Last we heard, Verizon Wireless was planning on charging customers extra to use its forthcoming, “open” mobile phone network, which will work with any compatible, approved gadget — not just those sold by Verizon. Good news: The carrier seems to have changed its mind. Its “open” network will cost as much — and no more — to use as its current, “closed” network, CEO Lowell McAdam promised today at Dow Jones’ D6 conference.
“If I go in and I bring to your network a phone you didnt sell and I didnt buy in your store … I am expecting that I’m gonna not be charged a different rate than the person who bought one of your phones,” D6 co-host Walt Mossberg said to McAdam. “You won’t be,” the Verizon Wireless CEO replied. “Period.”
That’s good to hear, but we’re still not convinced that many people will rush to the new, open network any time soon. Gadgets still need to be unlocked from another cell carrier, and must work with Verizon’s CDMA wireless network. (Unlike Apple’s iPhone, for example.) And most of the good phones that will work with Verizon’s airwaves are already on their store shelves — and will continue to be.
Photo of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and McAdam: Asa Mathat/AllThingsD