Just as we had suspected: Verizon Wireless wasn’t shooting itself in the foot last year when it announced it would open its network to any mobile device and software application. Why not? Because it’s going to charge “open access” subscribers based on the amount of bandwidth they use, instead of the fixed-price data plans that regular subscribers get.
In practical terms, that means anyone who planned on, say, adding Skype to their phone and getting free or low-cost calls will be out of luck. Same goes for bandwidth hogs like audio and video streaming: “Open” subs probably won’t be able to spend much time on YouTube without going bankrupt.
Verizon President and COO Denny Strigl explained his plans today at Citigroup’s annual media and technology conference. “I think usage-based pricing is something that will help us rather than hurt us,” Strigl said this morning. Which means it won’t cut into Verizon’s thoroughly profitable wireless business. Which means if you want to watch a lot of videos or make a lot of Internet phone calls, it probably won’t be cheap.
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