free html hit counter WOW. - John Battelle's Search Blog


By - November 27, 2007

Have to grok this, but this is a big, big deal. From the WSJ:

In a major break with industry practice, Verizon Wireless said it will allow consumers to use any compatible cellphone on its network and allow open access to the Web and third-party applications.

It’s is a reversal for the No. 2 U.S. carrier, which is known to be particularly protective of its network, and an acknowledgment of the direction of the wireless industry. Google Inc. is spearheading a similar move with an open-standards software platform — dubbed Android — and already counts Sprint Nextel Corp. and Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA as allies.

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4 thoughts on “WOW.

  1. Judson says:

    How is this different from letting people buy unlocked phones, and getting a SIM card for verizon? They let you do that before right? If not most carriers do.

  2. Don says:

    The difference appears to be that you can get a phone that doesn’t even require a SIM card if you don’t want one. The only issue would be the phone would have to work on Verizon’s CDMA network, which rules out the iPhone since it’s on AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s GSM network.

    Sorry iPhoners, you’re still stuck with AT&T.

  3. sina says:

    It is a massive deal. Verizon uses CDMA technology, so it isn’t compatible with normal SIM cards like those found in AT&T and T-Mobile phones. Only phones from networks like Sprint (who have allowed unlocked CDMA phones for quite some time) and US Cellular will be able to take advantage of this.

    What’s really significant is that this means that Verizon will allow Android phones to run on their network. Google has stated that it has intentions to bid on the upcoming 700MHz spectrum, however with both Verizon and AT&T, the two largest carriers, saying that they will support Android phones, that may no longer be necessary.

    If Google does still purchase some of the 700Mhz network, it will create a small conflict of interest. Google could possibly subsidize access charges (which are what keep Verizon and AT&T alive) by adding advertising to the Android platform. If that does happens, Verizon and AT&T will be squeezed out of the market, since they don’t have their own monetization platforms or the advertising reach of adwords. Verizon has realized that this will happen if Google bids on the spectrum, and I think this is a defensive move to try and retain it’s position as a carrier in the new open cellular market that the 700MHz spectrum promises to usher in.

  4. roguespammer says:

    Couldn’t have said it better sina. I hate that verizon does not use sim cards now. They’ll probably never make the switch to GSM though.