Feeds

Verizon fondling Google Android?

Strange bedfellows

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.