Verizon's Open Development Initiative? So Far It's A Joke
Opinion: open access plan more PR than substance...
Late in 2007
, Verizon made a big deal about "opening up" their wireless network. The announcement got a huge amount of kudos from the press, the news wires filling with talk about how Verizon had turned a corner and embraced the new, open wireless paradigm (either voluntarily or by force). In reality, Verizon Wireless executives were never going to fully embrace being a "dumb pipe" provider, but for some reason, they were given the benefit of the doubt.
We will allow customers to connect any device that meets our minimum technical standards, and be activated on our network.
We do not expect this to be a difficult or lengthy process, since we will only be testing network connectivity.
-Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam in 2007
It's now 2009, and Verizon's open access initiative is by and large a no show. Verizon Wireless says they've certified 29 wireless devices
that can run on its network sold by independent vendors, but none of them are consumer devices, and many aren't commercially available. Sure, it's great that the nation's prison system can connect the "Behavioral Intervention offender tracking wireless anklet" to Verizon's EVDO network, but that's not exactly what people had in mind.
"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 Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam in a 2007 press release
"We will allow customers to connect any device that meets our minimum technical standards, and be activated on our network," said McAdam. "We do not expect this to be a difficult or lengthy process, since we will only be testing network connectivity
." Did we mention that was late 2007?
Buried in McAdam's comments -- but ignored by the press -- was his statement that "Verizon Wireless is not changing our successful retail model," but rather "adding an additional retail option for customers looking for a different wireless experience." In other words, Verizon was saying they'd keep their primary focus on crippled handsets, while making freedom and choice a luxury tier. A luxury tier that will all but certainly come with costly metered billing to counter any revenue lost from users wandering off of the Verizon reservation.
But even that has yet to materialize.
For now, the best we're getting is glacial progress and lip service. For those not impressed by EVDO-capable prison anklets, Verizon attempted to wow attendees at CES by announcing they might, sometime, be making their EVDO network open to competitors of the Amazon Kindle
. Tony Lewis, who's in charge of Verizon's certification system, did note this week that real consumer devices (like oh, smartphones) are taking longer than expected:
Lewis said consumer electronics devices were taking longer to get to the certification stage because they tended to include multiple features and as a result were more complicated than single-purpose data devices such as trackers.
Sure, shaking off decades of telco-think, creating a functional testing process, testing devices and opening the network takes time. But you get the distinct impression Verizon Wireless is stalling, terrified of the monsters (mobile VoIP, non-Verizon content) on the other side of the open network door. What wireless industry exec would be in a hurry to cannibalize revenues made from services like SMS/MMS, ringtones, media and voice?
Here's a crazy theory: Verizon's Open Development Initiative is 90% public relations, designed to stall change, not usher it forward.
Here's a crazy theory: Verizon's Open Development Initiative is 90% public relations, designed to stall
change, not usher it forward.
When regulators (and Google
) began pressuring Verizon in 2007 about truly opening up their networks during the 700Mhz spectrum disputes, Verizon took an existing plan to open their EVDO network up to the industrial sector, and dressed it up as revolutionary. The un-critical technology press helped sell it.
The resulting stage show got regulators off of Verizon's back, while providing oodles of positive press lauding Verizon for being a progressive company, despite them never having accomplished anything of note. We've yet to see a third party truly open smartphone released under this program. More importantly, -- we've yet to see the bandwidth pricing model or the restrictions Verizon is planning to apply to it.
Yes, it's probably inevitable that Verizon is going to have to truly open up their network fully. But for now, open access absolutely terrifies
mobile carriers, who see it as utterly apocalyptic. When it comes to truly allowing any device and application on their mobile networks, have absolutely no doubt that carriers like Verizon Wireless will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming.
said by anonuser6606 :Wow, DSLR is just as I remember it. A bunch of self proclaimed experts spouting off nonsense as usual.
Verizon, you are a joke for not adapting to the Gsm Network Technology instead of using outdated Fred Flintstone, Cdma technology and maybe listen and try this messege and maybe, you will have better luck!!! This is sarcasm and its me talking out my butthole. "Sarcasm Off!"
Just for your information, CDMA is a multiplexing method, and is plenty more advanced than TDMA, which GSM is (or was) using. The new GSM standards are based on CDMA.
Re: Here is 1 device certified that can be used by consumers
said by Karl Bode:They can be used in the home, right?
The BT-6600 is a $600 business modem.
The BT-6621 is an $850 business router.
Re: Here is 1 device certified that can be used by consumers Much business gear can be used in the home. It doesn't make them consumer gear. I guess it does if you're just trying to be obnoxious and make a point without adhering to the rules of logic...
| |RadioDocPremium,ExMod 2000-03
La Grange, IL
Re: Here is 1 device certified that can be used by consumers I wouldn't wander too far off in that direction, since most advanced "consumer" cell phones are in the $400-$600 range if not subsidized by the carrier.
Toolmaster of La Grange.
| || |said by FFH:Honestly, you can do the same thing with an old PC, a $29 Verizon USB modem and pfSense. I use my verizon air card as a backup for my whole network when the power goes out (and so does cable) all the time. said by Karl Bode:
The BT-6600 is a $600 business modem.
The BT-6621 is an $850 business router.
They can be used in the home, right?
rate plans Process is open, only a couple $1000 to certify the device. Actually, as far as I know, VZ doesn't require any fees to certify the devices, and the process is all self certify (fill out the paper work with various statistics, sign it, mail it to VZ). The only problem is the AGPS accuracy test requires a trip to VZW's headquarters in NJ for a baseline GPS position.
Now the reason nobody wants to jump at the opportunity is, because VZ doesn't guarantee any rate plans or their features or their price. So you don't want to release a device that will get a sticker shock price increase on its plan, or you can't profit from the monthly fees for the device, or get the device subsidy that the user created by signing a contract with VZ (VZ takes the subsidy).
So thats why nobody is releasing any consumer devices.
Re: Makes me glad that I live in the UK.... Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon Wireless. You can bet that they'd be doing the same thing in the UK if the government would let them.
Not regulating which technologies mobile phone companies can use lead to a multitude of incompatible networks (GSM, UMTS, iDEN, CDMA2000) in the US.
It also, however, lead Qualcomm to develop IS-95 (CDMAone). In Europe, that never would have happened, because everyone was required to use GSM.
Guess what? Large portions of UMTS are based on technologies developed by Qualcomm for CDMA.
So, yeah, I guess I'll put up with only having two national GSM/UMTS provider choices (T-Mobile and AT&T).
Regulation always has consequences. Some of them are good (compatibility between networks). Some of them are bad (stifling innovation in new mobile technologies).