Feeds

Verizon fondling Google Android?

Strange bedfellows

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Verizon continues to embrace what it once despised.

One week after the mega-telco announced that it would open its wireless network to non-Verizon devices and applications, chief executive officer Lowell McAdam has told Business Week that the company will "get behind" Android, the very open mobile phone operating system recently announced by Google.

Does this mean the company will use Android on its own mobile phones? That's still unclear. "We're planning on using Android," is what McAdam told BusinessWeek. "Android is an enabler of what we do."

If this is true, Verizon isn't doing what it did just a few weeks ago. When Google announced Android in early November, it was backed back by more than 30 members of the new Open Handset Alliance, including wireless operators Sprint Nextel and the Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile. But Verizon's name was conspicuously absent.

This was no surprise. Verizon's network has always been completely closed to third-party devices and applications, and in recent months, the company has fought particularly hard to keep it that way. After the FCC attached an open access requirement to the so-called 700-MHz band, a prime portion of the US wireless spectrum to be auctioned off in January, Verizon tried to quash the decision via a US court of appeals.

In a petition filed with the court, Verizon called the FCC's decision "arbitrary, capricious, unsupported by substantial evidence, and otherwise contrary to law".

But after the court refused to fast-track the case, meaning things wouldn't be decided before auction time, Verizon dropped its complaint. And now that Google has mounted a considerable army behind Android and announced its own plans to bid for the 700-MHz spectrum, Verizon has completely changed its tune. To put it mildly.

Last week, the company said it would open its network to third-party devices by the end of 2008, and though it wouldn't officially back Android at the time, McAdam now seems to have done so.

That said, a Verizon spokeswoman tells us that the company has not yet decided whether to use Android on its own phones. In speaking with Business Week, she says, McAdams was merely saying that third-party developers would have the option of using Android on devices they might build for the network.

"We fully expected the some in the development community are going to embrace Android in the devices and application they develop and bring to out network," says Nancy Stark. "But Verizon Wireless has not decided whether we're going to use Android in any devices that we offer." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.