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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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  • This is good news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @01:51PM (#21574143) Homepage Journal

    LTE is especially good news. It's an open standard, it similar underlying technologies to WiMAX and like WiMAX is all-IP - you can run any protocol over it you can run over the Internet, because your LTE device is an Internet connected terminal. Unlike WiMAX various protocols are standardized on top of it, so an LTE "phone" is still charge up, and plug in the SIM card, and go in much the same way as a GSM phone is today.

    It's going to be hard for me to shake my impression of Verizon as a bunch of psychotic control freaks: maybe the Vodafone influence is finally having an affect. It'll be nice to have a third national operator with a genuinely open network that's worth considering. Being stuck with two GSM operators, one stuck with poor spectrum, the other barely giving a rats-ass about quality of service, sucks.

  • A Java-ish success? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by caywen ( 942955 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @01:52PM (#21574163)
    I wonder if Verizon's support for Android devices is indirectly due to Java's general acceptance as a mobile platform (J2ME), and their confidence that a whole OS based on it will be solid enough to provide predictable support for it. We're beginning to see Windows Mobile devices diverging in basic functionality as the T-Mobile Shadow, HTC Touch, and AT&T Tilt all have different interfaces. This likely makes it hell for Verizon to provide open access for WM. If Android can remain consistent in functionality, robustness, and usability, as well as maintain a relatively small footprint, I don't see why Sprint and T-Mobile wouldn't follow suit eventually. OTOH, AT&T may continue to drink Apple's koolaid and be the closed, leading edge, stylish carrier.
  • Re:This is good news (Score:2, Interesting)

    by yurik ( 160101 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @01:56PM (#21574225)
    Am I correct that with Verizon, being one of the few remaining non-GSM providers, CDMA is scheduled to disappear from North America? Does it still mean the multiple frequencies will remain, thus EU-GSM will stay on separate frequencies with US-GSM ?
  • by joe_cot ( 1011355 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @02:08PM (#21574401) Homepage
    Stop charging my first born for service.
    Verizon's Data-Plan is 80 per month base (with no option for not buying voice time), versus T Mobile's 40 a month (with no Voice plan). That doesn't include the use of wifi spots, which comes standard for t-mobile but is extra on Verizon. I'm an open-source guy, but I'll take a locked proprietary phone that works as a bluetooth modem for my (soon to own, hopefully) Nokia n810 over a google android phone on an open network any day of the week, when it's going to cost me 40 less a month.
  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @03:16PM (#21575567)
    Tiller's Rule: Never use a word in written form that you've only heard and never read. You will end up looking foolish.

    That applies the other way around, too. I heard a fellow just yesterday mention the heavy metal band "Queen-Sryche"
  • by enjahova ( 812395 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @04:43PM (#21577015) Homepage

    So, who's to say if "the wirelss connection is working" - The customer? Verizon? The device itself? Application support? What kind of sense does THAT make? I can't hold a call for 5 blocks in a downtown urban area, but because my 'phone provider says the coverage maps report solid coverage, the problem of course must be my handset -- which of course they can replace with a "newer, better model" for just $199.95.
    Let's look at this model applied to computers and internet access (which is pretty much what a phone is, a small computer connecting to a network)

    So, who's to say if "the internet connection is working" - the customer? Comcast? the computer itself? Windows/Linux support? Makes sense to me, we deal with this all the time! Would you rather that ISP's sold rigorously tested locked down PCs that they could give customer support on? Or would you rather that connection and your computer remained separate, so you contact them when your internet SERVICE doesn't work, and contact the computer/application developers for support when the device doesn't work.

    I think the problem is that people are so used to being fucked by phone companies, its hard to see how things should be. Ideally, service should be completely separate from the device. Yes, you would now have to trust two different entities, the service company for connectivity and the device maker for a robust device, but we seem to do this just fine with TV and computers.

    It looks like they are trying to move away from the locked down phones for greedy reasons, but if it works out that way its better for us. If they are actually doing this, I see it as a good thing for competition and the abysmal situation in the US for cell service. Whether or not they actually go through with it only time will tell :)
  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @07:36AM (#21583447) Homepage Journal

    UMTS has caught on with most GSM operators - their major issue isn't any "forklift" upgrade (I think you're saying a switch to an entirely unrelated technology, but that's not the case, the upper levels of GSMv2 and UMTS are very similar) but the spectrum issues it has coupled with regulatory challenges. W-CDMA and TD-CDMA, the two major UMTS air interfaces, require 5 MHz of spectrum in either direction to work properly which has been a problem for US operators as many only have 5MHz of spectrum in various markets. Of the two major US operators, AT&T is in the process of rolling it out anyway as AT&T has huge amounts of spectrum in most markets; and T-Mobile is waiting on the FCC to hand over the AWS (2100/1700MHz) spectrum it won last year. Outside of the US, most operators aren't allowed to run UMTS on anything but 3G spectrum. Most have bid on 3G spectrum and won some, and have rolled out UMTS networks.

    CDMA2000 to LTE will be a major change, but no more a major change than AMPS/D-AMPS to GSM, something AT&T Wireless and Cingular did at the beginning of the decade - in fact, it's an extremely similar switch over, from 1G versions of the TIA standards to 2G GSM for Cingular; from 2-3G versions of the TIA standards to 4G GSM for Verizon. It'll probably work better for Verizon than it did Cingular because OFDMA and CDMA have similar characteristics when it comes to spectrum usage and cell size/location requirements, something that wasn't true of D-AMPS vs GSM.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.