Verizon Wireless To Open Itself Up
Yesterday morning, the Basking Ridge, N.J., firm announced that it would let customers use a far wider variety of phones -- and any software that they want -- by the end of 2008:
In early 2008, the company will publish the technical standards the development community will need to design products to interface with the Verizon Wireless network. Any device that meets the minimum technical standard will be activated on the network. Devices will be tested and approved in a $20 million state-of-the-art testing lab which received an additional investment this year to gear up for the anticipated new demand. Any application the customer chooses will be allowed on these devices.
The whole move seems completely out of character. Verizon has been a force for good in many parts of the wireless business. Most notably, it was the first major carrier to back wireless number portability. However, it's kept a tight grip on the hardware and software of the phones it sells. Cynical observers could be forgiven for wondering if the whole thing is a trap.
From what Verizon's disclosed so far, this all seems to be for real. At a teleconference yesterday morning, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam and other executives repeatedly said the company's compatibility tests would focus only on basic technical standards, would cost little to run and would not be any sort of ordeal. "We do not expect this will be a difficult or lengthy process, since we will only be testing network connectivity," said McAdam.
The company hasn't said anything specific about the pricing of this bring-your-own-device service and doesn't plan to until early next year. But McAdam did say that it would offer "very different" pricing for low-bandwidth devices like utility meters.
During the teleconference, Verizon Wireless executives also said that any phone running Google's Android software would be welcome under this system, as long as it runs on the CDMA standard Verizon and Sprint use. For the same reason, any Sprint phone that passed Verizon's compatibility testing would also pass muster -- but the iPhone, which only works on GSM systems such as AT&T, could not.
I'm seriously intrigued by all this. And you?
Posted by: Fred Powledge | November 28, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Ronnie | November 28, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: WA2CHI | November 28, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rich | November 28, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ugh | November 29, 2007 5:06 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Jim A. | November 29, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mike | November 29, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Yves Zouzouambe | November 29, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org | December 2, 2007 2:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: JohnJ | December 3, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Wes | December 3, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Kandoras | December 22, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.