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Cellphones Handhelds Wireless Networking Hardware

Verizon Wireless To Open Network 286

Posted by kdawson
from the bring-your-own dept.
A number of readers are letting us know about Verizon's plans, announced today, to open their nationwide wireless network to devices that they don't sell. A NYTimes blog posting puts VZW's announcement in industry context. From the press release: "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."
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Verizon Wireless To Open Network

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  • Google pressure (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:11PM (#21495459)
    It looks like they feel the heat from the big G.
  • by jtara (133429) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:16PM (#21495541)
    I wonder how much the Amazon Kindle has to do with this? (The Kindle uses EVDO through Sprint to download books, and Amazon picks up the tab for the airtime.)

    It seems to me like this is more oriented toward that type of specialized device, rather than simply a "bring your own phone" option.

    I think Verizon may have realized that there is potentially a huge new market to be tapped, which could go to WiFi or other carriers if they don't provide the ability to use these type of devices on their network.

  • by lstellar (1047264) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:17PM (#21495551) Homepage
    ...until Verizon defines "technical standards," fleshes out billing methods and joins the Google alliance (along with Sprint/Nextel and T-Mobile). Until then, this just sounds like evil Verizon trying to up their Karma modifier.
  • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:19PM (#21495587)
    IMHO, that's untrue. My company has used Verizon for years, and they are NOT becoming more friendly towards us. They have better PR people now, but they are just as much on the lookout for "revenue leak" as they've always been. Any company that treats their customer as opponents in some sort of battle for cash is not customer friendly. A good business deal should benefit both parties involved. That's not done by screwing your customers.
  • Ok cool, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aztektum (170569) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:31PM (#21495769)
    Competition is a good thing

    However...

    While most Verizon Wireless customers prefer the convenience of full service, the company is listening through today's announcement to a small but growing number of customers who want another choice without full service.
    Would they mind defining what "without full service" means? Also, how much more are they going to gouge "bring your own" customers? There's always a catch/hook/rub/premium for have it your way.

    I never understood why the obsession with mobile companies locked phones/formats? Right, lockin so you can only buy their ringtones and use their premium services. But I worked at Sprint for a couple years and at that time they lost their asses on phone swaps. Wouldn't it be easier if they simply sold service, supported open standards and reduced operating costs by not stocking a giant cache of crappy phones they cover under replacement. That has to chew into those premium service profits really fast.

    Offer a solid damn service and let people fight Motorola, Samsung, Sanyo, etc over device issues. It's like expecting the gas station attendant to fix your tranny after he tops you off.
  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by timbck2 (233967) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <2kcbmit>> on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:35PM (#21495817) Homepage
    For the iPhone to work on Verizon's network, one of two things has to happen:

    (1) Apple releases a CDMA version of the iPhone

    (2) Verizon changes their network over to GSM nationwide.

    (2) isn't going to happen. (1) might, but not until AT&T's exclusive on the iPhone has expired (2012?)
  • Complete Non Story (Score:0, Insightful)

    by birdowner (635361) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:37PM (#21495859)
    While this sounds like a grand announcement, compare this with GSM networks (like T-mobile or AT&T). You can already use any GSM phone, even one that T-mobile does not sell. You don't need their permission, and it doesn't have to be approved in their "state of the art" testing facility. If anything, this news brings them closer to the device independence of GSM, but is still not completely there.
  • by DamonHD (794830) <d@hd.org> on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:42PM (#21495941) Homepage
    ...from most carriers anyway (some like Orange have a fee to get phones on or off their network).

    Ie, if you have a GSM or 3G phone and a SIM card then you can just use it in the UK.

    You'll have to pay the carrier for the SIM and traffic of course, but from any reasonable device you want.

    Rgds

    Damon

    PS. I think most Europeans, used to being behind on technology, are baffled by the US phone 'notwork'...
  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DECS (891519) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:45PM (#21495971) Homepage Journal
    Well Verizon Wireless is almost entirely CDMA2000+ EVDO, while the iPhone uses GSM + EDGE. Unless Verizon rolls out a huge WiFi network, the iPhone won't be able to use Verizon's network. On the other hand, it appears that the move was pushed by the popularity of the iPhone, and the threat of Google. With Verizon locked out of 27% of the US mobile phone market within just a few months of iPhone sales*, it wants/needs as much telephony tied to CDMA2000 as possible as a counterbalance. If Google can buy up and deploy open networks on the old analog TV spectrum within a few years, that would leave Verizon's ~$5 billion new CDMA2000/EVDO networks a vast, unsalable investment that can't be monetized in the subsidy lock model of the 90s.

    *iPhone Grabs 27% of US Smartphone Market [roughlydrafted.com]
  • Bait and Switch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mpapet (761907) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:52PM (#21496067) Homepage
    The tiger can't change its stripes and I don't expect Verizon to either.

    from the summary: "Devices will be tested and approved"

    This is the classic strategy whereby they get bragging rights "It's wide open!!!" and yet mysteriously few, if anything will ever get on because of the details conspicuously absent from the announcement.

    1. How much does testing cost?
    2. How much does approval cost?
    3. Once it's approved, how much is the daily/weekly/monthly tax the device/app builder pays to Verizon?

    This is Extreme Marketing 101. All the hot oil you can dream up and no popcorn.
  • by Alcoholic Dali (1024937) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @03:29PM (#21496599)
    Verizon is opening it's network up as a response to the likely chance that Google is going to win the FCC run auction for the highly discussed 700MHz spectrum.

    Google is going to open up that spectrum and forcibly alter how the cell phone industry works in the United States. Verizon, not wanting to be outdone, is sort of pre-empting this by saying they will now open up their own network.

    The cell phone industry in this country is going to get shaken real soon, and it's going to be nothing short of awesome.
  • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @03:43PM (#21496787)
    The 700 MHz spectrum auction is supposed to happen before Jan 28, 2008. Verizon's announcement says the technical specifications will be released in "early 2008". Sounds to me like it's to discourage any further mandates by the FCC on the bidding process, and to provide a disincentive for any other bit players thinking of lining up behind Google. "Oh, there's no need to mandate any more openness requirements, we're already going to do it. See, look at this announcement we made. What? Of course we're going to follow through on it. Trust us." It's pretty pathetic that I'm this cynical of Verizon's motives, but that cynicism comes from 3 years experience as a customer.
  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davester666 (731373) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @04:02PM (#21497123) Journal
    It might just be me, but Verizon could totally kick start this by NOT CRIPPLING THE PHONES THEY SELL. Stop removing features the manufacturers already developed, that end-users might actually want and use, just so they have to download a ringtone from Verizon.com...
  • Re:No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SleepyHappyDoc (813919) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @04:08PM (#21497215)
    That would require AT&T to be as stupid as Apple was smart. I doubt they'd leave such a gaping hole in an exclusivity agreement.

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