Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Verizon Wireless Opening Up Its Network

Some good news on the technical front: Verizon Wireless has decided to open up its network to non-Verizon devices and applications, granted they meet Verizon’s technical standards, whatever they may be. Yahoo! Tech has a good overview that is worth checking out.

Will other networks do the same? For example, I use AT&T, which uses a GSM-based network, unlike Verizon’s CDMA. And GSM offers more flexibility in what mobile phone I can use since it’s a simple matter of swapping out a SIMM card (which makes it easier to use the phone overseas, unlike CDMA). CDMA software, on the other hand, is embedded in the phone. As a result, there is a paucity of unlocked CDMA phones in the marketplace. Hopefully, with this announcement, we’ll see more CDMA phones in the marketplace. So AT&T might not jump on board right away by opening up its network, but it must be thinking about it at least.

On of the benefits we might see with Verizon Wireless opening up its network is the expansion—even explosion—of third-party mobile phone applications. Instead of buying an expensive data package through Verizon, a user can build a custom package specifically designed to his or hers specifications, whether it’s ad-supported (like Google) or fee-based.

Whatever happens, it’s a watershed moment for the mobile phone industry, which has been a slow growth industry for a while now.

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