So you can bring a Sprint phone to Verizon, what's the big deal?

Summary:You may have read the announcement this morning that Verizon Wireless is opening up its network so that customers with qualified handsets and software can plug into their network. While this may initially look like an opening up of the network to embrace customers and give them choices, I don't think it is really anything special after a further look. The handset will have to be a CDMA handset and thus the only other carrier that people may move from is Sprint. And if you look at the handsets offered by Sprint and Verizon Wireless, Verizon already has Sprint beat in the number and quality of offerings.

You may have read the announcement this morning that Verizon Wireless is opening up its network so that customers with qualified handsets and software can plug into their network. While this may initially look like an opening up of the network to embrace customers and give them choices, I don't think it is really anything special after a further look. The handset will have to be a CDMA handset and thus the only other carrier that people may move from is Sprint. And if you look at the handsets offered by Sprint and Verizon Wireless, Verizon already has Sprint beat in the number and quality of offerings. There may be a few customers who are not happy with their Sprint service that move to Verizon Wireless, but the GSM networks run by AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. and just about everyone else in the world are a much broader market to open up to. Verizon may be moving to a GSM network in the future with their LTE (Long Term Evolution) network and then this announcement would mean much more in terms of opening up to everyone. LTE was not discussed by Verizon with this press release.

This announcement seems to be designed to bring a bit of focus back to Verizon after the Open Handset Alliance announcement a couple weeks ago where Sprint is actually one of the members. I understand that Verizon Wireless does have an extensive network that many people are happy with, but I am a fan of the GSM networks due to the ability to use virtually any SIM-unlocked device I buy here in the U.S. or internationally with my local US network. AT&T and T-Mobile should make the same announcement about opening up their networks since you can already use any SIM-unlocked device you want on their networks. They are not officially supported by their customer service, just like devices brought to Verizon won't be either.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Networking, Telcos, Verizon

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.