Today Verizon Wireless announced a new open development initiative aimed at accelerating innovation and growth in the wireless market.
Verizon Wireless today announced that it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company. Verizon Wireless plans to have this new choice available to customers throughout the country by the end of 2008.
Obviously, Verizon Wireless is feeling some pressure from the imminent arrival of Google in the wireless arena. This is a great decision by Verizon Wireless, because the decision makers at VZW had the foresight to see that fighting Google (and any potential partners) would be a losing proposition. In the long run they would simply lose subscribers looking for more device options and innovative mobile software and applications.
By giving their customers the choice of “bring-your-own” device service, Verizon Wireless is offering the best of both worlds. Customers bringing their own devices can enjoy the coverage and reliability of Verizon Wireless’s network, while also being able to pick and choose what software and applications they want to use. This option also offers a lot of flexibility and adaptability for business customers and mobile web users. These customers will be able to install and use the specific mobile applications they need to transact business and carry out other online activities that couldn’t be performed on a mobile device before. These innovative mobile web applications will initially be developed through the Android Open Handset Alliance.
The only question I have is “I wonder how long it would have taken Verizon to open up like this if Google had not made the move into the wireless market?” 😉