There are rarely times when someone can honestly say “I told you so!” with integrity. This is one of those times.
Under increasing pressure from Google’s Android initiative, the 700 MHZ auction, the iPhone and Wimax, Verizon made a seminal announcement yesterday that they will be “opening up” their network to all forms of devices and services.
While the devil will be in the details, it appears that Verizon will publish a Verizon standard for devices to utilize its services.
So, while this is not quite the equivalent of ubiquitous Wifi access, it is, however, very significant. The company that touts its network prowess (and rightfully so) has decided that it cannot manage and approve all the applications and services by itself. Verizon is adding the “No deck” option to its existing on- and off-deck services.
If this plan is taken at face value, it will unleash a plethora of new services. These services will add tremendous value to the Verizon network’s investment. The catch will be Verizon’s approval of devices in a company-run test lab. If this testing facility is purely technical, and devoid of business influence, then this plan may work.
The lesson of the Internet is that standardized access and connectivity will generate all forms of applications — some good, some not so good.
The Android initiative is already working.
If this landmark announcement is just a public relations strategy for spectrum auction positioning, then this tactic will serve to distract from and delay the inevitable.
It appears to me that Verizon is serious, time will tell