Verizon sets new standards

A business plan will save consumers two things: money and hassle.

Last Tuesday, Verizon Wireless announced its new plan to extend access to its network to more manufacturers and software developers with the intent of giving the consumer more choices. Although the details of Verizon’s “Any App, Any Device” initiative won’t be worked out until the early months of 2008, it looks as though this new business plan will save consumers two things: money and hassle. It will also likely put pressure on other wireless companies to follow suit.

Details released by Verizon so far show the initiative intends to allow consumers more choices when it comes to the mobile devices they can use on the Verizon network. As there will surely be many technological hurdles for the company to overcome, Verizon will be meeting with manufacturers to establish some minimal standards mobile devices must meet to be approved. All approved devices, not only those that we now see on store shelves that are specifically developed for Verizon, will be compatible. This means new customers can switch to Verizon without the worry of purchasing a new phone.

Verizon’s decision will also likely have influence on the rest of the wireless industry’s business tactics. While consumers have been forced to choose a device and a service plan together, they might soon have the chance to choose the device they want and the service they want separately. This will ensure that wireless companies have to work toward providing continually better services at competitive prices in order to bring in and maintain their customer base.

In the past, wireless companies like Verizon have been known to be highly protective of their networks as they have established heavy-handed control over the mobile devices and software programs that were compatible with the service. Under Any App, Any Device, consumers will gain the ability to choose, and we commend Verizon for being the first to set this precedent.