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What is Verizon's strategy?

There's been some serious buzz in the last 24 hours about Verizon's decision to allow any device, not just Verizon certified devices, to work on its network.  What Verizon is clearly hoping is that by opening up the network they can blunt criticism that they're closed, and get a new crop of devices built for CDMA networks.  CDMA may not be a bad technology, but GSM is clobbering it in the market place. That means that users on CDMA networks are often stuck with expensive and uninspiring handset choices. 

Close to home, Mark Evans calls on Bell and Telus (two more CDMA-loving dinosaurs) to make the same moves.  Perhaps the best choice for Canadian consumers would be for them to euthanize these evolutionary dead-ends, replace them with GSM networks, and give us real competition with Rogers.

Om Malik sees more questions left unanswered and questions Verizon's motives.  Indeed, while Verizon is unlocking their wireless networks, they're simultaneously pursuing a forebearance action at the FCC asking that the UNE rules be set aside across a swath of the eastern United States.  If successful, they will shut down CLECs like COVAD throughout the area.  What they give with one hand, they take away with the other.

Verizon hasn't magically transformed into an open networks advocate over night.  What remains to be seen is what they'll do next, now that they've dipped the toe in this pool. 

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Andrew November 28, 2007, 7:23 am

    I keep coming back to 'other devices' – not necessarily phones as the big winner here. Geo-location services etc., can be more readily enabled, traffic monitoring, real-time mobile sales. Traditionally these things are quite expensive and could see some real innovation.

    Things that use small amounts of data, and only require an inexpensive RF chipset could flourish if Verizon lowers the barrier to entry to connection and thinks 'pay as you use' with all non voice devices. Everyone liked the idea of the Microsoft SPOT, but NO ONE would pay 20 a month for it. This might change the landscape a bit.

    Could be very interesting.

  • Thomas Purves November 28, 2007, 7:35 am

    Is there a reason a GSM carrier couldn't do something similar?

    My response to the announcement (I think it's big) here: http://www.thomaspurves.com/2007/11/27/why-do-wir

  • Jason Yeung November 28, 2007, 12:43 pm

    GSM is a 2G technology, old and outdated. If Bell and Telus were to switch, they'll probably start building LTE 4G networks instead. Makes more sense, doesn't it?

    – Jason

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