Category Archives: opendata

Why do wireless devices need to be phones?

Wow, Verizon has just made a very important announcement today:

“Verizon Wireless today announced that it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company. Verizon Wireless plans to have this new choice available to customers throughout the country by the end of 2008 …

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.”

Here is the takeaway wireless != voice (!!!). It’s much much bigger. Voice is just one little application of a great many that can run on top of a wireless connection.

Here’s the trouble. We, culturally are so biased by the fact that the telephone was accidentally invented a century and a half before today. And this tends to warp our perceptions of debates around whether cell “phone” networks should be available on airplanes or subways, on issues of wireless regulation and spectrum auctions.

The real future is in everything besides voice (you crackberry addicts know this already) and in what are being called “non-traditional network devices”.

Non-traditional network devices include: Amazon’s Kindle reader, (similarly almost any future digital paper or signage device), a dell ultraportable with a 3G network card, a pocket computer and media device like an iPhone, a car that downloads the latest maps and traffic info, a rain coat that knows the weather reports, digital/social jewelry that Michele has a mind for.

We’re prejudiced against so many potential open network things, devices and applications just because many of them haven’t been invented or even envisioned yet.

With apologies for spoonerizing William Gibson: “The distribution has already arrived. The future just isn’t evenly invented yet.”

Thanks to Verizon for starting to make the future inventable.

Lastly, to quote one other author who knows all this stuff already “In the future, I won’t have to look for my shoes in the morning. I’ll just google them.” – Bruce Sterling

Link: Verizon Wireless to Introduce ‘Any Apps, Any Device’ Option for Customers in 2008 – CNN Money

“Go, and never darken my towels again.” -Groucho Marx

That being said,

Nokia is being handed a sharp lesson in business basics: don’t compete with your biggest customers.

In August, the Finnish phone giant announced it was going “beyond the phone” and creating an online portal called Ovi in a bid to become a major service company. This would offer music, maps and games – bringing it into competition with its biggest channel: the network operators.

Revenge has been swift… – Operators show Nokia who wears the housut* TheRegister

Sure, cracks are beginning to appear in the dominance of the carriers in the mobile value chain. But just yet, not very big cracks.

Who’s deck will win out in the end? the carrier’s? the handsetmaker’s? third players (appl’s, goog’s, yhoo’s, msft’s?) or the open internet?

Place your bets.

The G-phone stirreth

Google said to be shipping 50,000 Gphones by year’s end. A UBS analyst is rumored to have information that HTC, a Taiwanese handset manufacturer, will ship about 50,000 cell phones made for Google by the end of
the year. “These initial phones are not going to be for sale, says Benjamin Schachter, at UBS. “These are going to be available for developers only to understand how the software works.” LG (LPL) is also said to be a possible manufacturier.

more on

I bet the Gphone would work really well on some Google Spectrum.

RIM Slams Canadian Carriers for Data Rates

BunnyHero (wayne a. lee) says:

Rim blasts Telcos for high cost of wireless:
“Research In Motion Ltd., riding high after finally gaining entry into China’s lucrative wireless market, blasted Canadian cellphone companies yesterday for their high data rates and for not competing against each other strongly enough.” michael geist writes about the article: -From BunnyHero [11:47:25 AM TorCamp ChatSwarm]

You may have seen this in the papers this morning. And my own famous post [canada-worse-than-3rd-world-countries-when-it-comes-to-mobile-data-access] has been garnering another flood of traffic and inbound links again this week. This is a major issue in Canada and it’s about time the story has broken in the mainstream media. That story of mine is now up to 130 comments and trackbacks if you want a sense of how much this issue is really starting to bug Canadians. That is an awful lot for a little blog like this one.

Wonderful Wireless UK

# The UK is one of the world’s most competitive wireless markets

# Read it and weep. Orange here offers the blackberry 8800 for only 79 pounds with plan. The Pearl is free. Compare with Rogers here. ahem, not free.

# There’s wifi networks everywhere, mostly these are not free but they do explicitly offer and advertise skype and voip services for, example, nokia n-series phones.

# Carriers here and in europe actually offer the the wonderful nokia n-series phones. sigh.

# Wifi carriers partner widely. I’m posting this thanks to a 2 month boingo trial subscription (a great investment) I bought back in Miami Intnl’ 4 weeks ago and it’s given me unlimited access everywhere here.

# I don’t need to tell you about the data rates.