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Friday, March 21, 2008

Verizon Wireless is Opening Its Network! What Does That Mean?


On Wednesday, March 19, 2008, Verizon announced the details of its Any Apps, Any Device plan which will lead to a greater variety of phones and mobile applications available on their network. How will this affect you? Well, first some back story...

Mobile phone providers in the US (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile) have a lot more control over the consumer than mobile providers in other countries. Here in the US, providers lock their phones and lock their customers into contracts to prevent them from moving to another service.

Verizon has always been the biggest and the baddest of the bunch, but has gotten away with it largely because they have, arguably, the nation's best network.

Whereas most mobile phones in the world are JAVA based, Verizon cleverly adopted BREW as their software standard, mainly because it gives them more control over what their customers can and can't put on to their phones (smart phones excluded as they come with their own operating systems). If Verizon customers want to download any type of content on their phones, whether it be music, ringtones, videos or applications, they need to purchase it through Verizon's proprietary operating system. This has been very limiting for customers.

So back to the original announcement. What does it mean?
1) Verizon is going to allow its customers to freely download content from other sources.
2) Verizon will allow any device that supports its technology to run on its network.
3) Customers will be able to choose extent of their relationship with Verizon, which means no equipment contracts or early termination fees.

You may be wondering... does this mean you can run an iPhone on Verizon's network? Nope. Not yet anyway. Right now the iPhone is a GSM phone and does not support Verizon's CDMA technology.

Verizon's announcement will allow for more innovation, not only in mobile phones, but all types of mobile devices. This is a major step for mobile freedom in the United States!

Source: Gizmodo

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