of 4G LTE smartphone – NEC Terrain – in collaboration with NEC Corp.  The phone will be available from Jun 21 in AT&T’s stores for $199.99 on a two-year contract.

Verizon is riding high on smartphone sales with the introduction of devices that would boost data revenue going forward. The company’s smartphone penetration increased to 61%. It activated 7.2 million smartphones during the first quarter, of which 28% were new users. During the quarter, the company introduced numerous devices to attract customers to 4G LTE that covers over 28% of the total retail post-paid connections.

The new gadgets include Samsung ATIV Odyssey, the BlackBerry Z10, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, the Verizon 4G LTE USB Modem UML295 by Pantech, and the Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L by Novatel Wireless. The company’s 4G LTE Router – an Internet access gadget compatible with both wired and Wi-Fi-enabled devices – will likely gain popularity in the coming days.

Furthermore, Verizon is moving quickly to acquire more spectrum licenses that will support its data services. The company received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (:FCC) to buy wireless spectrum from SpectrumCo -- a joint venture between Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) and Bright House Networks -- for $3.9 billion in Aug 2012.

We believe the company’s ability to capture additional market share via robust deployment of the 4G network coupled with an array of advanced devices would catapult significant market traction, leading to top and bottom-line growth going forward.

Verizon, currently has Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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