Verizon's first open-network specs coming March 19

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

Verizon Wireless will release Version 1.0 of the technical specifications for
devices to use on its "Any Device, Any App" service at its developer
conference on March 19.

The carrier plans to offer a "network-only" service later this year
that will let subscribers reach the Verizon network via any device that meets
a basic set of requirements. The offering will be a departure from traditional
cellular services in the U.S., in which carriers sell all the handsets to be
used on their networks and deliver their own sets of applications. Verizon's
data network, based on EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) technology, reaches
240 million people and offers average download speeds between 600K bps (bits
per second) and 1.4M bps. Upload speeds average between 500K bps and 800K bps,
according to Verizon.

The "network-only" plan, announced late last year, was widely seen
as preparation for the auction of prized 700MHz radio spectrum by the U.S. Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) that began Jan. 23. The auction rules require
part of the spectrum to be open to any device and any application. Google and
other companies and groups have argued for greater openness in mobile communications.
Both Verizon and Google were approved to participate in the auction, but the
FCC hasn't disclosed who is actually bidding in the ongoing sale.

At its conference, set for March 19-20 in New York, Verizon will introduce
Version 1.0 of the technical specifications for devices to be used with the
open service, the company said Tuesday. The meeting will focus on how manufacturers
and designers can create devices under Verizon's Open Development Initiative.
Verizon said it wants to streamline the introduction of new devices while preserving
optimal performance on the network. The specifications may change based on input
from participants, but Version 1.0 will give developers a foundation to start
working on devices immediately, Verizon said.

An early version of Google's Android mobile software platform is already in
developers' hands, and Apple has said it would introduce this month a software
development kit for third parties to write applications for the iPhone.

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