Verizon To Open Its Network To Any Compatible Device

Verzon Wireless announced today that it will be opening its network to any compatible device. Verizon uses the CDMA network, a technology it shares with Sprint. According to Verizon Wireless Chief Executive Lowell McAdam, Sprint phones could work on Verizon’s network “if they pass Verizon’s testing procedure.” Sadly, GSM phones used by AT&T and T-Mobile, including the iPhone, can not work on Verizon’s network.

Early next year, Verizon will be publishing technical information for developers, and that “any device that meets the minimum technical standards will be activated on the network.”

“I think it’s a reaction to Google,” Tole Hart, an analyst at Gartner Inc.,told the Wall Street Journal. “I think it’ll help them. It gives customers more options.”

Verizon Wireless to Offer Open Access to Network [Wall Street Journal]


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    For the past week I’ve been looking into other carriers because my contract with VW ran out earlier this month and, honestly, this is the issue that has most made me want to leave them.

    Especially with the Google system coming out, I just might stick around and hold on to my current phone until one of the GPhones come out.

  2. Buran says:

    You still have to go through the gatekeeper and if they decide they don’t like your phone they can refuse to activate it.

    Not so with GSM: if it’s got your SIM card and recognizes the card, it’s on the network. So you can use an old phone that doesn’t support the latest tech, and the telco can’t stop you. They may prefer you use a newer phone, but they can’t make you do it.

    I’ll take my freedom, thanks.

  3. Buran says:

    @jaysonwhelpley: I still wouldn’t trust them to actually be as open as they claim they will be.

  4. dame1234 says:

    @Buran: are you the gatekeeper? I am the keymaster.

  5. dsnordyk says:

    Does this mean that I can de-cripple my verizon phone now?

  6. Finder says:


  7. stubblyhead says:

    Come on, VZW, get to the 21st century already. CDMA is an outdated technology, and the more you dig in your heels the worse it is for all of us in the long run.

  8. Streyeder says:

    Holy crap! That’s one big Twinkie!

  9. C2D says:

    Wow, Verizon almost sounds reasonable.

  10. fordpickup says:

    @stubblyhead: The only value GSM has over CDMA at this point is that it is more commonly used throughout the rest of the world.

  11. AstroPig7 says:

    @Finder: Are you a god?

  12. syntheticlogic says:

    @stubblyhead: Actually, CDMA is the more recent standard. Besides offering several advantages compared to GSM including higher bandwidth and a weaker signal necessary to make a call, CDMA is the more popular technology in the US. Worldwide GSM is more popular mainly because when CDMA came out international providers were less willing to make the necessary infrastructure changes to convert.

  13. remusrm says:

    OH NO… OMG… the network will burn and a nuclear bomb will explode when this will happen… Does this sound familiar? Did they find some alien technology to stop that from happening as it would before this anouncement?

  14. Bladefist says:

    correct me if im wrong, im sure you will, but isn’t CDMA the superior technology? If it is, hopefully more carriers will go to it. Also that will bridge the gap with international phones. Personally I’d love to bring a Korean phone back here and pimp it. But I think they use a different cdma anyway. Standardization needs to happen.

  15. Brad2723 says:

    Bring your own phone. That’s nice, may finally open the market to some decent competition…
    Nah… they’ll probably ruin it by still forcing you into a 2 year contract.

  16. mammalpants says:

    by “open,” they probably mean “closed.”

    and by “any device”, they probably mean “MotoKrapr”

    cant wait to read the ToS!

  17. itsgene says:

    I don’t understand what’s notable about this. People have always been able to do this with GSM headsets, so Verizon is pretty late to the party. And, um, you still have to sign up for Verizon service no matter that phone you use.
    The only thing I can imagine makes this interesting is that one would be able to use a phone that hadn’t been crippled pre-emptively by Verizon to disable features?

