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 Opening the Airwaves

This story is from the category Connectivity
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Date posted: 29/10/2008

In the US, Verizon Wireless is taking the first tentative steps toward a more open cellular network. In March, the company paid $9.63 billion for the right to use wireless frequencies that will become free when analogue television transmissions end in 2009 (the so-called C block operating at 700 megahertz). The 108 licenses bought by Verizon were sold on the condition that the network would be made open to any device, not just those offered by the network operator.

Last week, Verizon's vice president of open development, Tony Lewis, spoke at the Mobile Internet World conference, in Boston, and detailed the company's plans for a more open wireless network. The company has ambitious plans to enable a new generation of mobile device.

However, it clearly wants to open the network on its own terms and will require that devices are certified before they can connect. "When you look at what 'open' is, there is not a clear definition," Lewis says. "That's what's most important to me. I want to write the definition of what it means to be open, and so, if I'm successful in this business, I will do just that."

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