What Does Verizon's "Open Move" Mean For Smaller Companies? - InformationWeek

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11/27/2007
06:34 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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What Does Verizon's "Open Move" Mean For Smaller Companies?

Verizon challenged the way America does wireless today when it announced that it plans to open its wireless network to third party mobile devices, software, and applications. If other carriers are forced to follow suit, what might that mean to small and midsize companies' mobility plans?

Verizon challenged the way America does wireless today when it announced that it plans to open its wireless network to third party mobile devices, software, and applications. If other carriers are forced to follow suit, what might that mean to small and midsize companies' mobility plans?Well, first of all, it depends on exactly what Verizon is doing, and why. Some observers believe that Verizon's move is simply PR, a ploy to discourage the FCC from imposing more restrictions on the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction, while others see it as shrewd PR and smart strategy.

I tend to agree. Along with many others, I've often complained about the restrictions surrounding Apple's iPhone, for example. Verizon's move toward openness puts additional pressure on Apple, AT&T, and the rest of the mobile industry to let people use whatever devices they want on whatever networks they want. Verizon gets to challenge its competitors and look like the good guy just for doing what the market is already clearly demanding.

Still, anything that accelerates this trend toward openness is good for small and midsize companies. Unless you're a Fortune 500 enterprise with a mobility budget big enough to get the attention of a national wireless carrier, you've pretty much been limited to the cookie-cutter options laid out for "the SMB market."

In a truly open environment, though, even smaller companies would be able to mix and match equipment and services to meet their exact needs. Verizon's plan promises to get us a little close to that world. Let's all hope it comes to pass sooner rather than later.

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