Wireless

by Carlo Longino




Verizon Wireless's Walled Garden Grows, But Isn't Opening

from the still-has-walls dept

The WSJ has an article talking about how Verizon Wireless is giving more third-party mobile content providers access to its subscribers by signing individual deals with them, which allows them to sell their content to Verizon users in exchange for it taking a cut of around 30%. While there's some talk that this represents Verizon slowly opening its walled garden, is that really the case? Adding more sites and content providers to a garden seems like a far cry from actually opening it up. The walled garden is a pointless exercise that's bound to fail. There are so many internet services that users would like to be able to access from their mobile phones, and that's only going to grow. However, if access to those services is dependent on operators being able to come to some sort of commercial arrangement with each one, it's not going to work. No matter how good operators' lawyers are, they're not going to be able to keep up with the pace of innovation on the internet. Offering users access to just a selected subset of services -- specifically, those that have decided to pay up -- isn't going to work. Operators need to focus on building open systems that deliver users the services they want, regardless of who creates them, and focus on adding value where they're best placed to do so: by improving usability and integrating internet services with their mobile services.

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  • identicon
    misanthropic humanist, 30 Nov 2006 @ 11:11pm

    misleading advertising

    A quick look at Verizons bumf creates the distinct impression that you can "access the internet" with their services. I expect they offer several products so I may not be comparing corretly, but if you market something as giving internet access isn't that misleading if in fact the access is only to a small subset of partner sites?

    If I bought a product or service pitched the way I see in those Verizon ads and found it was so crippled I would be terminating the contract immediately, something my statutary rights permit me to do in England under the Sale of Goods Act. It's blatent false advertising.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BAMF, 30 Nov 2006 @ 11:45pm

    I don't get it...

    I have Verizon Wireless and I can access anything I want on it...or is this talking about their regualr crap phones and not their PDAs..

    ..maybe I should RTFA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Verizon Subscriber, 30 Nov 2006 @ 11:51pm

    I feel screwed by VZN

    Verizon will screw you in any way possible. They issue phones with intolerable ringtones so that you will download premium content ringtones, they cripple their hardware to force users into paying their fees (bluetooth). I'm extremely dissatisfied with Verizon's service as of late...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    verizon in NC, 1 Dec 2006 @ 1:43am

    no problems

    I dont use the wireless web on my verizon phone, so i do not know what downfalls it has. I do not have any issues creating my own ringtones and images and sendingthem to my phone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Republican Gun, 1 Dec 2006 @ 3:41am

    Content

    I have a pocket pc phone. Why would I need (or want) crappy content on F#&*@ing phone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Angry Rivethead, 1 Dec 2006 @ 3:51am

    What keeps me with Verizon.

    Yes, Verizon is GUILTY when it comes to the ringtone thing mentioned above. This can be rectified with $2.99 cable and a free copy of bitpim. If they lock thier phones so tightly that I can no longer do this...THEN I will be pissed. Verizon is one of the few providers that actually has decent coverage in VT and NH.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Drj, 1 Dec 2006 @ 6:18am

    Wow.. and this just of the heels of the comment by Google the other day. Apparently the celcos continuously harrass Google, telling them to stop making their google mobile applications available to the users..

    They just don't get it..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    former cell phone user, 1 Dec 2006 @ 7:24am

    After being with several cell phone companies, I think I can say with confidence that all phone companies will screw you. Though, Verizon was one of the least painful for me, I was misinformed by one of the salespeople in a store (who looked the information up on a computer and read it to me) and it caused a huge fee on my next bill. When I went back to complain, they told me it was my fault and I had to straighten it out with customer service. After being on the phone for half an hour, the customer service rep said the salesperson had to make the correction. I told the salesperson "This is BS, now I want to get someone in trouble." She got on the computer and fixed the problem in less than a minute, though she held a disgusted smirk the whole time. You just have to expect this type of crap. Companies make their money by misleading consumers into thinking they can use their product.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    shkng, 1 Dec 2006 @ 7:35am

    sony-ericcson z525a both IR and bluetooth

    maybe I got lucky with the z525a from the orange dancing globs - it has both InfraRed and Bluetooth (the purple communications?) working with the no-charge software downloadable from sony-ericsson web site. syncs with outlook calendar, addrbk, todolist (but no email).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    todd, 1 Dec 2006 @ 7:43am

    I agree the cell phone companies are just like every other company in that they try to make the most money possible. That is what any good company will do. I have had a variety of cell phones/plans over the years for business and personal with a lot of carriers. (Sprint, Ameritech, Air Touch, Cingular, CellularOne, Verizon, and most recently TMobile). I agree most of them are just interested in charging you fees above and beyond you rate plan.

