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Verizon promises open device, software access

updated 08:35 am EST, Tue November 27, 2007

Verizon Any App Any Device

Verizon today hoped to shake up the US cellular industry by announcing a new strategy that will allow customers more choice of their own hardware and software. Nicknamed "Any Apps, Any Device," the option will let any cellphone, computer, or similar device that meets a certain minimum technical threshold run on the carrier's network and use its services. Testing will also certify those devices not already offered by Verizon to greenlight them for the company's network, the company says. These devices will be able to use any software users like rather than what Verizon dictates for its own handsets.

The provider sees the expansion as a "transformation" for the industry but notes that its core strategy of offering locked phones with customized, controlled software will remain intact. Whether prices will change for service plans for unrestricted devices is unknown, but the technical guidelines will be published by early 2008 and will see the open service available across all of Verizon's service areas by the end of 2008.

The move is largely considered an attempt to win favor with the government and public for the upcoming FCC auction of the 700MHz spectrum, which is expected to serve as the basis for future cellular or wide-area Internet services. Verizon recently dropped its resistance to open access rules won by Google for the auction despite a short-lived lawsuit and allegations that Verizon was engaged in questionable lobbying of Martin to allow auction winners to lock down access.

Google's Android platform and the accompanying Open Handset Alliance are also regarded as factors in Verizon's decision to open its network. The Linux-based mobile OS is designed in part to break the hold carriers have on software by allowing developers to easily write programs that can be freely installed and take advantage of specialized hardware features, such as Bluetooth or GPS.

Sprint and T-Mobile are already part of the OHA and may be joined by AT&T, though Verizon has yet to announce any plans to do the same.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Right

    Sure they do. I'll believe it when (a) I see it, and (b) after 10 years, when they don't change their mind.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    The REAL iPhone Effect?

    This could be the REAL iPhone effect: Opening closed phone networks to FULL customer choice.

    As long as we pay our bills, why shouldn't we be allowed to use whatever equipment we prefer on a cellular network?

  1. lockhartt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2000

    0

    @diamondsw

    I agree... I don't see how this is aimed at the MacBook Pro crowd at all. If you crank it up to the high end (2.6GHz, 2GB, 256MB VRAM, Vista Ultimate), you're comparable pricewise... but the display is trash compared to the MacBook Pro's (and it's running Vista).

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    heh

    So Verizon is going to switch to the international GSM network that allows sim cards? How much extra monthly fee will that be for the vOpen? Probably will $60 extra per month to use a phone with Sim Card after adding up all the little access charges including vTube, vDial... Of course vStore would be free, but at $3 per ringtone.

  1. phillymjs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2000

    0

    brought to you by...

    ...the same people who disable all the nifty features in their phones so they can sell them back to you.

    It's a trick-- get an ax.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: heh

    So Verizon is going to switch to the international GSM network that allows sim cards?

    Where does it say that? Maybe they're going to start a whole new network type, so you have to license their technologies and make sure you pay your 'fair share'.

    Nah! That doesn't sound like them at all...

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: The REAL iPhone Effec

    This could be the REAL iPhone effect: Opening closed phone networks to FULL customer choice.

    Excuse me? What about the iPhone is about opening closed phone networks to full choice? Apple has done their best to keep the iPhone on a nicely closed network following their rules. There's absolutely nothing 'open' about the iPhone.

  1. ender

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 1999

    0

    combo effect

    I wouldn't say it's an iPhone effect. But the combination of the iPhone, Android, and the upcoming open bandwidth auction may be finally putting the pressure on US cell networks to loosen their grip a bit.

    And yes, testudo, the iPhone is closed (for now). But the fact that the handset manufacturer decided what to include on the phone, rather than the carrier, is still a major win.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: combo effect

    And yes, testudo, the iPhone is closed (for now). But the fact that the handset manufacturer decided what to include on the phone, rather than the carrier, is still a major win.

    So we're now rejoicing over who it is who decides what we can and can't do. Isn't that nice. I remember a time when the consumer was the one who made the choices.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    but Verizon will still

    continue to cripple the features in the phones we offer, even though it costs extra to remove pre-existing capabilities.

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