Monday, November 26, 2007

Verizon Wireless to Allow "Any Apps, Any Device" on its CDMA Network

Verizon Wireless announced that it will allow customers the option to use "any application and any device" on its nationwide wireless network by the end of 2008.

Verizon Wireless will publish a basic set of technical standards and then certify devices able to access its network, but the device manufacturer and/or application provider would be responsible for supporting it. Customers will have the option of buying their own CDMA device and activating it online or via an 800-number. However, the company believes the majority of its customers will continue to use its full-service offerings.

Pricing for the "bring your own device" service has not been announced, however Verizon Wireless executives indicated that the company would be open to different models for different applications and markets.

Following publication of technical standards, Verizon Wireless will host a conference to explain the standards and get input from the development community on how to achieve the company's goals for network performance while making it easy for them to deliver devices.

"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. "Verizon Wireless is not changing our successful retail model, but rather adding an additional retail option for customers looking for a different wireless experience."

Some industry reactions:

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin -- "As I noted when we adopted open network rules for our upcoming spectrum auction, wireless customers should be able to use the wireless device of their choice and download whatever software they want onto it. I continue to believe that more openness--at the network, device, and application level--helps foster innovation and enhances consumers' freedom and choice in purchasing wireless service. As I said at the time, I had hoped that our auction rules would ultimately encourage all of the wireless industry to adopt a more open and consumer-friendly industry approach. Today's announcement, along with the Open Handset Alliance's previous announcement of an open platform capable of working on multiple networks, is a significant step towards fulfilling these goals. "

Microsoft's Senior Vice President of the Mobile Communications Business, Pieter Knook -- "Microsoft is very excited to see Verizon Wireless make such a bold move to satisfy the demands of wireless consumers. As people's mobile needs become more sophisticated and varied, they will require smarter and more adaptable mobile devices. We are proud to support any open access that puts more power in people's hands to connect them to the information they want when and where they want it."

See also