Verizon Wireless – First to Announce Open-ness
Well pigs do fly, hell has frozen over, and [[Verizon Wireless]] plans to allow open-ness.
Now, I've seen it all.
Yesterday, November 27, 2007 Verizon Wireless announced its plan to allow customers to attach devices and run applications not sold by Verizon Wireless on the nation-wide CDMA network – including Sprint phones – by the end of 2008. In a surprise, preemptive move, Verizon Wireless has seized an amazing window of opportunity, promising to publish technical standards for the certification of devices and applications as well as the testing methods for applicant devices. Lowell McAdam (president and CEO) describes the decision as a 'transformation point' in the history of the wireless market.
Apparently, the standards will be presented in a conference next year, to educate developers and manufacturers on what it will take to pass the certification procedure.
By all accounts, Verizon Wireless is serous about enabling a new kind of customer experience for those interested in a different service. As the second-largest mobile operator, Verizon Wireless needs to innovate more than AT&T (the largest), who made big gains this fall with the Apple iPhone deal. This is an attempt to seize the US wireless agenda from AT&T and more recently Google who have made great pronouncements on the mobile world and how it ought to be. Instead of challenging the rules to maintain the walled garden at all cost, Lowell is taking the preemptive step to enable openness on Verizon Wireless' terms. Good strategy.
Of course, Google is at least 2-years away from delivering its first paid wireless subscriber (if it enters and if it wins the 700 MHz auctions)…
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