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2/26/2008
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Verizon Wireless To Release Network Specs For Outside Devices

Version 1.0 of the specs will let others create mobile devices that are compatible with Verizon Wireless' network even if they are not offered directly by the carrier.

Verizon Wireless this week said it plans to release technical specifications next month for outside mobile devices that will be able to work on its network.

Version 1.0 of the technical specifications will be released and published at the carrier's Open Development Device Conference taking place in New York City on March 19. The specifications will allow manufacturers to create mobile devices that are compatible with Verizon Wireless' network even if they are not offered directly by the carrier. Software developers also will be able to design products that can operate on the carrier's network.

"Version 1.0 will provide the roadmap for wireless device visionaries and tinkerers, as well as existing device makers, to create consumer products not offered directly by the company," said Anthony Lewis, VP of the Open Development initiative at Verizon Wireless, in a statement.

Last November, Verizon Wireless shocked the U.S. wireless industry by announcing that it will open up its nationwide network to outside mobile devices, software, and applications. Starting later this year, wireless customers will be able to download any software or application on their mobile devices and use the devices in ways that weren't previously allowed by Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless said it will not change its sales model, but instead will offer customers additional options. For example, it will have two categories of customers: full-service customers that purchase devices and services from Verizon Wireless and receive technical support; and bring-your-own customers that will bring their own devices to the carrier's network without full service.

The carrier has set up a $20-million testing lab where mobile devices will be tested and approved.

At the Open Development Device Conference next month, developers and technologists will provide input that might improve the initial device specifications, although developers will be able to use Version 1.0 immediately to design products, according to Verizon Wireless.

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