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Verizon Embraces Google's Android 148

An anonymous reader writes "BusinessWeek has up an article on Verizon's decision to fully support Android. After passing on the iPhone, the company says they're going to open their network to more devices, move their network to GSM-based radio technology (LTE), and now support Android. 'In an open-access model, though, Verizon Wireless won't offer the same level of customer service as it does for the roughly 50 phone models featured in its handset lineup. Though the company will insist on testing all phones developed to run on its network in the open-access program, Verizon plans only to ensure the wireless connection is working for customers who buy those devices.'"
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Verizon Embraces Google's Android

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  • Re:This is good news (Score:5, Informative)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @02:11PM (#21574445) Homepage Journal

    It's hard to tell what the long term future of IS-95/CDMA2000 (TIA standards) is. The 4G road map is a technology called Ultra Mobile Broadband, this is the TIA world's equivalent of LTE, but nobody has, thus far, expressed any interest in it.

    Sprint is dabbling in WiMAX, though its deprecated its projects in that area of late. It did, at one point, experiment with a version of UMTS (GSM) called UMTS-TDD but ultimately rejected it in favor of WiMAX, so they're open-minded enough to consider things that fall outside of the narrow TIA systems.

    Alltel, I believe, hasn't made any decisions or said anything about 4G. Between them, Alltel, Verizon, and Sprint are the three major CDMA2000 operators. As long as one of those operators remains tied to CDMA2000, it's unlikely the system will die completely.

    Frequencies is an issue of local legislation and doesn't have much to do with standards. It's going to get worse in Europe too, as phones currently support GSM on 1800 and 900, and UMTS on 2100/1900, and are now going to have to support GSM on 450MHz and UMTS on 900 and 1800. As time goes by, the number of frequencies every handset supports is just going to go through the roof, even if the phone is only supposed to work in one region.

    I think this is going to end up being a fight between WiMAX and LTE, with UMB getting relatively little support. While WiMAX is better known to geeks, it's no more open nor more efficient than LTE. LTE is arguably slightly better in supporting SIM cards, so ultimately if I had a choice, I'd prefer the latter to "win". But both are likely to have wide support across the world, it's unlikely that the same ideological differences that caused the CDMA vs GSM thing to be a mess will happen this time.

  • Re:Relevent and Hip (Score:3, Informative)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @02:17PM (#21574521) Homepage Journal
    I have had nothing but excellent service from Verizon. Including them coming out at checking my inside wiring for no charge.
    The one big deal is when putting in their fiber infrastructure they damaged bu sprinklers. It took 1 5 minute phone call at 4PM and they were out the next day and fixed it.
    They cut my DSL monthly fee in half, mid contract.

    Quite frankly, I don't understand the Verizon hate. Yes they area large company, but overall they seem to play well.

    Now that they see that the telecom industry is on the wrong path, changes direction in positive ways and they still get heat.
    Of COURSE they change paths from "sure to be outdated method" to "a method with a future" for business. There are many telecoms that still prefer the 'lock down the customer' methodology
  • Re:Relevent and Hip (Score:3, Informative)

    by techpawn ( 969834 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @02:22PM (#21574619) Journal
    VZW and Verizon Communication (land lines) are part of the same company but are kind of separate entities from each other. Having one does not make you a customer of the other.

    I don't doubt their land line service is great. I've gotten excellent service with the cell phone section of the company too. But the moves just seem more marketing driven than market driven.
  • Re:Relevent and Hip (Score:3, Informative)

    by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @02:40PM (#21574909)
    Verizon != Verizon Wireless. They are two seperate companies.
  • by goofballs ( 585077 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @02:45PM (#21575005)

    My son downloaded a stupid game the first dat he had it because he thought it was free and we found out last month that we have been charged for it for a year. Screw that!
    sorry dude, but your son bamboozled you, and you fell for it. the 'get it now' apps are VERY clear that they cost money- in fact, that's the FIRST thing you see when you select one of them. :P
  • by Muad'Dave ( 255648 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @02:49PM (#21575089) Homepage
    Handset support should fall to Motorola/Samsung/Apple. If something like a calendar application on your phone is buggy, why should Verizon be trying to deal with it?

    Verizon had to 'deal with it' because they insist on using non-standard firmware to disable features that circumvent their revenue stream model. Why do you think my Razr can't transfer images and ringtones via Bluetooth? Because that would get around their silly "Get It Now" storefront. Same for Java - no free apps; everything must go thru their store.

    I don't blame the manufacturers one bit for punishing these clowns for crippling their phones - in fact, I'd love for the manufacturers to forbid resellers from ruining the manufacturers reputation by flashing sketchy custom firmware and still calling it a 'Company X, Brand Y' phone.

  • by Metaphorically ( 841874 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @02:57PM (#21575227) Homepage

    I wonder if Verizon's support for Android devices is indirectly due to Java's general acceptance as a mobile platform (J2ME)
    Android uses Java Standard Edition, not Micro. And I don't see much foundation for that speculation: Android is built on Java not the other way around.

    their confidence that a whole OS based on it will be solid enough to provide predictable support for it.
    There's no OS built on Java here. The emulator runs a custom JVM on top of Linux.

    I don't see why Sprint and T-Mobile wouldn't follow suit eventually.
    Sprint and T-Mobile are already members [openhandsetalliance.com] (as I think other comments have pointed out).
  • by hax0r_this ( 1073148 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @03:17PM (#21575603)

    If something like a calendar application on your phone is buggy, why should Verizon be trying to deal with it.
    Thats a good one. Have you ever used a Verizon phone? At least on my KRZR there is no Calendar application, unless you buy it from Verizon. Verizon installs their own firmware so that about all that still works is syncing contacts.

    And worst of all, its ugly. Who the hell makes an OS with a bright-red themed GUI?
  • by Metaphorically ( 841874 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @03:25PM (#21575757) Homepage
    Not sure where you got that idea from. Android Media APIs [google.com] and MotionEvent [google.com] for handling "movement (mouse, pen, finger) events."
  • Fully Functional (Score:2, Informative)

    by kilo_foxtrot84 ( 1016017 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @03:34PM (#21575907)
  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @06:46PM (#21578809) Journal

    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't a big chunk of Verizon owned by Vodafone?

    A big chunk of Verizon Wireless is owned by them, not Verizon itself.

    Wikipedia is your friend [wikipedia.org]: Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, with 55 and 45 percent ownership respectively.

    So yeah, Vodafone owns 45% of it. But Verizon has majority ownership and control. It's a good relationship for Vodafone in that they get dividends from Verizon Wireless. It's a bad relationship in that they are completely at the mercy of Verizon management as to what those dividends are. It also doesn't work out very well for them that Verizon operates CDMA and is thus incompatible with roaming from Vodafones European Customers -- so they wind up paying AT&T and T-Mobile USA for that instead.

    Vodafone tried to get out of the relationship by buying the old AT&T Wireless (presumably after getting AT&T Wireless they would have sold their stake in VZW), but was outbid by what was then called Cingular. Verizon has also repeatedly offered to buy Vodafones shares -- but Vodafone has always declined to sell them (and has even offered to buy out Verizon's shares).

egrep -n '^[a-z].*\(' $ | sort -t':' +2.0