    I was kicked off Cingular after 2 years for 'usign too many roaming minutes' per month. They gave me 36hrs before the turned my phone off. I didn't want to leave, but they forced me too. Wanting to stick with a GSM provider I switched to TMobile. I have been nothing but surprised with the quality and profesionalism of their customer service. From chanigng rate plans, online billing, trading phones in etc. They even saved me $20 bucks a month, and I never would have considered switching to them if Cingular hadn't kicked me off. The great thing is TMobile now has very close to the same coverage as Cingular because they are roaming partners.

    My opinion is that TMobile is choosing a corporate strategy to increase revenue by increasing customer satisfaction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    lol, 1 Dec 2006 @ 8:20am

    todd = TMobile employee?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    todd, 1 Dec 2006 @ 8:42am

    Honestly I'm not. (I work for a software development company if you really care).

    But when you are so used to cell phone companies jerking you around, and you find one that consistently provides good service, its something worth mentioning.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    vzw employee, 1 Dec 2006 @ 8:54am

    lol = cingular employee

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    sendeth, 8 Dec 2006 @ 4:24am

    locked down

    dn't forget the other stuff verizon locks out. things like original mp3 players that actually work, bluetooth object transfer profiles, and on and on....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nick Burns, 8 Dec 2006 @ 9:46am

    tmobile

    I'm also on the TMobile Bandwagon. I've been with the pink T for two years now, and I couldn't be more satisfied with the experience. In some places the coverage can be crappy, but I don't have any problems where I live now. They also have great customer service and don't lock down anything on their phones (mine, at least). I use a plain ol' miniUSB cable to put my own ringtones, images, etc on my phone (no BT).

    Here's the only problem I've ever had with TMobile: I'm set up with the EasyPay system for paying my bill monthly. Unfortunately, three times in the last year, the transaction has just not taken place automatically. It doesn't get rejected or denied - it just doesn't occur. It's supposed to happen on the 13th of every month. Each time this has happened, I get a bill the next month for two months worth of fees plus a $5 late fee. I call customer service and they make sure to remove the late fee and put my account in good standing. Last time this happened, I got a call back from a billing supervisor (after everything had already been resolved) apologizing for the inconvenience and offering me a credit on my next bill. TMobile really does care about their customers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Tim, 8 May 2007 @ 9:46pm

      Re: tmobile

      The hell they care!! They just assessed me a $60 late fee on my first bill.........when they sent the invoice to the wrong address and I had no physical way to get the payment in on time. Customer service would do nothing about it. This company is criminal!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Huh?, 6 Jan 2007 @ 12:49pm

    It seems some of the posters are confused about what a walled garden is

    A walled garden, with regards to media content, refers to a closed set or exclusive set of information services provided for users (a method of creating a monopoly or securing an information system).

    This relates to internet services, so if you don't use mobile internet it doesn't matter. With Verizon you can't enter a URL of your choice, only their approved sites. Cingular and Sprint are open. So is T-mobile, but their 3G network in the US is just being built

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    lior, 24 Apr 2007 @ 6:12pm

    the new KRZR

    ya i got my krzr under the illusion i could get songs through bluetooth, and now i seed the F%$^ed me, and im pissed

    is there anyway to unlock it? or any thing to say to verizon about voiding my contract,

    please email me freakedout911@yahoo.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    YoungLJ, 9 Sep 2008 @ 3:31pm

    Late Fees - Verizon Wireless

    I realize this conversation is a bit dated but wanted to share some information that might be helfpul.

    I work with a law firm that’s investigating Verizon Wireless’ practice of charging California consumers a flat $5 late fee and whether the practice violates California’s consumer rights laws.

    Customers are charged a late fee if they don’t pay bills on time but according to California state law there may be some issues with charging a fixed late fee as a penalty. There may also be issues with charging all customers the same flat fee, regardless of the cost of monthly plans.

    As part of the investigation, Hagens Berman wants to hear from any Verizon customer living in California who’s paid at least one late fee in the past four years.

    You can contact the firm at info@hbsslaw.com or (206) 623-7292. More information on the investigation is on the firm’s Web site, www.hbsslaw.com.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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