What Does Verizon Opening Up Their Network Really Mean?

In case you haven’t heard by now Verizon Wireless has decided to open up their network to outside mobile handsets, devices, and applications that meet a set of minimum technical standards. Essentially any device manufacturer that meets Verizon’s requirements can create mobile phones, PDAs, gadgets for your car, gaming platforms, etc., that will run on arguably the best network in the nation that historically has been the most proprietary of the big four wireless carriers.

From a BlackBerry standpoint, I imagine that we will start seeing devices with all the features enabled which is enough to get me excited about this announcement. What, however, does this mean on a broader scale?

Is Verizon starting to see signs of times to come? Wireless carriers here in the United States largely control what devices consumers use or don’t use on their networks. Verizon undoubtedly is the king of this practice. Maybe they realize that their competitors networks are improving and eventually “The Network” will become “The Commodity”.

  • tekneek

    Interesting, but what are the benfits of this?

  • http://www.rimarkable.com Robb Dunewood

    Take the blackberry 8830 or BlackBerry Pearl on Verizon for example . They are locked down beyond their factory defaults by Verizon.

    This practice should go away if Verizon opens up their network.

  • tekneek

    So essentially, GPS would be unlocked?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505200126 frankwolftown

    Here’s the real question!
    Does this mean those stupid termination fees will go away?

  • hellno

    This WILL mean alot more when verizon/voda upgrade to GSM/LTE

  • hellno
  • bluehorseshoe

    LOLOL…

    hellno is wrong again as usual. LTE yes, CDMA no. Get with the program if you’re going to talk tech shop with the grown ups. Data is separate from voice. Don’t you get it?

    Back to the article…great to hear they’re going to open up the platform. I guess Google pushed all of the right buttons on this one, so a big thank you goes out to the folks over at Google. Phones shouldn’t be locked down, but I guess companies such as Verizon want to limit the amount of customer service they need to cover/provide while maximizing on the cost for those services if required. Apple has been doing it for years, yet people still buy. If you can live with it, then so be it. But good news.

  • hellno

    bluehorseshoe,

    You sadly are the one that is constantly wrong about LTE being a GSM technology NOT a cdma aligned technology. Your so desperate to show that cdma is sticking around but in reality it’s not. cdma is declining and will continue to do so till verizon completely replaces it with GSM/LTE. Voda is not pushing verizon to go with LTE so that Voda customers still are unable to use the network in the US which they own half of. The handsets will still need to be able to connect with the network and the standard, open global network GSM. LTE is the icing, but GSM is the cake.

    As the current rimarkable vealot troll says “Get with the program if you’re going to talk tech shop with the grown ups.” Better to learn the facts before grandstanding on false hopes and dreams, and you got lots and lots of growing up to do bluehorseshoe.

    “LTE is a high-speed cellular technology developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project standards organization, known as 3GPP. LTE is an upgrade to High Speed Downlink Packet Access, a GSM implementation of a 3G cellular technology that is capable of providing speeds of up to 10 Mbps and global roaming.”

    “Going forward, however, the carrier’s cellular services arm, Verizon Wireless, will be faced with several challenges as it deploys LTE. Such a deployment will be a natural transition for Vodafone since it already uses GSM/HSDPA technology in Europe, Verizon Wireless uses CDMA technology, which was developed by Qualcomm and is incompatible with GSM/HSDPA. Verizon could have chosen a next-generation CDMA technology as an upgrade, but both Vodafone and Verizon have stated in the past that choosing LTE as a common platform would allow their customers to roam freely between the carriers’ networks.”

    “CDMA operator Verizon Wireless is to trial high-speed next generation network technology in the U.S. in 2008 in a move that aligns it with the GSM world’s prefered global standard for fourth-generation (4G) wireless broadband. ”

    “Qualcomm Inc. is the key loser, as the CDMA 4G migration path is abandoned… Qualcomm has yet to license LTE… Other CDMA carriers will now need to consider their steps as the ecosystem shrinks,”

    “HSPA and EV-DO are not compatible technologies, which means Vodafone and Verizon Wireless subscribers can’t roam onto each others’ networks, and the two operators can’t enjoy economies of scale from joint procurements. Adopting the same network technology would allow the two operators to work more closely together, potentially cut costs, and enable their subscribers to roam onto each other’s networks. Verizon Wireless currently has more than 62 million subscribers, while Vodafone has more than 200 million customers around the world.”

