Just two months after it launched a legal attack against the Federal Communications Commission for embracing open access to the US wireless spectrum, Verizon has embraced open access to the US wireless spectrum. Today, the mega telco announced that it will soon give its wireless customers the option of using devices, software …
I thought "Open Access" was unconstitutional because its against free speech?
Dontcha just lurrrrrrrrrrrrrve Corporate Doubletalk.
Not Open Airwaves, But...
Getting hand-set manufacturers to compete and make more phones only helps Verizion, and it creates no threat to their non-GSM wireless service. This is not an open-airwaves issue, but it could give consumers more choices about phones and mobile operating systems.
This is good news for Windows Mobile, since it could now field devices for the largest wireless carrier. It's an "oh s***" moment for Apple, who locked their beautiful iPhone into one carrier.
And Verizion gets to say they are "open", the world's most successful marketing buzzword.
Those funny VZW guys
A (really important) point lost on non-US readers is that Verizon's network is CDMA/EDVO, not GSM. Cool phones from South Korea might be possible, but to get an iPhone or just about any Nokia onto the VZW newwork would take a bit more work. With a soldering iron. Good luck with that.
Verizon's phones are all sold unlocked (contract or not), and Verizon will already activate anything that can talk to thier network that has a valid, known ESN. Of course nothing but a VZW phone can actually talk to their network, and the phones are completely useless on other networks.
It's really funny to see how much mileage Verizon is getting out of the media on this though. The Euro press, used to a mature and functional wireless market, see this as something new and exciting - look at those cheeky bastards getting the drop on Google! While the US press - mouth-breathing morons for the most part - regurgitate the press release. Mention that 'open network' + 'no frickin hardware' = no change and their eyes glaze over.
The bit in the original press release about 'testing and certificaiton' is the real gotcha though. Take a look at Verizon customer forums to get an idea about how long that takes. I think they are still waiting for their first WM6 device.
Don't some Nokia phones do CDMA, GSM, EDGE, 3G & HSDPA, but not EDVO?
Verizon personal kingdom
The VZW network complies to no standard but their own. Any device you want to use would have to be specifically engineered to the VZW specs. Oh, and don't even consider going to the VZW labs with simulators or prototypes - only full production hardware allowed. So, not only is the actual qualification process longwinded and expensive, but you spend a load of money before you even get there.
Of course, the numpties that regulate the airwaves in the US won't get this...
What about de-lobotomizing?
Would they have to "approve" re-flashing a Moto RAZR to its original firmware, before they _removed_ a boatload of functionality (e.g. moving pictures and ringtones directly to/from it over USB or bluetooth, rather than paying for a circuitous jouney via their network)? Especially if I was only interested in enabling USB, so there was no valid RF concern? The only way I could see such a device interfering with their precious network is financially. Oh, wait...