August 11, 2011, 10:27 AM — Verizon Wireless, whose horror of the potential of new technology to eat into its fat fees and service margins has made it an infamous drag on the technological development of the U.S. cell phone market, has announced it is opening a multivendor Innovation Center dedicated to advancing technology in the cell phone market!
The conceptual and architectural oxymoron is not, as one might suspect from the word "innovation," the result of a corporate decision to change policies that benefit it and hurt customers by, for example:
- singlehandedly forcing Congress and the FCC to let it keep its right to throttle, restrain or cut off wireless and wired internet customers at will;
- eliminate its unlimited-use plans in favor of data caps that would be adequate for normal phones but alarmingly small for smartphone users, just after beginning to sell iPhones and heavily promote the use of other smartphones on its network;
- resist expansion and greater flexibility among competing cell-phone networks, while making empty promises of "openness" designed to counter the dictatorial principles that led it and other cell carriers to be referred to as "Soviet ministries" by analysts and (sotto voce) analysts;
- restrict or deactivate important features in new phones so they won't strain its network or threaten a clunkier and more lucrative service of its own,
- or replace innovative technologies with last-gen versions of its own simply to retain its preferred branding.
No, the new Application Innovation Center that opens today in San Francisco today isn't dedicated to making up for the sins of Verizon Wireless' past.
In fact, it looks as if it is designed to let VW take even greater advantage of those sins at the expense of its customers, while appearing to offer them greater services.