Very surprising and welcome announcement from Verizon Wireless yesterday:
"Verizon Wireless today announced that it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company. Verizon Wireless plans to have this new choice available to customers throughout the country by the end of 2008…
'This is a transformation point in the 20-year history of mass market wireless devices — one which we believe will set the table for the next level of innovation and growth,' said Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless president and chief executive officer."
Lowell's right. And Verizon Wireless is right to open up. There's plenty of room to be cynical about this; after all, Verizon Wireless is trying to STOP the FCC from putting an openness requirement on the 700Mhz spectrum to be auctioned. Very well-informed Om Malik posts: "Do we really believe that Verizon is going to be happy being Pipes-R-Us?" He point out many ways this there may be less to this announcement than meets the eye.
As an optimist, I think Verizon's acting in enlightened self-interest which is just great. Here are some of the factors which may have influenced their decision:
If you're torn between my optimism and Om's pessimism, Galeal Zino suggests a test:
"Let's see which comes first:
1. Articles about the millions of dollars of deep packet inspection and payload-based billing systems that Verizon is going to incorporate in order to "manage" their soon to be "open" network.
2. Articles about third-party mobile devices that interop with Verizon's network, using CDMA for voice when necessary, and using unrestricted IP to place VoIP calls using third-party solutions when more appropriate."
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