    Voda is not changing course for 62 million vealots. 2.5 BILLION plus GSM customers are not changing to a closed, proprietary, declining cdma technology. Grow up and face facts, verizon is upgrading to LTE a GSM technology, but in all your genius moves you went backwards from having T-Mo with standard, open, global, GSM technology to cdma technology with verizon is DUMPING. Even old verizon can see there is no future in cdma.

    Verizon dumps CDMA for GSM-based LTE in 4G networks
    http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/21/verizon-dumps-cdma-for-gsm-based-lte-in-4g-networks/

  • hellno

    bluehorseshoe,

    “I guess companies such as Verizon want to limit the amount of customer service they need to cover/provide while maximizing on the cost for those services if required.”

    Congratulations thats the typical vealot excuse for verizon’s walled garden. Even thoughts get retarded when one goes backwards from standard, open, global GSM to closed, proprietary, declining cdma technology. So desperate to try to justify a move backwards. verizon and other once cdma providers have been desperately trying to justify the choice of cdma, but as history shows sooner or later cdma is always dumped and the networks rebuilt with standard, open, global, GSM.

    Sorry vealot tricks are for kids.

  • hellno

    Verizon switches standards gears for next-generation network
    http://www.news.com/8301-13579_3-9826437-37.html?tag=nefd.blgs

    “Two days after the company announced plans to open its network to outside devices and applications, it announced plans to switch gears when it comes to future networking technology.

    Verizon Communications and Vodafone, joint owners of Verizon Wireless, plan to use the LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard backed by GSM industry players rather than the UMB (ultramobile broadband) standard backed by Verizon’s current partners.”

    “There’s a host of implications for the industry, but for the phone user, the impact is simple. Right now, if you’re a Verizon or Sprint customer, and you want to travel to many parts of the world, you’ll have to get a rental, if you want to make calls while you’re there. The move toward LTE would bring Verizon into the GSM world and enable travelers to use their phones around the world (for a hefty fee, of course).

    In some ways, the move makes a lot of sense, and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg hinted that this was coming a few months ago.

    The GSM family of standards is used by about 80 percent of the world’s mobile phones–and by major carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Vodafone, and virtually every other European carrier. If Vodafone is already planning to head down the LTE path for its own networks, it’s natural that Vodafone would nudge its subsidiary down a similar path so they could share expertise and get better deals on equipment from companies like Alcatel-Lucent and Nortel Networks.”

  • Thought

    While I’m no engineer, I do think I have to agree with hellno on this issue: that by going to LTE Verizon will indeed be dumping CDMA and going over to the GSM side, albeit in the 4th generation of GSM technology.

    It also makes sense, given Vodafone’s financial interest in VZW, as well as the simple fact that clearly the future trend is to have all cell networks operate on the same technological standard, and clearly, the numbers favor GSM to be that standard.

    Besides, if VZW is really serious about their initiative to open their network, then GSM is clearly the way to go to achieve that.

  • bluehorseshoe

    Verizon is opening their phones, hence the lockdown that everyone has issues with, including myself. As for the change to LTE, that won’t happen until 2010, most likely later. As for how they roll it out, that’s yet another question that needs to be answered.

    I’m all for faster, better technology, but I’m also realistic about making decisions for today and it’s use. When 4G rolls out, then we’ll see. T the, we’ll be chatting about 5G.

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  • JHP2

    As to early termination fees going away, they will likely go away when we adopt a model like China where the phone is something you buy for yourself. As long as carriers are subsidizing phones, they will want their money back when you leave their network. Fortunately, carriers are beginning to prorate the ETF. No free lunch unfortunately.

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