Verizon Opens Network to Any Phone

Dennis Faas's picture

In a move that has rocked the entire mobile phone industry, Verizon Wireless recently announced that consumers will soon be able to choose which phones they'd like to use with their Verizon network plan.

Analysts are shocked that Verizon would be the first to initiate such a major shift in communications, as the company has traditionally followed far different business practice. The introduction of the Apple iPhone, one of the first mainstream multimedia devices of its kind, coupled with future plans from Google to develop software that basically controls cell phones, has pushed the industry into taking a more open approach to networking. (Source:

The move could eventually lead to an American wireless system that resembles the mobile markets of Europe and Asia. Overseas, customers can use virtually any phone to connect with a wide variety of online services.

Mobile carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless have spent billions of dollars building cell towers and other large infrastructures. These companies have always decided which phones their customers could use with their subscriptions and eventually directing them towards ring tones, text messaging options and other offers available for purchase.

Analysts are sure that other companies now feel pressured into making significant changes that resemble those of Verizon. Many believe that if some companies leave their business models unchanged, the industry will eventually wipe them out completely.

Verizon Wireless will not abandon its traditional service. A separate option will be available allowing customers to purchase a phone (one compatible with a Verizon network) and call a toll-free number to activate it. A Verizon representative will then test the consumer-selected phone to see if it can connect to the company's network. This will also allow Verizon to maintain some control over which devices are being permitted. (Source:

Verizon would not disclose the cost of the service or what rules applied, but many believe that open networks will only benefit the average consumer.

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