Verizon Wireless Says Open, Open, Open

November 29th, 2007 - 5:53 am ICT by admin  

In a surprising move that may have a major impact on the U.S. wireless industry, Verizon Wireless announced plans Tuesday to open its wireless network to third-party devices and applications toward the end of 2008. What that means for consumers is that they will be able to use non-Verizon cell phones, smartphones and other wireless devices over the Verizon nationwide network.

Whether consumers will ultimately be able to use any phone and any application though, remains to be seen. Some analysts are warning consumers not to get caught up in the hype, since not all the details are clear.

Still, it does appear that the U.S. wireless industry is moving toward the European model, where mobile phone users can use almost any wireless carrier with just almost any unlocked device.

Sorry, iPhone Users, You’re Out

For now at least, it seems that Verizon won’t be supporting the Apple iPhone.

Michael Gartenberg, a wireless analyst at Jupiter Research explained that the iPhone uses a technology that is totally incompatible with Verizon. That means, “you are not going to be able to take your iPhone to Verizon — no matter what,” he said.

Gartenberg also pointed out that it is still too soon to tell what types of devices Verizon is going to support and who is going to make open devices for its network. “It is a tantalizing announcement,” he said, “but we’ll have to wait for all the details.”

The Pressure’s On

Industry watcher Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence, tells us the announcement does indeed come as a surprise. He said the move shows Verizon has recognized the direction of the market, including Google’s recent launch of Android, an open platform for mobile phones. “It’s also a response to consumer reaction to the iPhone,” he said.

Perhaps more important is the signal this announcement sends to…

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