Verizon’s “Open Network” initiative just lip service?

So, when Verizon announced last year that they would be opening up their traditionally locked-down network to “Any App, Any Device,” we should have known better than to put too much faith in Big Red. After all, the move to allow unlocked handsets to work on Verizon’s network could possibly hurt Verizon Wireless’s bottom line.

Proving that Verizon doesn’t really want to open their network to consumer devices, the carrier has released a list of hardware compatible with the Verizon CDMA network sans contract. The only problem is that the list of compatible hardware stops short of including any consumer devices. Sure, there are modems, routers, and even a criminal ankle bracelet that will work on Verizon’s “open” network without a wireless contract. But, from a consumer stand point, Verizon’s open initiative looks to be full of hot air (putting it gently).

Interestingly, the sole mobile phone ever announced to be compatible with Verizon (pictured) has failed to materialize. The AirVoice handset was shown off by Verizon’s CEO earlier this year, but was left out of the official compatibility list. Verizon must really be trying to keep as many subscribers locked to wireless contracts as possible.

Of course, Verizon could just be taking its sweet time in testing and certifying actual mobile phone hardware for their “open network,” and we could be jumping the gun here. On the other hand, would it be all that surprising if Verizon’s open initiative was more lip-service (during a crucial spectrum auction that highlighted the importance of open networks) than a shift in corporate philosophy?

[Via: GearLog]

  • Chris

    I’m pretty sure the open network policy only applies to the 700mhz spectrum, which hasn’t materialized as a network quite yet, but when the 4g lte stuff starts happening hopefully they’ll be true to the open network stuff. I believe that was the stipulation put in by the fcc when the bid reached a certain number and why google pushed it up that high. So for now, they don’t really have to be open at all.

  • Snidely

    Will, how many consumer-focused CDMA devices even exist outside of the traditional manufacturers? Of course industry and business-specific devices would be the first ones approved; that’s where the demand is. I always saw the open network as a way for Sprint/Alltel/other CDMA customers to bring their existing handsets to VZ. I doubt VZ will ever go to the trouble of certifying some Sprint verisioned phone as approved. With CDMA in major decline no start-up device manufacturer is going to make CDMA phones without selling them through the carrier channel.

  • Janet

    How is it that it’s Verizon’s fault when it is the global economic crisis that makes funding impossible for anyone to do stuff?

    Verizon approved AirVoice’s phone, but AirVoice doesn’t have the money to launch the phone — not Verizon’s fault.

  • N. Buck

    Piss Piss Piss. Will is correct in his statements. For being so “open” they have kept their mouths CLOSED concerning cell phones. Let’s go to the Verizon Wireless website. On here I see . . . OH SNAP . . . Cell Phones! So that means most of Verizon Wireless customers are looking for . . . OH SNAP . . . Cell Phones.
    That means VW is making money off of . . . OH SHOOT . . . Cell Phones. And to keep that profit rolling they should keep closing their . . . OH JOY! . . . Cell Phones.

    VW New slogan when LTE rolls out and there are no open phones or 3rd party apps – “Ha, we got you didn’t we?”

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