Monday, September 22, 2008

Verizon: No Contracts Needed, Bring Your Own Phones

That's right.  Verizon will institute a contract-free service that allows subscribers to use Verizon as their wireless backbone without being locked for one or two years.  This is the latest in an effort in a heavily contested battle for the hearts and minds of mobile users as recruitment becomes more and more difficult.

Given the choice, it could be something a lot of folks would be interested in going for.  Not only this, but Verizon and ATT will be sharing the next generation wireless network, thus allowing users to seamlessly swtich between the two providers because of dissatisfaction, movement, or simply trying to get the best deal.

However, there are two things to take note of.  No subsidies will be offered in this new month-to-month on phones.  That means if a device that costs $500 will be $500 for a no contract service versus maybe $100 for the same device with a two-year commitment.  The second item to take note of is not all devices  and associated functions are guaranteed to work with Verizon unless it's an official Verizon sanctioned phone or one that has passed mustard with the Any App, Any Device certification program.

How will this change how mobile warriors do their work?  Right now, For the better.  How is that?  After all, costs on the mobile devices will go up.

  • No cancellation fee.  No credits involved.
  • If other wireless providers, and they will to compete, follow Verizon, look value added services with the monthly plan.  Lower rates may be even possible given now there is no excuse for wireless providers to seek to earn back any kind of subsidies.  (RIGHT NOW, we know the rates are the same regardless of contract commitment or
  • When other wireless providers follow Verizon with the month-to-month plans, you can switch easily, depending on coverage or customer service satisfaction.  Imagine using your iPhone with anyone else but ATT!
  • Look for prices on mobile devices to drop anyway.  Free market competition.  The more popular devices will command premium but with dozens of models competing in each segments of the market, candy bar, flip phones, smartphones, or platform devices like the iPhone, it could be good for innovation and pricing.
Still there are questions about this new policy.  How exactly this will affect the other wireless providers won't be answered.  We still do not have a clear idea of what the rates will be.

Which phones will be available for use on this new plan?  And if rates will go down because of competing services?  

More importantly, we do not yet know the full extent of the Any App, Any Device certification program.  

But stay tuned.  This is something I'm definitely keep a close watch on.  All in all, great move from VW.  I'm definitely hearing you now.

Note:  I really am interested in how the device makers will react to this change in the market, specially HTC and Apple.  The LG Dare is $409 with a month-to-month plan while a two-year contact will cost only $199.  

Source:  Electronista

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