  18. RottNDude says:

    Yes, CDMA is the superior technology in a few ways:

    – More efficient use of bandwidth
    – Superior network-based noise and echo cancellation
    – “Soft handoff” improves reception and reduces dropped calls.
    – Data speeds that blow away anything GSM can offer right now.

    CDMA’s call handling sucks though. GSM has the SIM card advantage, though CDMA does support the SIM-like R-UIM (though no US carrier uses it besides Nextel, who is using an iDEN network)

  19. ry81984 says:

    When I go cross country my GSM phone beats anyones CDMA phone when it comes to reception.
    In remote areas where people say you cannot get reception I usually do with my GSM phone.
    I also can make and receive calls in basements while CDMA phones cannot.

    Don’t say CDMA has better reception when that is not true.

  20. Buran says:

    @dame1234: If anyone asks if you’re a god, you say YES!

  21. 8abhive says:

    Oh gee, that’s swell. Out of the Sprint frying pan into the Verizon fire. I’m giddy with joy over this bounty of choice.

    Yea, Sprint surely sucks but I still have nightmares from dealing with Verizon’s monthly screwups on our plans.

  22. mantari says:

    Consumerist… are you connecting the dots? I’m seeing a number of pro-consumer announcements from Verizon. Do you want to call them up and ask them what is going on?

  23. rolla says:

    @stubblyhead: you clearly dont know what youre talking about. Do your research.

  24. dragon:ONE says:

    Yeah, and I wanted to use my digital CDMA StarTAC flip phone. A little research online says you can’t due to not being able to use the E911 tracking feature or whatnot. A few people have been shot down (and this was in 05-06.)

    What can I say, my StarTAC was and still is the best phone I have.

  25. meballard says:

    Verizon’s actually not so bad on the contract front compared to a lot of the other carriers. Unlike a lot of carriers, it’s easy to get a 1 year contract (just a change in price of a phone), and renewals not attached to phone upgrades are generally only 1 year as well (and even that’s not really an issue anymore since you can change your plan at any time now). There are limits (at least traditionally on plan selection), but it is quite possible to get by without a contract on Verizon.

    Signal strength and coverage depend on the provider’s network and where you are, not so much the technology, but generally speaking, all other factors being equal, CDMA has the advantage when it comes to whether you can make a phone call or not.

  26. Trai_Dep says:

    I think that the CDMA Jets need to meet with the GSM Sharks afterschool with rabbit-ear antennas and settle this. Once and for ALL!

    (Winner gets a date w/ Natalie Wood (err, pre-death))

  27. Shadowfire says:

    So if Verizon is now letting other CDMA phones work on their network, but refusing to cooperate with GSM phones, why did they buy Unicel, forcing us to either go with Verizon when they take over next year, or not have a cell phone altogether? :(

  28. upokyin says:

    @trai_dep: Rita Moreno is the better prize.

  29. Trai_Dep says:

    Rita’s the more fun one, but with those cow-normous, dark brown eyes, Natalie’s the keeper. :D

  30. MBZ321 says:

    So now I can use Sprint phones on verizon? Cool….except Sprint phones suck

  31. chili_dog says:

    CDMA is crap. Anytime you have to deal with customer service to swap from one handset to another (and 20 minutes listening to the sales pitch) is unacceptable.

  32. trinkagen says:

    Good luck trying to do this in a store to because there is commision on the transaction so without a contract and not buying a phone you will be lucky to get a salesperson to look at you let alone go through all the trouble helping you.

  33. dame1234 says:

    @chili_dog: Really? I just go to verizons website, log in, and swap phones. no talking to a person needed

  34. FLConsumer says:

    @chili_dog: I change phones somewhat regularly with Alltel and never have a problem with it taking any large amounts of time. Took less than 2 minutes when I swapped over to my older Blackberry this week b/c my Razr’s battery has gone to shit. No hassles, no sales pitches. They didn’t even question throwing a Blackberry on a non-Blackberry account.

  35. chili_dog says:

    I’ll concede that Verizon does have the online option but still, to change it out you still have to deal with “them”.