The Google Effect? Verizon Opens It Up
This week, news broke that Verizon Wireless, the nation's second-largest wireless
network provider, would open
its network to third-party devices and applications
. The move was a major
shift for the telecommunications giant, which -- like other major telcom players
-- has jealously restricted access to its network.
Why the change? In a word: Google.
The same company that has bedeviled Microsoft to no end this century has also
been taking the fight to the telcom sector. As RDN Executive Editor Jeffrey
Schwartz reported, Google on Nov. 5 launched a mobile platform called Android
and formed the Open Handset Alliance with the backing of wireless players like
T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm and Motorola. Google also hinted it might bid on the
new wireless spectrum offered in auction by the FCC.
The moves upped the competitive stakes for wireless incumbents in an arena
already charged by the emergence of public wireless LANs and technologies like
Said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of San Jose, Calif.-based
Enderle Group: "I think it's a realization that the market is about to
change. To be a survivor of the change that's to come, you want to be ahead
of the change and aggressive and not wait until the change starts taking market
share away from you."
For developers, the Verizon announcement could help open the mobile application
floodgates. Enterprises have long been frustrated by the brittle nature of mobile
platforms and networks, which typically require homogenous hardware to ensure
reliability. Verizon Wireless said it will publish technical information for
developers, and offer a testing lab for device and application approval. The
resources should help developers craft applications that run reliably across
multiple handsets and devices.
Could we be on the verge, finally, of a wireless renaissance? Or should development
shops wait things out before they commit dollars and people to crafting a new
generation of mobile apps? Let me know your thoughts. E-mail me at [email protected].
Posted by Michael Desmond on 11/28/2007