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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Verizon Wireless opens to 'any apps, any device'

One of the core assertions in my VoIPo3G market model & report is that operators will relax their restrictive and VoIP-hostile terms of services on their 3G+ networks over the next 12-24 months.

Some such as 3 and ONE Austria are already implicitly permitting VoIP, while others like Vodafone are much more restrictive and can actively block VoIPo3G.

I believe the laggards will, by and large, be forced to change their attitude. The combination of direct competition, regulatory intervention, customer demand and emergent threat from WiMAX will act as catalysts - plus the incentive of new revenues from competing head-to-head with fixed DSL and cable broadband for PC connectivity.

I've encountered skepticism from some quarters, with some commentators insisting that carriers are utterly conservative, and will resist VoIP and other competitive 3rd-party applications at all costs. A few people have pretty much offered to eat their hats if this changed.

Which is why I'm feeling rather vindicated today:

"Verizon Wireless today announced that it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company. Verizon Wireless plans to have this new choice available to customers throughout the country by the end of 2008".

Now to be fair, the devil's in the detail & we won't know the full technical specifications - or the price of openness - until Q1 2008. But the line "Any application the customer chooses will be allowed on these devices" seems pretty unequivocal to me.

Would you like your hats fried or toasted?

EDIT - I wonder if this will also mean that Nokia is tempted to start making CDMA Symbian phones?

1 comment:

vinnie said...

yup, wait till the fine print is out. Usually telco "generosity" is unaffordable for most...like the recent T-Mobile - sure we will unlock the iPhone - just pay us another 600 euros...