Verizon Wireless has just announced that by the end of next year, it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company.
"In early 2008, the company will publish the technical standards the development community will need to design products to interface with the Verizon Wireless network. Any device that meets the minimum technical standard will be activated on the network," the company said in an announcement this morning.
To make the cut, devices will be tested and approved in a $20 million testing lab now being geared up for what is sure to be a herculean task.
Dave Burstein of DSL Prime is quite upbeat. In a note to we writer and blogger types this a.m., Dave writes in part that:
The best most interesting new gear can come to market almost immediately, rather than the delay today typical because they have to sell the carriers. So the innovative companies will target Verizon with their first models.
Yes, but will you be able to use your iPhone on Verizon. Well, no.
As Dave points out, iPhone is based on GSM whereas Verizon uses CDMA, But if Apple really wanted to, they could, as Dave correctly notes, accomplish iPhone capability by "using off the shelf chips to replace the GSM radio with the CDMA version."
Would AT&T Mobility agree to this? Yea, right. But given the state of the "arms race" so far, I think that in a year from now there will be a history of enough iPhone unlocks impervious to demon code contained in subsequent iPhone firmware upgrades that it will tire both Apple and AT&T out
My prediction is that in light of these events, within a year from now money will be exchanged to end the five-year Apple-AT&T agreement before it meets the end of its natural life in June, 2013.
And then you'll see Verizon and Apple work on a CDMA iPhone. I'm convinced of it.