Verizon Wireless: Open In Name Only?

from the this-is-not-the-'open'-you-were-thinking-of dept

Verizon Wireless got plenty of attention a few months back for announcing that it would be opening its network. This was a bit of a surprise, as Verizon Wireless has been among the most closed when it came to allowing anyone to do anything on its network. Of course, there were few details in the announcement. Now, the company has revealed a bit more about its “open” plans and they’re incredibly underwhelming. In fact, you can almost pinpoint the problems based on the the key points Verizon Wireless chose to highlight.

First off, in order to get on the network you’ll first have to get your device “certified” by Verizon Wireless. While the company insists that “the certification process won’t be lengthy, costly or complicated,” most people seem to think that it may be all three. It’s going to take 4 to 8 weeks to get your device approved, and the expectation is that access will involve per-byte fees. It also means that if you want to use Verizon’s new “open” network you have to spend all the time and effort to build a device, and then wait, hope and pray that Verizon “certifies it.” Or, you can just ignore Verizon’s network altogether and build a GSM-based device and pop in a SIM card and you’re ready to go. So, Verizon’s “open” network seems a lot more closed, annoying and expensive than the GSM networks that are more widely available.

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Companies: verizon wireless

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Comments on “Verizon Wireless: Open In Name Only?”

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0157h7 says:

Open verizon

i knew it was too good to be true. Verizon is horrible. the only thing they have going for them is a large network. They rarely have the best devices. They screw up the UI on everything they touch. They are not cheaper than the competition. Their $99 plan is the worst of all of the big 4. They are now putting a cap on their data plan. Why would anyone want Verizon?

Bandito says:

Re: GSM is king

It’s retarded when we claim to live in the most industrialized country in the world while our phone don’t worked when we crossed over to Mexico.

Yes, but that’s not the only thing that doesn’t work in Mexico.

Half the population doesn’t work, the mail service doesn’t work and ……

That’s enough. There’s not that much space on here to list ’em all.

Alexio says:

Re: GSM is king

Verizon phones DO work in Mexico. At least in all the major cities/touris zones. That, if you’re ready to fork out the roaming fees.
Truth is, as much as I hate Verizon business style, the call quality/network availability is by far superior to anything GSM has to offer. That also true if compared to overseas GSM service: tried it in Paris, London, Moscow, Buenos Aires… quality of GSM calls sucked (on several “good” handsets I’ve tried…
The bottom line, they know what they have, and they make you to pay dearly for that…

d says:

This artical is based on no facts at all. Yes, to access the open network and use a non VZW devise, it will have to be certified. There are good reasons for it and those same reasons are among those that has made Verizon Wireless the most reliable network. That is also the reason Verizon Wireless does not use GSM because it definately is not as reliable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

CDMA not as reliable as GSM, what are you smoking? It has to be illegal what ever it is. Honestly only 12 countries use CDMA technology and exculding the US they are some of the poorest countries in the world. CDMA is so much more of a hassle than GSM hands down. Plus what they don’t mention is that VZW requires a 1 year service contract if you provide your own device, no discounts, no perks, just selling your soul for 1 year and getting noting in return. Im sorry but I don’t by the whole “best network” thing. I have had ever carrier in California over the lat few years and honestly, GSM is the way to go.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This artical is based on no facts at all.

Actually, it’s based on quite a few facts…

Yes, to access the open network and use a non VZW devise, it will have to be certified.

Such as that fact.

Of course, you ignore the fact that to put a device on a GSM network, you don’t have to be certified, meaning it’s cheaper easier and more effective. And, of course, that means it’s going to be much more compelling for device makers. Which was the point. Which you claimed wasn’t based on fact…

There are good reasons for it and those same reasons are among those that has made Verizon Wireless the most reliable network.

Now *that* statement is based on no facts at all. Every single wireless carrier calls their network “the most reliable network.” It’s all a lie. Each has problems in different regions and weak coverage in other regions.

That is also the reason Verizon Wireless does not use GSM because it definately is not as reliable.

Actually, if you look at European GSM-based networks, you’ll find they tend to be significantly more reliable than American networks (GSM or CDMA).

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

I Call It Progress

I don’t agree with Mike on this one. Sure, the VZW process still requires network certification – but we knew that was going to be the case from their original announcement. Yesterday’s meeting was just a presentation of the more developed plan for how VZW will become more open. We shouldn’t have expected any surprises.

And regardless of the fact that it isn’t fully open, it still is a great deal more open that it has been in the past, and I call that significant progress. Yes, GSM is more open simply by virtue of the fact that the account info is all stored on the SIM, and the SIM can be slipped into any device you choose.

VZW’s openness, to be sure, is mainly the response to competitive pressure from the other carriers (mainly Sprint) that are proposing that their 4G networks will enable any device with an embedded radio. Sprint already proved their intentions with the wireless service bundled in the Amazon Kindle.

As mobile phone penetration approaches saturation, the way to continue subscription growth is to start selling wireless subscriptions not just to people, but to their cars, vending machines, sensors, laptops, cameras, etc.

But Mike, you’re wrong about the “relative ease” of launching a GSM solution. There are also certification standards for GSM devices (see

And the FCC needs to certify and authorize the use of any cellular radio product for the USA, and believe it or not, so does the FDA (see the bottom of this page

So it’s not like you and I are going to whip up a GSM device in our garage, and start selling it on the web, and people will just slip in their T-Mo SIMs, and we’re in business. You need to go through testing and compliance whether you are offering a CDMA device for VZW’s “open” network, or one of the more open GSM networks.

And lastly, for all of you prior commenters who are re-igniting the CDMA/GSM battle. They’re both very good in different ways. CDMA is a better technology that is more spectrally efficient, does not drop calls on handoff like GSM, and has been universally accepted as the ONLY third generation cellular technology — um did you notice the 3G version of GSM is called “W-CDMA”? But GSM is more globally adopted, enables much easier roaming, has SMS by default, offers data roaming, has + code dialing for international calls, and has harmonized frequencies across most of the world. So both have their advantages, and each user needs to choose what works for them.

Tim Schneider says:

FCC and the wireless auction

Regardless of what has been reported the end user is no better off period. The big companies will continue to control and at some point will more then likely end up as one company which brings up the point, “What the hell was the reason again for the original Breakup of the Bell System” Oh yeah!! Competition!!!!

The FCC is a joke when it comes to the people. Fat cat lobbyist for the telecoms spread the wealth pretty well at the FCC making it pretty much impossible that the end user’s needs or concerns will ever be heard again!!!!

adrockp says:

open network

I’m personally glad VZW is allowing this,when your using cdma technology you normally have to buy the hardware from each specific carrier due to their phone software and prl software.I like GSM more variety of phones and cheaper rates data etc,however CDMA call quality is better than what GSM offers and that is why cdma carriers charge more and also have more control.So when I heard they are going to be more of an open network that was a shock that a cdma carrier would actually even attempt such a thing,but the handset will have to be CDMA.I wonder if they will cripple the Bluetooth file transfer when you send your phone in to be inspected,haha.

jason says:

it makes sense to limit at first.

Verizon Wireless is smart to not open it’s nationwide reknown network to anyone who is is interested in putting their phone on the network. It makes sense when you think about it to be exclusive at first. Not only for the customers who really would like options, but for the business in general. Who would like it if someone activated 200,000 devices not formatted to Verizon Wireless’s numerous services and applications like VZnavgator. Caution and far seeking market value, coupled with Verizon Wireless’ excellent customer service and reliable network history only make me more secure that the move to an open network can only be carried out by a company like Verizon Wireless.

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