Hey Verizon, Where Is That Openness Of Which You Spoke?

O openness, openness, wherefore art thou, openness?

In November 2007, Verizon Wireless made a shrewd political move when it said it would allow “any app, any device” on its network by the end of 2008. The FCC was pushing for that kind of openness from providers and openness became a condition for winning certain 700MHz spectrum in last year’s auction.

Now, two years after its announcement, Verizon said today that less than 60 3G devices actually qualify for “any app, any device,” and most of them are specialized M2M units. As a GigaOM blogger astutely put it, Verizon “is moving toward openness with all the haste of a 12-year-old headed to the dentist.”

Verizon says it’s working on it and that progress won’t get far if the network isn’t up to speed.

“We can build all the bells and whistles and make lots of bold claims, but none of it will matter if the network – and all of the underlying infrastructure that supports the network – isn’t fundamentally reliable,” said Tony Melone, Verizon Wireless senior vice president and CTO, said at a wireless equipment show. “I can promise you that reliability will continue to differentiate Verizon Wireless in the marketplace. And that is also what will differentiate the suppliers we choose.”

O openness.

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